October 15, 2021
Month ten of the year is proving to be a very busy month as we continue our journey to the end of 2021. The activity of the Mobile Museum and the preparation for the 10th Annual Dinner is demanding our time and effort to ensure success. Thanks to Bryan Branson for arranging the meeting at the Country Diner last month. Everything went well and the food and service was excellent.
The preparation for the dinner is progressing very well. We have been conducting planning meetings at the home of Joanne and Joe Tilghman where they continue to provide the committee with an excellent lunch. The reservations for dinner and requests for advertisement continue to flow in and a few last-minute requests are expected. Marvel Carrol has designed excellent meal tickets that will allow individual choice of meals to be presented at the dinner. Bob Vonbargen is doing an excellent job with preparing the Commemorative Journal for printing. We have met with the Rowan College print shop to discuss the time frame for final production of the Journal. It will be an excellent Tribute to Oren Carrol and a wonderful evening for socializing with our members and friends.
Bryan Branson continues to tow and manage Mini Mo in an outstanding fashion. On one of our last trips out a slow air leak was detected by Bryan on returning to the armory. He was able to remove the tire and have it repaired by a friend at no cost to the AFHM. We are now using Patriotic bunting in lieu of the skirts we previously installed. On the last outing Bryan, Roy and I installed Velcro on the draping and have arranged for permanent installation of the material as an experiment. We will continue to evaluate this option and hope it will be a permanent fix. Matt Wick continues to recover from back surgery and continues to monitor and schedule activity through November. Please consider giving Matt a call or send him a Get-Well card.
Joanne Tilghman has picked up where she left off as the Treasurer position a few years back. She continues to maintain excellent accounting of transactions allowing for an excellent audit trail. She also continues to check and pick up the mail at the Post Office. Thanks, Joanne, for accepting this responsibility.
Sandy Conville continues to manage the social media and Web site updates for the organization providing us with monthly updates of how we are being received by the public. The numbers continue to increase, and it is interesting to note who is looking at our organization including Countries on the International scene. Caddis Art continues to handle all of Sandy’s request in a prompt fashion. Our decision to move in this direction has proven to be very effective. As we close out this year, we will evaluate the program to determine if changes are required. Thanks, Sandy, for the time and effort you are putting into this initiative.
Sandy also manages the Membership program, and we will be implementing a Membership Recruiting Drive for 2022. It will include Marketing initiatives to entice individuals to join our organization. Myra Wille has presented options that we may include to improve our membership numbers. We must also conduct communication with new members to determine their level of expertise and how they may be able to take an active part with the organization. This will be important as we begin to conduct activity at the Lawrence House.
Bob Vonbargen and Ron Hathaway are providing excellent work with the Living History program. They are working closely with Nick Mellis on the Gold Star video scheduled to be completed in 2022. Also work continues with the next segment of the Korean War. The plan is to utilize a room in the Lawrence House and set up a studio for interviews.
Marc Iroff, and Roy Plummer continue to promote the activity of the Armed Forces Heritage Museum, ensuring we are operating in an efficient manner. They will be presenting their activity in separate reports today. I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the countless hours they are dedicated to move the organization forward. Whenever I open an email from Roy Plummer there always seems to be another “Manhattan Project” to review and how it will impact on the organization. Also, I would like to recognize David Jost for the work he is doing with the Revolutionary War Exhibit. This will be the center piece of the facility and is intended to draw visitors to the Lawrence House.
The Marketing committee continues to recommend new initiatives to improve sales opportunities for the AFHM. Thanks to Myra Wilee and Fred Hogan we have realized additional revenue for the organization. This is another program we will have to investigate an approach on how it can best serve the AFHM in 2022.
We will be conducting a financial meeting with Don Cammus to review the activity for this year and determine what actions might be required for the coming year to ensure we submit the Tax Return in a timely fashion.
We will be conducting our final meeting of the year on December 17, 2021, at the Deerwood Country Club. It will be a social gathering beginning at 1 PM and will include spouses and significant others. There will be a very short meeting to conduct necessary activity to close out the year. Roy Plummer and I will be working out the logistics of the meeting and will provide an update at the meeting in November.
In closing, please continue to remember Oren Carrol, Frank Grochal and Nora Riley in your thoughts and prayers. They were such an important part of the past success of the organization, and they will be sorely missed. Be Well and Stay Safe.
Robert S. Dutko, SR.