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The President's Corner by Dave Snow, Summer 2018

Iím writing this column in mid-March. Itís currently 38 degrees outside, there are still patches of snow around my yard and the ground is hard as a rock! By the time that you are reading this, the weather should have gotten a lot better, the flower beds are blooming, the vegetable gardens have been planted and our garden railways have come to life. Itís a special time of year for those of us who live here in New England, after being cooped up in the house for the past 3 or 4 months. Iím fortunate to also have an indoor layout, to keep me busy over the long winter months.

What is also coming to life are the preparations for the 40th Anniversary Convention in Bird In Hand, PA in June. Looking over the recent list of registrants, I see names of those who have attended our conventions on a regular basis and some who havenít been to a convention in a while. Some of you live right around the corner and some have traveled great distances to attend. Iím very pleased to see new names on the list. Some of you are so new that the ink hasnít dried on your membership cards. Iím very pleased and truly hope that you have a great time and plan on attending future conventions. Make sure you look for me and say hello. I always like to put a face to a name!

Our Convention Coordinator, Marshall Adams, has been steadily working, practically 24/7 and overseeing the various components that when brought together will make for a fantastic convention. All of us on the convention committee have been given our instructions and duty assignments.

Because of the time consuming work needed to put on a convention is in Marshallís capable hands, it allows me to devote more time and effort with maintaining and working to improve the health and well being of our club. Our membership numbers have remained stable, between 350 to 400 members, for the past 5 years, which is a good thing. However, should we be comfortable with the status quo and continue as we have been? My answer to that is NO! In any organization, there is always room for improvement.

Several months ago I sent a request to the board members titled ĎMembership Boosting Plansí and asked for their input as to how we could improve ways to boost our membership numbers. Iíve received a number of ideas, which we will look into and implement.

In addition to gathering ideas from the board, Iíve started to reach out to YOU our loyal members by including a personal letter from me when your membership renewal card is mailed to you. I didnít want to send out a Ďsurveyí, where you just check o a box to answer a question. I want it to be your own personal thoughts, good or bad, that the board can use to improve our club and ultimately, boost our membership. I have received a number of well thought of responses from you and I hope that it continues. Rather than wait for your letter, at the time of your renewal, I encourage you to send me an email or write me a letter. I will answer every one of them.
Always remember, this is YOUR club! ose of us on the board are just the custodians. I would like to see this club continue and celebrate 50 years of Haviní Fun, Runniní Trains!

A critic is a gong at a railroad crossing clanging loudly and vainly as the train goes by. - Christopher Morley


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