Volunteer Opportunity: Sunshine Kid Sponsors

There will be twenty-four Sunshine Kids and six Pediatric Cancer Nurses arriving on Monday, June 6th for their one week Hill Country Adventure. The Hays County Citizens Sheriff’s Academy Alumni Association (HCCSAAA) is still looking for Sponsors to “adopt” Sunshine Kids. Each Sponsorship is $100 but any amount will help!

Your donation goes directly to the Sunshine Kids in the form of a gift card for them to purchase souvenirs or pay for incidentals during their week long stay and visits to the State Capitol, SeaWorld, Schlitterbahn, and other cool places. In some instances, offices have pooled money together to sponsor a Sunshine Kid.

Venmo, cash, or checks are accepted.

Checks or cash may be sent to (or dropped off at):
HCCSAAA
ATTN: Gary Anderson
810 S. Stagecoach Trail
San Marcos, TX 78666

In the past, Hays County has been a huge part of our success in helping these kids battling cancer to enjoy a week away from hospitals, treatments, and pain.

If you have questions please contact please contact Cathy Gieselman via e-mail at president@hccsaaa.org or via phone (512) 944-5569 OR Gary Anderson at gary.anderson@co.hays.tx.us.
The QR code attached goes directly to HCCSAAA Venmo Account.

Thank you for any help you can give!

President’s Blog

3/25/22

Hello Alumni!

As Bruce explained at our March meeting, our guest speaker from Texas Parks & Wildlife originally scheduled for the meeting fell through; fortunately, Jeffrey Jordan graciously agreed to step in as our guest speaker at short notice which was great because the topic is something particularly important to our community, Hays County Crime Stoppers!

The meeting gave members the opportunity to hear from Jeffrey who is currently serving as the Executive Director of Hays County Crime Stoppers. Jeffrey not only shared the interesting history of Crime Stoppers but provided an informative overview of the ins and outs of the organization and all of the amazing work going on.

If you are interested in learning more about Hays County Crime Stoppers, please check out their link: http://crimeinfo.net/sitemenu.aspx?P=statistics&ID=224 or download free P3 mobile app! P3tips.com. Visit and like their social media: Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/HaysCountyCrimeStoppers/ Twitter @ https://twitter.com/CrimeStopHays. You may also contact Jeffrey Jordan should you have any questions.

Jeffrey shared two upcoming fundraising events hosted by Hays County Crime Stoppers; please plan to stop by if you are able to do so:

  1. Chick-fil-A Buda Spirit Night:
    Monday, May 2, 2002; 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Location: 15500 S Interstate 35, Buda
    Place your order through the Chick-fil-A app. In the comments section on the order, type Hays County Crime Stoppers.
     
  2. Chick-fil-A Kyle Spirit Night:
    Monday, June 6, 2022; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    Location: 5289 Kyle Center Drive, Kyle
    Mention Hays County Crime Stoppers Spirit Night when you place your order for dine-in or drive-thru, or in the Chick-fil-A app when you place your order, in the comments section on the order, type Hays County Crime Stoppers.

Thank you again to Mary Capps for providing the delectable St. Patrick’s Day treats for the meeting; the décor was delightful and brought a wee bit fun to us all!

The Scramble Fore Kids Golf Tournament is on the schedule for Friday, April 8th @ Quicksand Golf Course in Wimberley. Several Alumni have signed up to volunteer for the event.

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week (Dispatchers) is coming up the week of April 10th-16th. We discussed providing lunch as we had done last year; a couple of suggestions were brought up as to what we would like to bring in this year. After consulting with Lt. Mallow to determine what dispatchers may prefer; it has been determined that we will bring in Jersey Mike’s for a total of 27 meals which includes HCSO (14) Kyle (9) and Texas State (4) dispatchers. Gary will coordinate with Jersey Mike’s to get a ‘set’ price for meals and will provide a menu to dispatchers, so they are able to select what they like. Lunch will be brought in on Monday, April 11th and Wednesday, April 12th at 11 a.m. in order to cover all shifts. If you are interested in being there on either or both of those days, please let me know.

The June meeting has been shifted to Wednesday, June 22nd as Gary, Ruth, Jack, and I will be attending the TCPAAA Convention the week of the regularly scheduled meeting. Looking forward to the convention and to sharing what we learned upon our return!

