Well I am not sure how the first 6 months of my time as President could have been much busier as we have been one active bunch. Since February we have put over 4300 people on our Easter Trains, run 2 motorcar trips, did a brush cutting run two new railroads, had the ground breaking for the station project, had multiple work days at the station to clean it out in preparation for the move and finally have watched and helped the digging and building of the new foundation for the station. None of this would have been possible with out you, our members. A few of you stood out above the rest and they are: Justin Kerstner who, amongst other things, has spent countless hours at the station during the first phase of construction. Mike O’Toole for all of the work he does on our multiple web sites, his work has not only kept us and the public up to date on what we are doing but he has also kept us at or near the top of every search engine. Carolyn Hoffman who has been there every time she is called and Andrea Rebner who graciously offered to temporarily house some of the stuff we removed from the station.

I also want to thank Jon Berkemeyer for his time and effort on a number of projects and for his time as vice president. You will see elsewhere in this newsletter that due to health and other concerns Jon has had to step down as VP but he is staying on as our editor and as the Santa Train chairman. Both of these jobs will keep him very busy and to get them done he is going to need all of our help.

These next few months look like they will be just as busy as the first 6 and we are going to be turning to do what you do best, which is VOLUNTEER. We need to do some more fund raising to complete the station and meet our April 29, 2011 grand opening goal. One of the ways you can help is to buy a paver brick, which will be used to make the path leading from Diamond Bridge Ave to the new site of the station. You can also ask your friends, neighbors and relatives to buy a paver and support the project. You can find the order form in this issue or by going to our web site, www.vratrips.org , where you can place and pay for your order on line.

I would like to close with a reminder that the VRA is only as good as the effort put in by the people in it. We have done many great things over our 17 year history and this year we have the chance to make a lasting impression on the people of Hawthorne and the countless people who will visit the station in the years to come. So the next time you see an announcement about a work party, why not come on down, you will be glad you did.

KC Smith

President’s Comments – 8/2010