Hi everyone, it’s time for some communication from myself to our membership. To say the least, it’s been a difficult year for our society, as it has been for most. The pandemic has severely limited our participation in the things we enjoy the most – getting together with friends socially, missing out on our field trips and walkabouts, and listening to some great speakers at our monthly meetings. It has also prevented participation in our Annual Banquet which is a main fundraiser for PRAS.
To add to our loss, we have had to deal with the sudden and unexpected death of our President, Ron Mills. Ron was a very humble, competent, and friendly administrator. He is sadly missed. The board has come together to mitigate this loss as best as possible. I wish to extend my thanks to our board for pulling together and managing in his absence.
Nonetheless, we have come through this year by managing most events in a virtual manner thanks to the presence of ZOOM. We have been most fortunate to partner with Venice Audubon Society in sharing their speaker program – this has been a plus as it has extended relationships with our neighboring society and their members. I believe it will continue in the future to our mutual benefit.
We have moved our field trips to a semi-virtual procedure through the efforts of Ron Robinson and his wife Char. They have personally set up various local birding trips which the members could participate on their own, and would forward their sightings to Ron. He would then tabulate them and put them out via PRAS Updates. Thanks Ron and Char – that was a lot of work.
We are looking forward to getting back to normal for the 2021-2022 year! Already we have secured First Alliance Church as a general meeting place for our monthly meetings. We have decided to continue using ZOOM for our monthly board meetings to eliminate travel time, and will probably will do so in the indefinite future. There are some benefits to this pandemic! This will also allow more participation for our ‘snowbirds’ to actively participate wherever they may be at the time. In the past, this has been somewhat of an issue.
Our Annual Meeting is coming up in May. It is at this time that we select our Officers and Board members for the upcoming year. Due to a lack of on site meetings, it has been difficult to approach members to commit to serving in this capacity in a personal manner. There’s nothing like a face to face request here. It has been an honor for me to serve as a past and acting President of PRAS. It has broadened my outlook, I have met many interesting people, and deepened my community connections. Being retired is not all it’s cracked up to be unless you have something meaningful to look forward to.
Please consider signing up as a potential board member – we are always looking for a ‘few good people’. In the past, we have allowed potential board members to sit in on a meeting and see what it’s like and who we are. Then you can make a decision to commit or not. If so, you will be provided with a notebook with a copy of our bylaws, board minutes for the past one year, and a complete contact list of the board members and committee chairs. That way, we expect you to hit the ground running so to speak. There are a lot of opportunities for service with all of our various committees involved in running this chapter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I’m even available to meet with you in person if that is preferable.
Here’s to a good next year for Peace River Audubon Society!
Thanks, Mike Krzyzkowski MD
Acting President, Peace River Audubon Society