We have a tentative date scheduled for the Trophy Case reveal; Tuesday, April 26th @ 2:00 p.m. Additional information will be provided once the date has been ‘cast-in-stone’ but for the meantime, please keep the 26th open if you would like to attend this well-anticipated reveal!

The second round of HCSO shirts was a hit! This fundraiser had no outlay costs, and we were able to raise $1,007.48 each for the HCCSAAA and the HCSO! Thank you to Sheriff Cutler for looping us in on his idea for these great shirts! If you ordered a shirt, Gary Anderson has them in his office, please pick them up when you can, or they will be available for pick up at the April meeting.

We are still working on what we may be able to do for an Alumni gathering outside of the PSB regularly scheduled meeting. Ruth did some research on possible locations and there would be some overhead costs associated with renting a facility if we were to hold at a park pavilion. We will continue to work on the logistics for a gathering but may shift to later in the year due to multiple activities going on within the next few months; further information will be provided as this idea develops. This might also provide us the opportunity to include any new members that we may pick up from the current Academy which graduates in June.

Jack provided an update on Marketing & Fundraising; we have two upcoming fundraisers for Sunshine Kids. Please be looking for sign-ups which will be coming out soon to ensure we are able to secure adequate coverage for both of these events. The first fundraiser will be held on Thursday, April 28th @ the Government Center. Due to rising food costs, we were unable to get a reasonable pricing for the Cinco de Mayo plate idea; however, we will be doing our usual ½ lb. cheeseburger plate at $12 per plate which is an increase of $2 from last year. We will be providing dine-in, pick-up and deliveries. The second cheeseburger fundraiser will be held on Wednesday, May 11th @ the Wimberley VFW. It will be important to get the word out about these two events as the funds raised are exclusively for Sunshine Kids and we want to be sure to have a phenomenal turnout so we are able to provide the best we can for these amazing kiddos!

Speaking of Sunshine Kids, they will arrive the week of June 5th! We will give updates as provided so we are able to adequately plan for what the HCCSAAA will assist with.

There was a wonderful turnout at the Basic Peace Officer Graduation held on Thursday, 3/24! Congratulations to the seven graduates! It was nice to see them and their family and friends enjoying this very important ceremony. Thank you to those who volunteered to assist with this event as the help was greatly appreciated!

Please be sure to review the upcoming dates listed on the back of the monthly Agenda’s; this information may also be found on our website: http://www.hccsaaa.org. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, ideas, concerns…it’s important for members to communicate/engage so we can ensure we are hitting the mark when it comes to what keeps members involved and active in the HCCSAAA.

Thank you!

Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association

(512) 944-5569

“Communication is what makes a team strong” ~ Brian McClennan

HCSO: Scam Alert

Sheriff Gary Cutler says the Hays County Sheriff’s Office has been responding to several reports of scams in the recent days. This week a citizen received a call from a local 512 number. The caller identified themselves as an employee of the Sheriff’s Office using a real employees name. Upon call back, the voice mail answers as “Hays County Sheriff’s Department Warrant and Citation Division”.

Scammers often obtain names from staff directories and pose as those employees while soliciting money in the form of cash, gift cards, or other payments. Scammers will “spoof” the phone number presented on caller ID and make it appear the call is coming from a legitimate business; however, recent scam calls have been coming from a 737 area code. 737 is a new area code in the San Marcos area, but all of Hays County Sheriff’s Office numbers have a 512 area code.

The Hays County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone: No legitimate business will ever request/demand payment by gift card. If anyone requests payment by gift card, hang up on them and block the number from future contact.
Found on the consumer.ftc.gov website, they say: “Gift cards are a popular and convenient way to give someone a gift. They’re also a popular way for scammers to steal money from you. That’s because gift cards are like cash: if you buy a gift card and someone uses it, you probably cannot get your money back. Gift cards are for gifts, not payments. Anyone who demands payment by gift card is always a scammer.”

The Hays County Sheriff’s Office never calls to request payment over the phone for any reason. If you are not sure about a call, hang up and call the agency back and speak with a representative at 512-393-7896.

Below are 10 tips by the Federal Trade Commission on how to avoid common scams.

