1. Moment of silence
a. Remembering members who we have lost: The Sandersons, John L. and Arno.
2. Thoughts and statements from members:
a. Shared memories of John Lewis and expressed appreciation for the many years he led the group.
3. Old Business
We have 3 applicants for NMC scholarship. Bob is in the process of setting up interviews.
An anonymous donor has once again offered to match $1000.00 for NMC scholarship fund.
b. The annual Yard Sale Fundraiser:
We raised $1,503.50 from sales combined with donations to the “Pickle Jar”. (Great idea, Rob!) It was declared a success!
Yard sale suggestions for next year: Elliot suggested advertising on Craigslist and a “Facebook Traverse City yard sale page” was also mentioned. Rob suggested putting VFP brochures out next year. Lydia offered to give Rob the box of brochures that she has.
Many “thank you!”s to Bernie and Jalene for all they do to facilitate the sale.
c. International Day of Peace:
Tim reported that the site has been reserved at the Open Space
Penny reported that she is in the midst of pulling together musicians and securing stage and sound equipment.
d. War planes, San Diego:
Tim gave an update of San Diego's Chapter working to ban war planes as entertainment.
e. Memorial Day review:
Lydia gave a report of our annual Memorial Day event. It sounds like communication could be improved next year in coordinating the set up of the event so no-one is left hanging without help loading heavy stuff, etc.
Also, the start and end time should be consistent across the board. There was some confusion this year and the event was torn down by 3 p.m. when it was advertised until 4 p.m.
It was also mentioned that maybe we should remind the future buglers to allow extra time for parking as it can be difficult downtown.
Tom S. reported the we had good coverage in the Record Eagle as well as local T.V. 7 & 4 (thanks to Tim for calling the event in to local media).
f. Heritage Parade:
Let's all meet again this year at Caroline's house on July 3rd at 6 p.m. (Parade starts at 7 p.m.) to march in the 2018 Cherry Festival heritage parade. There will be a vehicle available (Elliot volunteered his SUV and trailer) for the anyone not comfortable with the hike.
Nick has extra shirts for folks to wear in parade.
Rob suggested that there is still time for those who would like to carry a flag to order small ones from VFP National HQ.
There was discussion regarding the idea from last month's meeting to make and carry signs expressing why we as individuals choose to be members of VFP and more specifically “who” or “what” we are walking for, for example “I am walking for my brother, who was still a boy when we lost him to the war in Vietnam” or “I walk to show my pride at being a member of the Peace promoting community”. Tom S. expressed strong concern at “carrying signs of dead people” in a parade, but after discussion, the majority consensus was that we would take care not to be too grim and that this would be a good opportunity to get our message of “the true costs of war” out to a large segment of our community who may not know who we are and what we stand for.
Lydia suggested we reach out to folks again to see who may be marching with us. Spread the word to other peace groups, but they should march as VFP 50 supporters.
We may need someone to be a “place holder” for the vehicle.
For those who wish to make signs, we will be holding a sign making party at Tim's house (508 Cromwell Dr.) with sign making supplies, pizza, etc. on June 28th at 6 p.m.
5. Committee reports:
We have $2,993.12 in general funds. $22.83 in endowment fund.
Tom has added a film to our collection called “Almost Sunshine” about 2 vets who walk across the country to heal and promote awareness about PTSD. Check it out!
c. Public relations:
Sally has decided to leave her position as our Public relations person. After discussion we decided that, at least for now, everyone will step in to help as each need/event presents itself.
Thank you for all you have done, Sally!
d. Webmaster report:
Emily reported that things are looking good. We have nearly tripled our “likes” and “follows” on Facebook recently and there are more comments, “shares” and messages being reported. This all means more people are hearing about us and what we do. Any ideas, questions or concerns about our Facebook page or Website, please contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org
6. After a request to share a link for a “GoFundMe” personal fundraiser was made by a follower on Facebook, we decided to make our informal policy a formal one and voted unanimously that VFP 50 would not engage in promoting personal fundraisers on our Facebook page or website, but that instead, each member was free to share these fundraising events personally. A fundraiser for a non-profit organization who is compatible with our mission statement could be appropriately shared.
7. No one was available to do the VFP table at the Up North Pride celebration this year (Saturday, June 23rd), so we will have to forgo that opportunity this year.
Submitted by Emily