Early Fall President's Message 2021

Greetings Model Railroaders,

The Summer of 2021 is officially behind us, and Fall has arrived. The weather has been really good lately, and the trees are beginning to turn color. I hope that you have been making progress on your layout or favorite modeling project. I have two specific items that I want to cover with each of you today and then some quick updates. The first item is progress with our Seacoast Division Clinic Database, and the second item is Seacoast Division funding. Both of these items are vitally important to maintaining a healthy and functioning Division.

Seacoast Division Clinic Database

As I mentioned in my last President's message: "Our quarterly events are the main focus of our Division activities. The purpose of these events is to provide modeling information that our members can take home with them that helps each of us with our own personal modeling efforts. The clinics and presentations that we provide at these events are done by our members. Over the years, many of you have contributed your considerable talents and energy towards developing these educational presentations."

If you have done a presentation/clinic for our Division (or another Division or convention) in the past, and are still capable of doing it again, or have updated your presentation with new information, or have a completely new presentation, then I am respectfully requesting that you contact our Division Clinic Coordinator, Jack Lutz, so that he can add it to our new clinic database. Jack can be reached at 207 605-0037 or by email at .

This database will be extremely helpful to the Division as we move ahead with planning for our future Division Events. To date, the database is beginning to take shape. Over 100 clinics done in the past have been identified, so far. Some of you have come forward with your information and we are very grateful for that. We specifically need clinic information from Seacoast events prior to 2017. We would also like to hear from any member that has a specific idea for a clinic that could be presented at a future event. For those of you that have presented clinics in the past, Jack will be contacting you to see if you are willing to present an updated version of your clinic at a future event.

So again, let's pitch in and help Jack get this database going. This will ultimately help the organizers of our future Seacoast Division Quarterly Events, which in turn, will help each of us with our individual modeling efforts. Thank you!

Seacoast Division Funding

At the last BOD meeting, our Division Treasurer reported a balance of $5,504.46 in our Division account. This is a good thing, of course, and shows that the Division is financially solvent with a reasonable amount of funds. Over the years, these funds have enabled us to support our Division Events plus whatever else we have needed money for. The last large fund raising for this Division was in the year that the Division sponsored the Annual NER Convention at Laconia, New Hampshire in 2013. We have been slowly draining these funds from our account since then.

Please be assured, that your Division Officers and Board members do everything we can to minimize any costs to the Division. Each year, we spend approximately $500 or so, for rental hall charges, train show table reservations, postage and other assorted expenditures. We have been fortunate up to now, that the costs for our meeting venues have been minimal. In a post-covid19 world, this may not always be the case. We have had no fund raising efforts since the Laconia convention, which is now about 8 years ago. While we are not in a financial crisis at this time, we do need to stop hemorrhaging money like this each year. If nothing is done, we will eventually have a problem. So how do we replenish our treasury and keep it at approximately the same level?

Well, we could volunteer to host another NER convention at some point in the future. The NER would absolutely love us to do that. But in my 3 years as your President, I have seen very little interest from Division members for sponsoring another convention. We could sponsor our own Model Train Show each year. The Hub Division does this and makes out quite well, financially. This would require a bunch of people and considerable effort in order to organize and run it each year. They have the assets and a large membership which can get it done. But we really don't need that much cash each year, in order to break even. We just need to take in enough money so that we break even or show a small net gain.

At the past couple of BOD meetings, your Officers and Board members have agreed to a few things that will help get us going in the right direction.

1. Beginning with the 2021 Fall Event, we will have a donation jar in a prominent location in the venue. We are asking each member to consider a donation of $5.00. This is just that, a donation. There is no requirement for anyone to contribute. But if you can help out, please consider a donation of any amount, large or small. It will certainly help to defray our costs.

2. For those of you that cannot attend our Events but still wish to contribute, we have recently opened an account with PayPal. Once it is fully set up, you will be able to go to our Division website and use a link which will take you to PayPal, where you can donate and have your contribution go directly into our Division treasury. We are working this process right now and hope to have it available very soon. We will notify all members when this happens. Remember, the Seacoast Division is a legitimate IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations to the Seacoast Division are fully tax deductible.

3. We are planning to have a Silent Auction at the 2022 Winter Event, much the same as we did for the Chip Faulter Fund a few years ago. The proceeds from this auction will go directly into the Division treasury. If you have any excess model railroad equipment that you are willing to donate to the Division, please consider being a part of the auction. If the auction is declared a financial success, we will likely do this every year. There will be more information about the silent auction coming in the months ahead.

Hopefully, these efforts will prove successful. Time will tell. We have a great organization with some very talented and great members. It shouldn't take too much to get our treasury where it needs to be. Thank you for your attention and hopefully your generosity.

Convention Update

In my last message, I said that I would have an update for you, regarding the NER convention. This will be quick. The convention is still a GO. It is happening! You must be appropriately vaccinated in order to attend and you must wear a mask at all times while inside the convention areas of the hotel and while attending any indoor convention event at other venues. I am planning to attend and I hope to see some of you there.

Fall Event Update

The Seacoast Division will hold its 2021 Fall Event on October 23, 2021 at the Greater Wakefield Resource Center (GWRC), which is located at 254 Main St., Union, NH. This will be our first in-person event since the pandemic began. We have a great program in store for you. We are also planning to broadcast this Event via Zoom, for those of you that cannot attend in person. Please consider attending. Glenn Mitchell with be sending out the information for the Event very soon.

So that's it for now. Please let me know what your concerns are, or if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Best regards,

Tage Erickson
Seacoast Division President