1. Spot imposters. Scammers often pretend to be someone you trust, like a government official, a family member, a charity, or a company you do business with. Don’t send money or give out personal information in response to an unexpected request — whether it comes as a text, a phone call, or an email.

2. Do online searches. Type a company or product name into your favorite search engine with words like “review,” “complaint” or “scam.” Or search for a phrase that describes your situation, like “IRS call.” You can even search for phone numbers to see if other people have reported them as scams.

3. Don’t believe your caller ID. Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake caller ID information, so the name and number you see aren’t always real. If someone calls asking for money or personal information, hang up. If you think the caller might be telling the truth, call back to a number you know is genuine.

4. Don’t pay upfront for a promise. Someone might ask you to pay in advance for things like debt relief, credit and loan offers, mortgage assistance, or a job. They might even say you’ve won a prize, but first you have to pay taxes or fees. If you do, they will probably take the money and disappear.

5. Consider how you pay. Credit cards have significant fraud protection built in, but some payment methods don’t. Wiring money through services like Western Union or MoneyGram is risky because it’s nearly impossible to get your money back. That’s also true for reloadable cards (like MoneyPak or Reloadit) and gift cards (like iTunes or Google Play). Government offices and honest companies won’t require you to use these payment methods.

6. Talk to someone. Before you give up your money or personal information, talk to someone you trust. Con artists want you to make decisions in a hurry. They might even threaten you. Slow down, check out the story, do an online search, consult an expert — or just tell a friend.

7. Hang up on robocalls. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal, and often the products are bogus. Don’t press 1 to speak to a person or to be taken off the list. That could lead to more calls.

8. Be skeptical about free trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products and bill you every month until you cancel. Before you agree to a free trial, research the company and read the cancellation policy. And always review your monthly statements for charges you don’t recognize.

9. Don’t deposit a check and wire money back. By law, banks must make funds from deposited checks available within days, but uncovering a fake check can take weeks. If a check you deposit turns out to be a fake, you’re responsible for repaying the bank.

10. Sign up for free scam alerts from the FTC at ftc.gov/scams. Get the latest tips and advice about scams sent right to your inbox.

President’s Blog

Greetings Alumni!

Ah, the sweet prelude to Spring 😊 I for one am looking forward to the flowers blooming, the grass and trees returning to their beautiful shades of green, birds chirping happily, sunshine and daylight remaining longer…not too thrilled about the creepy-crawlies returning; but they too have their purpose 😉

Our February meeting was brief; mostly due to a light agenda and a lot of members who really wanted to participate in the Court Scenario training… which was AWESOME! Lt. Dennis Gutierrez provided a wonderful presentation about Sunshine Kids and how the Alumni have been a tremendous help in previous years, not only monetarily but through volunteering. Looking forward to assisting with this very beneficial event in June!

We will be specifically fundraising for Sunshine Kids through our April and May fundraising events which you should have received the e-mail detailing upcoming events from our Marketing & Fundraising Committee Chair, Jack Diamond. It’s important to let Jack know by the 15th if you are able to volunteer as it will impact how we are able to proceed with these fundraisers. Jack will be providing an update at our meeting next week. It will be important to get the word out; success of these fundraisers will significantly effect what we will be able to contribute to these amazing kiddos!

Jack Diamond spoke at our January meeting regarding his suggestion about possibly revising our Bylaws to include a set dollar amount that the Executive Board can approve without first having members weigh in; no specific wording for a revision was provided at that time. Any specific proposals submitted to the Board will be considered and provided to members for review within the specified timeframe to allow sufficient time for members to review/comment on any proposed revisions. At this time, no formal proposal has been received.

This suggestion did prompt the thought that it may be beneficial for the Alumni to establish a Bylaws Committee to review these types of suggestions in the future to ensure compliance and appropriateness for the Association as it evolves. Having an established Bylaws Committee in place will also assist in assuring our Bylaws are periodically reviewed and kept up to date. Please let me know if you would be interested in serving on a Bylaws committee.

