September Presidents Report

September 24, 2021

 

 

President Report

We have passed through the summer months and entering the final quarter of the 2021. The AFHM has been very busy, and several initiatives have been accomplished and we continue to move forward fulfilling our mission to Preserve, Honor and Educate the public on the Military history of New Jersey and the surrounding region.

I participate in the Ewing Township 9/11 Ceremony on Saturday, September 11, 2021 and spoke on the Veterans returning from the war in Afghanistan encouraging the community to support their return and thank them for their service. On September 9, 2021, I attended the retirement ceremony and dinner for Brigadier General Wayne Maughey. The Adjutant General and Commander of the Air National Guard were in attendance, and I had an opportunity to discuss the progress we are making with the AFHM. Also, Michael Hughes from the National Guard Family Center at the Bordentown Armory was present, and I was able to personally thank him for the support he and the staff at the armory are providing to the AFHM.

The most significant event is the 10th Annual Dinner scheduled for October 30, 2021, to be held at O’Connor’s Restaurant, 1383 Monmouth Road, Easthampton, NJ 08060, honoring Oren Carrol who recently passed away. We met with Patrick O’Connor and signed a contract for the event. Three meetings have been conducted and an event package has been prepared and released to the membership through Mail Chimp, Facebook, the Website, mailings, personal friends and friends and family of Marvel Carrol. We have received a decent number of responses but are entire membership must work hard to ensure we invite our friends to attend and solicit Ads and Boosters for the Commemorative Journal. A special thanks goes out to the members who volunteered to serve on the committee and to Joanne Tilghman for the hospitality she continues to provide by hosting the meetings at her home.

The repair work and painting at the Lawrence House is progressing nicely. We have moved material into the facility and conducted two work parties to organize the material. The floors have been cleaned and waxed and look very good. Work continues with the side porch, and they are obtaining bids for the heating and air conditioning work. On the last visit we set up two tables and 12 chairs in the large room upstairs and it will provide a place to conduct meetings. Lisa is scheduling someone in to clean the bathroom and it will be available for use soon.

On August 27, 2021, Roy Plummer, David Jost, Bryan Branson, Mick Shanklin and I met with Jeff Dobra of Skyline Exhibits at the Deerwood Country Club. Jeff provided a presentation on the material to be used for the Revolutionary War Exhibit to be constructed at the Lawrence House. We approved of his proposal and has forwarded a contract to Roy Plummer. Roy will provide more info at the meeting on Friday.

Matt Wick continues to recover from his surgery and is maintain communication with the scheduling of the Mobile Museum. On August 21, 2021, we participated in the Jeeps on the Waterfront event in Burlington. It was a very busy event and we made new contacts and received a $100 donation from the event administrator along with some minor donations. On September 4, 2021, the unit was at Bordentown Fireworks event where a malfunction occurred to one of the doors. The crew were able to secure the door. Bryan Branson spent countless hours trying to correct the problem. Finally, he worked with the company who provides the lifters along with the company that installed the lifters. The bottom line he was able to correct the problem and the doors are working perfectly. Thanks, Bryan, for the outstanding work you are doing to manage the Mini Mo and keep it operational. We did have to cancel an event scheduled at The Four Chaplains in Philadelphia schedule for September 10 & 11. 2021. On September 17, 2021, Bryan towed the trailer to Fort Dix, and we displayed the unit at the Knights of Columbus, Oren Carrol Memorial Golf Outing. We were able to distribute Flyers for the 10th Annual Dinner and I had an opportunity to announce the event at the lunch held at the conclusion of the golf. Marvel Carrol attended and Lew Wetstein and I were able to have lunch at her table. It was a nice event full of heart ache and respect for Oren Carrol. We received a modest amount of donations and made sales of our material. On Saturday, September 18, 2021, we participated in the Annual Picnic at the VFW 491 in Yardville NJ. It was an outstanding event, and we made several new contacts, received $133.00 in donations and $40.00 in sales. Looking forward we have several events on the schedule for October so if anyone has a few hours to share please contact Bryan and let him know when you are available to help. We truly are blessed to have Bryan handling the work and towing of the Mobile Museum. When you meet him, please give him a hearty thank you.

Bryan, Bob Vonbargen and I made a visit to Marvel Carrol’s home on September 14, 2021. We were able to review loads of items and material Oren have generated over the years. Marvel was very helpful in identifying items and helping in moving the material to our automobiles. It was a very successful visit as we discovered a significant number of items that we use as handouts on Mini Mo. Oren did an excellent job in ordering enough of the hand outs and we will be in great shape for the foreseeable future. On September 16, 2021, I met Bob Vonbargen, Ron Hathaway and Fred Hogan and we moved the material into the Lawrence House. We will schedule another visit with Marvel to move the material that is stored in the garage to be moved to the Lawrence House. Marvel has been very gracious and helpful with the transition and indicated we can leave items at the house if we wish to.

A special thank you to Bob Vonbargen and his Living History committee for the work they are doing. Ron Hathaway has been a big help by conducting interviews and working with Nick Mellis. On Wednesday, September 22, 2021, I arranged for a room at the Ewing Senior Community Center to review the current work Nick Mellis has accomplished with the Gold Star Video project. Bob Vonbargen downloaded the work on his hard drive and will review the interviews. Discussion took place with Ron Hathaway, Bob Vonbargen, Nick Mellis, a videographer and me. Several options were discussed on how to proceed.

Sandy Conville continues to maintain effective communication with Caddis Art to continue release of information on Facebook and Mailchimp. She also coordinates changes to the Web Site. Sandy also tracts the Pay Pal account and has recommended we close our current account and open a new one routing transactions to Investors Bank. Sandy is also managing the Membership program., thanks Sandy for all do to support the AFHM.

Joanne Tilghman is effectively managing the position of Treasurer and hasn’t missed a beat. She maintains accurate documentation on all transactions with an accurate audit trail. Joanne also visits the Post Office and picks the AFHM mail. Thanks, Joanne, for taking on this responsibility.

Mick Shanklin and I are continuing to manage the TD Band account. The plan is to continue this account until the end of 2021. We will be meeting with Don Cammus in October to review the financial information and make changes where necessary ad begin to prepare information for filing the Tas return. During the visit to Marvel Carrol’s home, I picked up folders with the financial data that we will review with Don Cammus. Mick is another dedicated volunteer ready to help in many facets of the organization. Thanks Mick.

A special thanks to Roy Plummer and Marc Iroff for the work they are doing to promote the AFHM and ensure we use due diligence in conducting the activities of the organization. Nelson Mellitz also is offering his contractual expertise to ensure we effectively execute the contracts.

October and November will be busy months and we will need everyone’s attention to enable us to move forward. Ther is an era of excitement and anticipation to start setting up and operating the Lawrence House. Obviously, our focus will be to provide a fitting Honorand Tribute at the 10th Annual Dinner to Oren Carrol. So please invite your friends to attend and solicit advertisement in the Journal. We are rapidly approaching the October 4, 2021, deadline we established. Be Well and Stay Safe.

Respectfully Submitted,

 

Robert S. Dutko, Sr.

AFHM President