October 21, 2022
This year has been one of the most exciting and productive years in the History of the organization. All committee chairpersons continue to devote their time and effort to keep the organization on track. We purchased new software allowing us to capture the activity in several areas and most important in the financial activity of the AFHM. We are fortunate to have Don Cammus guiding us through the product and his expertise in many areas is enhancing the management of the organization. As we focus on the remainder of the year there is still much to be accomplished.
On October 5, 2022, we conducted an Executive Committee meeting at the Lawrence House. The purpose of the meeting was to assess the management of the organization and begin to prepare for 2023. We reviewed input for the Budget, covered Membership, The Mobile Museum, Lawrence House Short- and Long-Range Strategy, Revision to corporate Documentation and address change, discussion on Nomination and Election for new officers, reviewed Board of Director status and the progress on the 11th Annual Dinner taking place on October 29, 2022. It was a very productive meeting and it set the stage for activity in 2023.
On October 12, 2022, I attended the Preservation New Jersey Awards event held at the 1867 Sanctuary in Ewing Township. The event is held annually and recognizes organizations and individuals for their contributions to preserving History in several categories. We have been the recipient of an award in the past and Roy Plummer had submitted us again this year, but we were not selected. I had an opportunity to network with several people and met with their President, Paul Muir. We discussed the work we have accomplished at the Lawrence House, and I invited him to visit soon. Hopefully, we can resubmit the Lawrence House and perhaps be selected in 2023.
I am bringing to everyone’s attention a program that is available with Amazon identified as Amazon Smile, that we can participate in without any extra cost when purchases are made. You can enroll with your cell phone or computer by going to smile.amazon.com and establish the Armed Forces Heritage Museum as your favorite charity. This will allow the AFHM to receive 0.5% of the eligible purchase price. Only a few of our members are already enrolled, and we are receiving small donations from Amazon, but we need to take advantage of the benefit. This year Amazon has donated over $356 million dollars to charities, so let us take advantage of this program.
We have also established a partnership program with Amazon that will allow their employees to volunteer with the AFHM while they are being paid. This has paid dividends on a few occasions to date and provided us the opportunity to display the Mobile Museum at one of their family events. It was well received, and they donated $500.00, but more important we solidified our partnership with the company.
The Social Media program continues to increase our awareness to the public. The mail chimp monthly report provides us with valuable information, and we know exactly who we are reaching. The membership program remains stable, but this program needs to be challenged in 2023. We need to establish an effective recruiting program and provide incentives for individuals to join. Once the visitors increase at the Lawrence House, we can entice individuals to join the AFHM. A goal should be to recruit younger members willing to get in volved with promoting military history and eventually accepting a key role in the organization.
In just one week we will be conducting the 11th Annual AFHM Dinner at O’Connor’s Restaurant, honoring two outstanding individuals, New jersey State Senator Troy Singleton and our Executive Director Roy Plummer. It will be an opportunity for everyone to socialize and enjoy a well-prepared meal served by the staff at O’Connor’s. The outstanding effort put forth by the committee has resulted in exceeding the number of attendees we had last year. We owe a special thank you to Joanne and Joe Tilghman for their willingness to entertain us at their home and provide delicious meals prior to the meetings that were conducted monthly. There are a few seats available if anyone would like to attend have them contact me at 609-273-1004 by the 22nd of October.
Bob Vonbargen and Mick Shanklin continue to recuperate from their medial issues, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Be Well and Stay Safe.
Robert S. Dutko, Sr.