2005 projects and changes
Fri Dec 17, 2004

First I want to thank everyone who came out and took part in our special meeting the other day. We talked about a lot of things and came to many decisions. To follow are the things we are looking to do this coming year.

1) Chris Vitz has been working on getting us set up as a non-profit 501c3. This is going to not only give us the chance to get donations that are tax deductible but will also change the way our group is run. We will be having yearly elections for officers and directors, which will give you the chance to set the direction of the group. Also as part of this we are going to start charging dues of just $20.00 per year to help off set the cost of member services. I know we have not had any dues in our group before but many members have suggested we make this change to help the groups bottom line stay up. When this is all in place we will be making a mailing to everyone.

2) We have decided to run another Easter Bunny Train next year. The date has not been chosen yet but we are working on it now. This project takes lots of volunteers and many weeks to make it happen. We will be looking for people to sell tickets, work the train, publicize the event, be Easter Bunnies, work as station agents plus more. This project can raise us much of the money we need to run the many projects we do and will do. When this trip is announced please find some time to help make it a success.

3) The Boro of Hawthorne is planning big changes in the area around our station and part of their plan is to get the station moved away from the corner, which came from a suggestion we made to the Mayor a year or so ago. We have a new member. Lou Digeronimo, who is an architect and who has offered his services to help us get the station on the State Historic rolls and to get the station moved. I would like to publicly thank Lou for his very generous offer and would ask that we all do what ever we can to help make this vision a reality. We have lots of work to do to make this happen and it is going to take a concentrated, determined effort to make sure it happens. It was decided that we needed lots of local support, so we are going to make a push for new members who would be interested and who live in Hawthorne. We have a few things to do before we make that push but hopefully by February we can start. Current members are encouraged to take part in this project and are asked to contact KC for more info on what is needed.

4) We would like to restore our Lehigh and New England 40B motorcar and have it ready for display by summer 2005. This project will involve taking the car apart, sanding and painting the body, rebuilding the engine and doing other mechanical work. We are looking for some indoor space that is heated and close by the Hawthorne or Butler area. We don’t have much of a budget so free is the best rent we can think of. The place needs to have open access to us so we can work on the car weekdays, nights and weekends. If you have any place available like that or are interested in helping restore a piece of history let anyone on the MOW crew know.

5) As part of our new structure we are going to try and change and upgrade our newsletter. We need a few people who are willing to take the newsletter duties on and are ready to put out a first class publication. Interested?

6) We also discussed our motorcar rental program, aka: WoodMont Rentals, which allows any member, who is NARCOA qualified and insured, to take one of the clubs cars on NARCOA runs for a fee of just $25.00. Will Hookway is in charge of keeping track of who needs what car when and collecting the fees. You can visit our web site at vratrips.org and click on “About us” and then “Who’s Who” to contact Will.

7) The last major thing is our proposed motor car trips for this year. We are looking to do a Bel-Del / BRW weekend, another run over the NYSW southern division and a new run over the northern division. Plus a few other trips that will be a big surprise if we can pull them off. We will need flaggers for most all of the runs and will turn to you for help when the time comes.

As you can see we have lots of things to keep us busy this year and I am sure we will have a few additions as well. We encourage everyone to take part in at least one project and hopefully lots more. Keep your eyes on your e-mails and snail mail for updates and requests for help and volunteer. After all you are all members of the VOLUNTEER RAILROADERS ASSOCIATION.

Thanks for your time and friendship,

2005 projects and changes