July 15, 2022
We are now in the second half of the year and there is a lot of activity taking place within our organization. Last month provided significant events and enthusiastic acceptance by the several individuals who attended the soft opening and official opening of the Lawrence House. I am extremely appreciative of all the officers and members who put forth outstanding time and effort to ensuring success of both events. We have received a very warm welcome from Burlington City highlighted by Proclamation presented by Mayor Barry Conaway. We have finally achieved our major objective of establishing not only an operating location to do business, but also a intriguing museum for everyone to visit and enjoy.
On June 30, 2022, members of the Finance Committee and Officers attended a Budget and Strategy meeting at the Lawrence House. We reviewed our financial status and worked on establishing a budget for the remainder of this year. Also in attendance was Colin Zimmerman who has been a valuable resource in establishing the displays at the Lawrence House. Colin has a tremendous background in Military History education. After a brief interview with Colin when he provided his vision of the future of the Lawrence House. We then offered the opportunity for Colin to become the Curator of the Museum and he graciously accepted. This will bring a new perspective to the museum and provide us with new ideas that we can utilize to promote the museum.
As we move forward ther is plenty of activity planned for the remainder of this year. The Mobile Museum is being managed by Bryan Branson and we have started with several activities scheduled for the remainder of the year. Bryan is requesting that we have 3 to 4 individuals available each time we take the unit out. So please stay tuned to the schedule and come out and support the effort. To date we have had excellent support and the Mobile Museum is earning financial support at an excellent pace to support future upgrades. We are presently assessing upgrades that will be necessary to keep the unit in excellent operating condition.
Marc Iroff has established an excellent program for the conduct of the 11th Annual Dinner. There is a solicitation package that has been made available and we need our members to utilize it to obtain ads for the journal and encourage individuals to attend the event scheduled for October 29, 2022. This is one of our most significant fundraisers that provides resources to operate the organization and a very enjoyable evening to socialize with our members and friends.
Roy Plummer continues provides excellent initiatives through his networking efforts in promoting the Armed Forces Heritage Museum. He continues to establish events at the Lawrence House encouraging individuals and organizations to visit the museum. There is one established for July 27th at the Lawrence House and we need to support the event.
We have conducted meetings with the Burlington County Historical Society to obtain information to allow us to establish an operating budget for the facility. They have been very helpful in providing updates on scheduled work and communication requirements. Heat and air conditioning is of major importance, and we continue to focus on this aspect as we are anxious to get this completed prior to the winter months.
Sandy Conville continues to manage the website, social media and membership programs in an excellent fashion. We continue to become more popular as evidenced by the report she provides on a monthly basis. She maintains excellent coordination with Caddis Art, and they continue to provide excellent response to our requirements. These programs will become more important now that the Lawrence House is open for visitors.
We are extremely stressed because our Secretary Mick Shanklin continues to recover from his health situation. Mick has recently had another procedure and is unable to perform the duties of the secretary. If someone is available to assist with this matter, please reach out to me and we can work out the details on how we can help. Also keep Mick in your thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery.
A special thank you to Bob Vonbargen who utilized his van to participate in the Florence Independence Day Parade. I was unable to attend due to a bout with Covid, but Roy Plummer was available to participate. The Mobile Museum was on display at the fireworks during the evening through the efforts of Bryan Branson.
Robert S. Dutko, SR.