(Jon Berkemeyer) In politics, politicians are measured by their first 100 days in office. Well, at the time of this writing, I have been Vice-President of the VRA for 83 days. These 83 days have been an exciting, nerve racking, and educational time for me. I’ve been introduced to the inner workings of a well established non-profit group and experienced first hand what a dedicated group can do when they set their minds to it.
My first experience was the annual Easter Bunny train. I was asked to be the crew caller for this year’s trip. I gladly accepted the task, but on the inside, I was very nervous. I would be responsible for assembling a crew of over 60. At the time, I had never taking on a responsibility that large outside of my employment. Visions of Donald Trump saying “You’re Fired!” were dancing in my head. However, the trips were a success and the crew performed extremely well. I went home Sunday night with a deep sense of pride. I had helped accomplish something good. It had been a feeling I was missing for a long time.
What that experience ultimately taught me was that our members, board and general alike, are the life blood of our organization. Without out all of us, there is no VRA.
This coming summer and fall, we have a busy schedule. We have the motor car trips that Chris Vitz reported on, and of course we have the station move coming, which now more then ever is closer to reality.
None of these things can take place without our volunteers. I encourage all members to come out and help. K.C. says that moving the station is the largest project the VRA has ever undertaken. I believe this is the largest task ever undertaken by a rail group in this state. Anyone can pick up a phone and have a locomotive moved. We are going to move a building.
On top of all this, planning has started for our Santa Train. Yes it’s May, but it is never to early to start planning. This year the Santa train committee will be myself, Carolyn Hoffman, Betsy Newbury and Joe Mele. I’m inviting anyone else who would like to join the committee to contact me or anyone mentioned above. As they say, many hands make light work.