By Sue Ann Kendall
Last Friday we held our December meeting at the Milam Community Theater building in Cameron, and instead of a speaker, we had a party! Members volunteered to decorate tables, and the themes were just beautiful.
Our party team did a great job planning the meal, which was provided by the Thorndale Meat Market (fantastic place to shop or cater your party). Guests enjoyed pork loin and prime rib, along with amazing potatoes and asparagus. Desserts were provided by Master Naturalists. I wanted to steal a couple, especially the amazing chocolate Bundt cake with cream cheese and cherries.
We had some quite good Texas wine donated, too, so it was festive! Of course, there were vegetarian and non-alcoholic options.
We all had a great time at dinner with our friends, and had even more fun at the actual meeting, where everyone gave end of year reports. I didn’t know it was happening, so I didn’t give a blog report. I will post one here before the end of the year.
Now for the big highlights. We honored some of our members for their service. This warmed all our hearts, I know. Linda Jo Conn was honored for 5,000 hours of volunteer service. Her enthusiasm inspires us all. We are so grateful for her ideas for activities that got us through the pandemic.
The next recognition was for your faithful blog contributor, Donna Lewis, who has attained the huge milestone of 10,000 volunteer hours! That’s truly a significant event! All those hours helping purple martins and sharing with the community earned her a beautiful pin and certificate. It was great to be there to honor her.
Next, I’d like to thank Carolyn Henderson for coming up with the idea to acknowledge people in the chapter who make big contributions, our previously unsung heroes. It was especially gratifying to see that the first award didn’t go to a member, but to Patricia Coombs, sister of our blogging friend Catherine! Patricia has been attending meetings to help with the hospitality and anything else she can help with. We are all grateful!
The next well-deserved thanks went out to Lisa Milewski, who has been serving as our volunteer hours coordinator for more years than she’d like to (who wants to learn the job and help out?). That woman, who you always see smiling with the president when achievements are handed out, has done an incredible job keeping track of our hours and making sure they are entered into the Volunteer Management System correctly. Plus, that smile!
The final award went to another tireless worker, and all-around fun guy, Don Travis. Don has been the group’s communications director for fifteen years and has spent many, many hours building out the chapter website. Besides that, he gets our speaker presentations on the shiny new chapter laptop and presented onscreen. He also helped greatly with our Zoom meetings during the pandemic (it was very helpful to me, while I was trying to hold the group together). Good work, Don. (He would also love a helper or replacement.)
We are very proud of what our small, isolated chapter has accomplished!
After the meeting we had our annual white elephant gift exchange, which is always fun. Lots of stealing and action occurred, because there were some great gifts! Enjoy these photos of attendees and action. Sorry I couldn’t get everyone in. I tried! click a photo to see the whole thing.