Dear Fellow Patriot,
Your Society continues to grow. We are now in the final quarter of 2017 and the Society remains active and expanding. Thanks to a strong Board of Managers and your interest, I am proud to report the following:
We have surpassed the 550 mark in membership. To date, the Society has approved twenty new members, and a noticeable number of these new initiates are young members. Nationally, the Virginia Society is the third largest society, behind New York and Pennsylvania. This year, our growth in membership has outpaced all of the other State Societies. Interest in our organization, especially among the younger generation, points to the fact that we are getting our message across, and keeping the spirit of our Founding Fathers alive. I challenge each of you to make the effort to recruit one new prospect in the coming year.
The Membership Committee, headed by Scott Bussells and CL Sigmon, held a young members gathering in July at a local brewery. The purpose of the gathering was to get the attendees to invite a prospect and introduce them to our organization. From that event, we received ten working applications. Out of those ten applications, two of the attendees are now members as of the September BOM meeting. We have scheduled another gathering in Richmond for early November, and are discussing the logistics of holding an additional gathering, possibly in Williamsburg, which would reach out to potential prospects in the Tidewater area.
For the first time, the George Washington’s Birthday Dinner was a total sell out. We had the pleasure of having not only the VMI Pipes and Drums, but also were entertained by the Yorktown Fifes and Drums. The induction ceremony for the new members included forty two new inductees, an all-time high. The GW Dinner for 2018 will prove challenging, having to adapt to an ever growing interest in attending the event.
This past year, the Spring Meeting and Cocktail Party was moved to the Virginia Historical Society, where we had 180 attendees. Increased interest in that event made holding the event at the Virginia House impossible due to the ability to handle the number of guests. The Board has made arrangements to host the upcoming Spring Meeting for 2018 at the Tuckahoe Woman’s Club. This venue should be more in line with the Virginia House and will allow for ample parking as well as both inside and outdoors setting.
This past November, we co-hosted the Fall Oyster Roast with the Colonial Dames and Society of Colonial Wars. The event was held at the Wilton House in Richmond. It was attended by over two hundred and fifty people, and the event offered an abundance of oysters, roast pig, adult beverage, and fellowship, while overlooking the scenic James River. This year we plan a repeat of this wonderful event on Saturday November 11th.
Charitable giving and providing scholarships would not be possible were it not for the kind and generous giving that you as a group have given in the past to the Patriots Fund. This past year we continued to provide a donation to the Virginia Historical Society. In addition, we presented Scotchtown and Menokin with a charitable gift. Three recipients received scholarships through our Patriots Fund: Mary Pace Lewis (Washington and Lee University), Aaron R. Kuzel (Lincoln Memorial University), and Matson L. Roberts (University of Virginia). You, the membership, are what make this Society able to continue our mission.
The Virginia Society’s new website, www.srvirginia.org, is in the final stages of completion. By year’s end, we hope to launch the “members only” site where our general membership will be able to access information not privy to the public. I encourage each of you to visit the new website if you have not done so yet. Information pertaining to our events and activities is updated on a regular basis.
Finally, in an attempt to increase activities and improve those venues that our membership has come to enjoy, the Board of Managers has voted to initiate a modest $25.00 increase in our dues. It has been over 20 years since we last visited this subject. Increased commitment to the General Society, website development and management, outreach, and improvement of the activities of the Society have all factored in to this decision. As president, I hope that each of you will take advantage of the wonderful events that this Society offers and will help to promote the organization, its purpose, and mission. You are what this Society is about. Your gifts and your participation make it all possible. Please consider making a contribution to the Patriots fund. To be recognized as a donor in the 2018 George Washington Dinner program, your gift must be postmarked by December 31, 2017. An envelope is included for your convenience.
“Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” – George Washington
Patriotically yours, Beverly S. Mauck, Jr.