It is truly my honor to submit this President’s Letter on behalf of Chapter JK of Evergreen, Colorado. I am only the third president to serve in this capacity following my mentors, Bette Anne Mayberry and Nancy Westman. Chapter JK is a group of strong minded, intelligent women who seemingly cannot be stopped once they put their minds to any potential accomplishments. With their commitment, hard work, and creativity, our Chapter has met many goals and set new expectations for the future.
One example of the strength and dedication within our membership was the development and execution for our fundraiser this past year. I asked our Fundraising Chair to create a new kind of event, one which could be branded uniquely to our chapter’s future events. This event, called A Harvest Moon Mountain Affair yielded over $15,000 for our projects this year. Due to our exceptional success, we are already planning a second event like this one for this year, hoping to gain even more in our coffers for our scholarships, grants and loans. And a little incentive program constantly brings money in and is through the Kroger Card Program with which our membership is involved. Every little bit helps!
We were thrilled this past year to submit a name for both a P.C.E. grant and an ELF loan. Both went to the same candidate, a daughter of one of our members and thankfully, P.E.O. gave her both types of assistance so that she could complete her Master of Social Work. In gratitude, she also gave the chapter a marvelous and thoroughly helpful program on how to deal with the issue of aging parents and family members. It was revealing that so many of us had been through this painful situation, and some are currently going through it. She also gave us resources for the future should it require use of this knowledge. Additionally, we have nominated an exceptional young woman for the Star Scholarship and are eagerly waiting to hear back if she will receive one.
Our programs this past year have been superlative, as well as covering diverse topics of interest to all. The program on High Altitude Gardening was a huge success, and we asked our presenter, a Master Gardener, to come back for more. In Evergreen we are fortunate to have a strong arts community, and one organization that serves us in placing numerous world-class sculptures out for public view is our Sculpture Evergreen. The president and a board member of this organization presented a terrific and informative program on this year’s newest sculptures along with general information about their work. Additionally, we are fortunate to boast that we have a published poet in our membership who also is a professor of writing, and she gave a heartwarming program on Memoir Writing. And one of the best programs was given by a Board member from the Evergreen Alliance for Sustainability, which featured excellent information on how to recycle and compost in our area. There were other presentations which were delightful and fun, but overall the quality of our programs was top notch.
Chapter JK is a very social group of women in search of fun, as well as philanthropy. This past year we had many opportunities to socialize with our ‘mother ship’ chapter from whence we came, as well as
other local chapters. We attended a tour of the Celestial Seasonings Tea plant in Boulder which yielded many shopping opportunities. Who knew they made so many different flavors?? And their gift shop was over-the-top in tea and serving ideas. We enjoyed a lovely picnic in August at the Humphrey Museum where even the rain could not dampen our spirits. We are always encouraged to expand our knowledge of all things artful, so when a fabulous exhibit of Monet came to Denver, we were in, followed by dinner. The Georgetown Railroad Steam Train Presidential Parlor Car hosted us for a lovely holiday lighted ride through the forest. And of course, afterwards there was dinner! I would be amiss if I did not mention our always fun, spirited Holiday Luncheon Social attended solely by JK. We do an ornament exchange, and everyone brings a dish of extravagance to share. Lastly, a small group of JK sisters and husbands, went for a brisk winter’s walk in Golden, CO to see the cheerful Christmas lights along the creek and out to dinner. Yes, being social is part of our DNA.
This year at the Colorado State Convention one of our sisters was recognized as being a P.E.O. for 50 years. We were all so very thrilled for our dear sister, Beverly Snyder. That is a huge accomplishment for anyone, and we are so proud of her commitment to our organization.
Another accomplishment which we can take pride in is our monthly digital newsletter, full of articles, information, photos, birthday notices, and upcoming events for our chapter. This is a continuation of a practice started almost 3 years ago and continues to this day. We believe it is a terrific communication tool. And, on that topic, we send out a digital birthday card complete with music and lovely graphics to each sister for her birthday. Our courtesy committee keeps frozen foods on hand should one of our sisters need assistance due to illness or death of a family member. We try hard to keep everyone up to date on things of importance. And finally, we still have several small interest groups (golf, book club, mahjong, sewing/needlers.) who meet at least once a month. We’ve added one small group to the list this year: Writer’s Club or The Poised Pen.
Our membership has remained constant, as this year we took in a transfer, Dorry Wilner from Wisconsin, but very sadly Brenda Jansen has decided to seek inactive status on March 1, 2020. We do, however, have several prospects in the pipeline to membership and expect our work from this year to yield several new members next year. We are hopeful and will work hard to increase our numbers.
In closing, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to all those sisters who’ve worked so hard to foster the growth and the successes we’ve had, which are many. I also cannot say enough in the way of appreciation for the officers who have served so diligently this past year and, in some cases, multiple years. Kudos to Beverly Snyder, Cindy Nicodemus, Sue Dunlop, Coni Osborn, Janice Smith, Sue Phelps and Colette Lambert who stepped up recently to replace an officer who resigned. My heart goes out to each of you, as well as the many committee chairs and committee members. Thank you for honoring me as your president.
The future is so bright, we’ll have to wear sunglasses. That’s us, JK. We are optimistic about the future and our continued successes. We are excited to see what we can do to make our chapter more highly philanthropic, the most fun and exciting chapter in Colorado! And then, we’re going to dinner!
Lovingly in P.E.O.,
Chapter JK – Evergreen