I have a couple things to share with the community. First, our heart-felt thanks for the many donations of excellent books and continued support for our annual book sale. We're delighted with the financial results but most importantly the pleasant experience of working with so many area families to gather books and then find homes for them.
The second item is very serious. The Men's Club board anticipates a challenging year ahead with a number of long-deferred issues that require thoughtful and decisive action. I am sharing this with you because we consider ourselves merely stewards of two very important assets (the War Memorial Building and Morgan's Grove Park). We are responsible for their maintenance and use, of course, but they really belong to you, the residents of our greater Shepherdstown community. It follows then that we want as many of you as possible who are interested, to actively engage with us in identifying issues, developing options and courses of action and achieving concrete results. We are only constrained by the limits of our imagination and the amount of effort we are willing to make.
If you want your ideas, concerns, and yes, opinions to be heard and acted upon, you have to work from within the organization. It's the old adage that "you have to have a ticket to ride" but that is the only realistic way to operate. The minimum level of involvement is simply membership. You no longer have to be vetted and formally invited to join. And dues are very cheap ($30 for an individual, $45 for a family and $15 for students.) There are also numerous leadership opportunities on key committees and planning groups (like the Back Alley Tour and Tea and the book sale). We are already planning for those events in 2011 and an even greater effort in 2012 as we celebrate the Town's 250th birthday. It is always more fun to be involved at the conceptual stage of things.
We are particularly anxious to find five new board members including replacements for Cris Kinsella, our treasurer who is completing her three-year term in office, and Mary Stanley, who has served in many capacities for the past 12 years. We are proud of the fact that we have a "working board" which means that we all take our share of the work and responsibilities.
Having said all that I hasten to acknowledge that we still enjoy and greatly appreciate the many people who are not members and yet always show up to be counted when needed to volunteer their time and effort with a smile on their face and a kind word.
We have a great social and civic club. We just think it can be better. Thanks for listening.