President’s Message- July 2009
What a great week at the Fulda Reunion. Over 250 members gathered for a wonderful week to renew friendships and to freely walk the old border trace that you and over 100,000 of your fellow troopers protected for almost a half century.
The Lord Mayor of Fulda and the Mayors of Bad Kissingen, Bad Hersfeld and Hunfeld and their people rolled out the red carpet for this reunion of the 11th Cavalry and 14th Cavalry. Our sincere thanks for their gracious welcome and hospitality. And without Renate Stieber’s enormous effort and Glenn Snodgrass’ team, the reunion would not have been possible. Our sincere thanks to each and every one of them for making the reunion such a great success.
Given all the fun, we were still able to spend considerable time conducting Association business.
The remainder of this message will deal with that business in the form of the President’s Annual Report presented at the BHA General Membership Meeting on 27 June 2009.
First, I am pleased to report the state of the Association is GOOD.
At the 2008 Las Vegas Reunion General Membership Meeting, I presented a business plan or "Transition Road Map", that we felt was needed to bring new life back to the Association. A report on the progress of that plan follows:
In September we received our permanent status as a 501 © 3 non-profit charitable organization from our statutory regulator, the Internal Revenue Service. All statutory filings are current and appropriate state filings are current.
In October we introduced a much improved web presence at our website at www.blackhorse.org. We will continue to improve our site.
In October we established a Blackhorse E-News email program designed to provide near real time information to our members who authorize us to include their email address in our E-News Address Book. Currently, over 3500 members receive the monthly E-News.
Having closed the unprofitable memorabilia store in October, we contracted our memorabilia sales to Finish Line Awards (FLA), a professional memorabilia sales firm in Colorado. By December, orders were being processed and at this writing, we are extremely pleased with their performance and profitability. FLA is working with the leadership at Ft. Irwin in an effort to provide a store front presence there for our soldiers.
Since the Las Vegas Reunion, we have published two outstanding Blackhorse Newsletters and have almost completely debugged our membership data base of 19,100 members. The data base reconciliation will continue to be a management priority.
Fundraising emphasis is focused in two areas – Operating funds and Scholarship funds. Operating funds are required to publish and mail our newsletter, maintain a web presence and E-News program and for administrative costs associated with statutory filings and support of soldier programs for the Regiment. The principal source of these funds is through our 1901 Club annual mail-out donation program where we are trying to get 1901 of our members to contribute $100 each year to support the Association. Excess Operating funds can be used for scholarships.
Scholarship funds are restricted funds and can only be used for that purpose. The principal source of these funds is through our Allons Club-a program that currently has 33 members that have committed to contribute $1000 a year for four years for scholarship use. Our goal is to attract 100 members to this program.
The Association has awarded seven scholarships to children of our members since the Las Vegas Reunion. Congratulations to all of these outstanding young people.
In other Old Business, the 2010 Houston Reunion will be held from 9 – 13 June 2010. Watch for details regarding registration and the full range of events on our website and in upcoming monthly E-News.
Movement of the Blackhorse Monument- The Armor Center will be moved to Ft. Benning to combine with the Infantry Center to form the Maneuver Center of Excellence. The CG of the Armor Center would like to move our monument with others to Benning to the new monument park planned for Ft. Benning. We have been asked to bless this movement of our monument. The decision to move will be a collective decision based on the desires of all our members and those of our brothers in the 11thACVVC. A decision is needed by October 2009 for a possible move in 2011 or 2012. If the decision is made to move, the Army will cover the costs. If the decision is not to move, then the monument will remain at the Patton Museum as long as the museum remains at Ft. Knox at what will become the Human Resource Center of Excellence. Options having been discussed are to move the monument with other Armor and Cavalry monuments to Ft. Benning, leave the monument at Ft. Knox or thirdly, move the monument to Ft. Irwin to be with the Regiment. Let us know how you feel by going to our website and use the "Contact Us" link. This is not a decision I will make or even ask our Officers and Directors to make, it must be a decision made by the entire Blackhorse family.
2011 Reunion Venue- suggestions were made to hold the 2011 reunion in one of the following areas: Kentucky, Williamsburg, VA, or near the Regiment in Las Vegas or in southern California. Members approved a motion to permit the Officers and Directors to decide prior to the Houston 2010 Reunion.
The membership gave us authority to modify the scholarship program so as to provide a one year $3000 scholarship offering giving the applicant the opportunity to apply each year for up to four years. This one year $3000 scholarship payout will benefit both the student and the Association in that it will permit the applicant the potential to receive up to $12,000 over a four year course of study and it will significantly reduce the administrative requirements of the Association. Watch for details on the website under the "Programs/Scholarship" link and in an upcoming E-News dispatch.
Congratulations to our five winners of our mail-in 1901 Club donations program. The winners names were drawn during the 2009 Fulda Reunion and each may select either a 1901 Cavalry Hat, Cavalry Saber or Cavalry Spurs. Our winners: Benjamin L. Guyer, Wayne E. Watts, Michael W. Baker, Keith H Nucklos, Jr. and Thomas B. Carr.
Finally, let me thank the great group of Officers and Directors and Staff you provided me in 2009 for it is through their hard work and dedication that I am able to tell you that the state of your Association is GOOD. We will move into this year with virtually the same team. Only Alex Silverman, Director of Communications had to step down. Alex’s husband, Jeffrey, is deploying to Iraq and she will need more time to care for daughter Emily and her work. Thank you Alex for all your years of work and devotion to this Association and our Regiment. Greg Hallmark, former member of 2/11 owns a web media firm in Nashville has volunteered to serve us this year. Welcome Greg.
We ask all our members to support with your time, talent and treasure. You know our cause is noble.
Allons! and Blackhorse Forever!
John Sherman Crow