Hello Model Railroaders!

 
Christmas and New Years are just around the corner and then it will be time for our January Winter Virtual Meeting.  I want to wish each of you a very happy Holiday Season.  For most of us, I think it will be very good to put this year in the rear view mirror.  It looks like 2021 will be a better time coming as our country begins the long inoculation process for Covid19.  Based on the latest information that I get from the news, I am thinking the earliest we might consider restarting the Division in-person Events will be for the October Fall Event.  If we feel it is safe enough to have the Summer Event, then we will do it then.
 
Presidents Report for 2020
 
2020 has certainly been an interesting year for most of us.  The Division started off very well with our Winter Event, held at the Westbrook Community Center in Westbrook, Maine on January 4, 2020.  But once the pandemic hit the world, around the middle of March, everything came to an abrupt halt.  We had to cancel our Spring and Summer Events, but we were able to have a Virtual Fall Event on Saturday, October 24, 2020.  And as mentioned above, our next Virtual Event will be on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 10:00 AM.
 
But in spite of the pandemic, the Division was functioning.  We managed to get the Chip Faulter Fund organized by getting the charter written and approved by the Board of Directors.  But the pandemic has effected the Faulter Fund by shutting down all of the organizations that the Fund would target for possible support.  It is hoped that these organizations will be back in business later this coming year, so that we can get busy with the business of the Fund.  The Division was also able to receive approval from the US Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  This will make it easier for the Division to receive or accept donations from other sources.
 
The Division Board of Directors was able to hold several Virtual Board meetings this year.  These meetings occurred on April 2, May 29, July 15, September 2, October 14, and November 10.  Seacoast Division Board of Directors meetings are open to all Seacoast Division members.  If you have an issue or item where you feel the need to address the Board of Directors, or if you just want to listen in to one of the BOD meetings, please contact me and I will send you the meeting information.  We don’t have a set published schedule for BOD meetings.  We try to have a BOD meeting during the week prior to each Virtual Event, but sometimes that doesn’t work for various reasons.  We also have meetings at other times, when deemed necessary.  The next BOD meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 5, 2021at 10:00 AM.  So please contact me if you need to attend a BOD meeting.
 
This year, we have been encouraging all of you to share your modeling projects with us by submitting them to our webmaster, Steve Russo, so they can be listed and shown on our website.  To those of you that have done so, thank you very much for your efforts and your support.  With most of us being cooped up this year, I am thinking there are many of you that have been working steadily on your layouts or a favorite modeling project.  Please consider doing a clinic or providing a short briefing for one of our Virtual Events.  If you can do that, please contact Glenn Mitchell and let him know about it, so he can get you included on the schedule. Sharing your work with others is one of the important things that you can do to promote our great hobby.
 
Due to the pandemic, all of the local Model Train Shows in Maine and New Hampshire were cancelled or postponed until further notice.  This will certainly carry over into year 2021.  There is no way to know when these gatherings will be restarted.  When they do resume, our Seacoast Division will support every show that we are able to.  Sadly, the annual January Train Show in Springfield, MA has been cancelled for 2021.  Without a doubt, I am looking forward to the day that I can report to you about our modeling endeavors, without having to reference something related to Covid19.
 
In spite of it all, our hobby continues.  I feel that our Division is very strong and is flourishing quite well in spite of the obstacles.  This Division and the entire NMRA is about the trains.  When we concentrate our efforts on that one thing, everything else seems to fall in place very well.  So I want to encourage each of you to keep working on your layouts and enjoying the many benefits of this great hobby and your membership in the NMRA.  Please think about sharing some of your efforts with the rest of us.
 
Our quarterly publication, The Switchtower, continues to get great reviews by all that read it, both inside and outside of the Division.  But our editor Geoff Anthony, is always looking for articles and pictures to publish.  These articles and pictures come from all of you, our members.  Please consider writing an article or sending a picture with captions and descriptions to Geoff Anthony.  Thank you!
 
2021 Elections
 
As you all should know by now, our 2021 election process is underway.  By this time, I was hoping to have more ballots submitted, then there is presently.  If you haven’t voted yet, please take the time to submit a ballot either by mail or by email.  It is important that we get as many members to participate as possible.  Regardless of the fact that we only have 3 candidates for the 3 positions, we think that this may be the best way for the Division to vote in all future elections.  So please show your support for this by sending the Division Secretary your voting ballot.  I have again, enclosed the voting procedures with this message.  All the ballots must be in the possession of the Division Secretary by Monday, January 4, 2021.  This message and the Division Voting Procedures will also be listed on the Division web site, seacoastnmra.org.   The election results will be announced at the Virtual Zoom meeting on January 9, 2021, and also published on the Division web site.
 
In closing, let me thank all of you for the continuous support that I get as your Division President.  It means a lot to me, because this is your organization.  Thank you!  Again, I want to wish you all a very Happy Holiday Season and I wish you all the happiest of New Years and a prosperous, productive and healthy 2021.
 
Best regards,
 
Tage Erickson
Seacoast Division President