(KC Smith) Back in 1993 when Steve Weiss, Bob Blumenstock, Joe Weber and I came up with the crazy idea to start the Susquehanna Volunteer Association it never crossed my mind that 17 years later I would have the honor to serve as its President. It has been one heck of a ride getting to this point; from our early days of helping to run the 142 steam program, to running countless passenger trains that raised tens of thousands of dollars, to getting into the motorcar hobby, to changing our name to the VRA, to saving Hawthorne Station and to being one of the most respected rail groups in the State.
Along the way I have had the very good fortune to work with some great people who I will never forget and whom I can never repay for all they have done. I may be prejudice, but I think VRA members are some of the best people I know.
On the top of that list is our late founding member Joe Weber. Joe spent countless hours helping to create and grow the VRA and we can honor him by doing our best to see that what he helped create lives on for many years to come. It is with this in mind that I would like to take this time to layout my goals and ideas for the organization for the next year.
My first goal is to grow our membership and increase the activity of our members. To help reach that goal I would like to see us have more exposure to the railfan community. This will include getting pictures and stories about what we do in the railfan press.
Those people who are interested in seeing what we are up to will most likely turn to our web site for more information. Mike has made a lot of improvements to our web sites but he needs us to give him the information and pictures to make it better. So my second goal is to have our web site get even better, I would like to see timely news, photos and updates on our various projects. A web site that does not get updated is a web site that people do not look at.
To go along with the above I would like to see our newsletter get better. Now that we have most people getting it on line, we can increase the photos and content. So goal 3 is to have a report from every active committee be in each edition. Also I would like to see stories about things we have done in the past so that people who may not have been around or those who would like to remember can read about where we came from.
We have 2 major projects that we need to get done; the first is of course Hawthorne Station. We are working very hard to get the station moved this spring and when the move actually happens it will require the help of many. We are going to need to remove many items from the building and secure others in preparation for the move. Then once moved we are going to
need to not only put everything back but we are also going to have to start and do the work to make things better. We also need to make the JKW Library more user friendly and get the word out about its existence. This job will almost certainly take us the better part of a year but goal number 4 is to get it all done by spring of 2011.
The second big project is getting the 40B finished. With all we have to do on the station this is going to take a lot of effort, but again with the help of our members (new and old) we can get it done and finally be able to display and run the car for everyone to enjoy. So goal 5 is to have the car completed well before we run our motorcar trip on the southern division so we can show it off.
My sixth goal is that we do our best to do all the other things that we do. The better we do the better we will feel and the better perspective members will think of us. This will also help us reach the first goal.
My last goal is really the most important one of all, that we all have a good time doing what we do. It takes members to volunteer to make our group a success, so if you would like to serve on a committee or maybe even chair one let me or one of the other board members know.
Here is to a great year and to the many years that follow for the great organization,
Now lets go get our hands dirty,