BY: JON BERKEMEYER

As K.C said in his President’s report, I have stepped down as Vice President of the group. When I sought the position of VP, I made a promise to myself. First priority would be my son, second would be my job so I could support my son, and third would be the VRA (A very close third to my job, if only this was a paid position!). What I didn’t do was make a promise that this wouldn’t interfere with my own well being. Recently, while on my way to work, I took a slight detour to the hospital with the beginning signs of a heart attack. Heart issues in my family are like The Force in the Skywalker family: strong. I spent the night in the hospital to find out it wasn’t a heart attack, but stress. A lucky break, but it was a wake up call. So reluctantly and with tremendous sadness I submitted my resignation to the VRA board as Vice President. In time, the other stressors in my life will fade, and I will more than likely take on another official leadership role within the group.

In the months that I was VP, we accomplished a lot. We teamed with Tri-State for the Easter Bunny Train. This harkened back to the very beginning of the in another article) we have the Santa VRA when the SVA and Tri-State ran the 142 trip to Warwick, with the famous 142 east-bound past Bairds Farm shots.

We also began, and continue to work on the station move. In my previous newsletter comments I mentioned this being the most ambitious project a New Jersey based group has every undertaken. I still believe that. My trips to the station since work began have only proven that each time. If you haven’t been to the site, I encourage you to go down and see what is being done, what YOU have helped make happen with volunteering on the Easter and Santa trains. While you’re down there, why not lend a hand?

While I’m no longer Vice President, I am still a proud member of the VRA, and I will continue to be so for a long time. Coming up (and discussed further in another article) we have the Santa Train, which like years past will continue to fund our activities. We also will  be finishing the station’s move, but the work at the site will go well into spring of 2011.

So with all that being said, I look forward to the tasks ahead, and wish everyone continued good health and happiness.

Finally, I’d like to thank my mentor and friend, K.C. for all that he has taught me, and all that he continues to do for the VRA. Thank you, Boss.

Stepping Down