Coffee with the President wasn’t as fruitful as anticipated; don’t know if people think I have cooties or people are just too busy to sit and chat for a few moments. I did have 2 members take me up on my offer, thank you to Rick Brennes and Thea Dake for taking some time to get to know you and to hear your thoughts about the Alumni Association. These types of casual conversations where we can sit down outside of our scheduled meetings and just talk are greatly beneficial. I appreciate the opportunity to hear from members and get to know you better! Consequently, I don’t have cooties and would love to share a coffee with those who have the time to do so!

Meeting with members helps bring to light some things that may or may not be brought up during regular meetings. Just a couple of things I’d like to note are:

I have checked on the possibility of touring the new jail; however, with current staffing shortages and COVID concerns, jail tours are on hold until further notice. Once jail tours are back up and running; we can look into scheduling a tour.

Concerns have been shared about access to the PSB when arriving late to meetings; this is something we need to work on a procedure to address.

Think about ways we might include members in introductions to guest speakers. Typically, guest speakers come in and are introduced and Board members may be introduced; however, members don’t have the chance to be introduced to guest speakers. Maybe we could look at having a 30 minute ‘social’ to meet and greet guest speakers prior to the meeting starting? Those interested in meeting/visiting with the guest speaker prior to the meeting could come early to do so (6 p.m.)…this is just a thought to kick around, and the logistics would need to be worked out between Bruce and our guest speakers.

Would anyone be interested in participating in a ‘calling tree’ to contact previous members that have not been attending for one reason or another and invite them to attend a meeting to see about possibly returning? Please get with me and we can work on getting this accomplished. This also brings to mind that we may want to think about establishing a membership committee to help new members feel welcome when they join as well as the ability to get to know the ropes. Currently, new members introduce themselves when they attend their first meeting and that’s that – we don’t introduce ‘existing members’ to new members; perhaps we should consider doing that to help new members get to know everyone. Some members may be more comfortable chatting it up with others; but there may be some that it would be helpful to have specified members that help new members become ‘old-hat’; kind of like back in the day when new students in school were provided with a buddy to show them around. The suggestion was also made that we could have name tags (with names written where they can be seen) so new members can learn who’s who. (I know we have badges; but, unless you carry around a magnifying glass with you or don’t have a problem getting all up in someone’s grill to read their badge, or remember everyone’s name, it would be helpful to have larger printed names visible; especially for newbies.)

A suggestion was raised by Ruth Diamond about the possibility choosing a meeting date to have a ‘social’ gathering/pot-luck style where we don’t have a speaker and just have the opportunity to get to know one another a bit better. This suggestion has been brought up before so it sounds as if members would be open to doing something like this. We would just need to decide if we would want to hold @ the PSB or if we would prefer an off-site location (i.e., park); it would be a gathering where members could bring family members and share fellowship – possibly on a different day, perhaps on a weekend? Ruth will speak more about this at our March meeting to see what interest there is in pursuing this type of activity and how/when we would want to proceed with planning. It might be a good idea to plan for after the current Academy graduates as we may pick up new members at that time and it would be great to include them!

A Membership Directory has been added to the HCCSAAA website; those members who requested to be included in the directory were provided the password for access; please contact Ruth Diamond for any questions. The online Membership Directory will be enhanced to include additional functionality in the near future; updates will be provided as project develops.

A multitude of THANK YOU’s are in order for Alumni volunteers…

Thank you to those who assisted with serving lunch at the Motor Chute Out; I understand it was a great day enjoyed by all!

I’d like to thank members who helped Margaret with her move from her old office into her new location. She has been extremely grateful for the help and support. She even had others in the building who saw HCCSAAA volunteers helping and asked how they could get in on the action. We’ve had a request to help with some additional organization and will have more information coming soon!

Thank you to Alumni who volunteered to help at the RJ Yanez Fundraiser event; this was a community event coordinated by Deputy Richard Lozano and others to raise funds for a Johnson High School student with terminal brain cancer. The funds raised exceeded expectations; it was extremely heartwarming to see the community rally around this incredibly special young man. We had been asked if any Alumni would be available to volunteer and several members were able to help either by volunteering or providing donations to the cause. I was amazed by the community support and the overwhelming number of volunteers! It was a remarkably successful event, and it was great to have Alumni volunteers there! RJ is doing well and begins chemo next week; please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

The Citizens’ Academy began on Thursday, 3/10/22; Mark Andrews asked me to provide a short presentation to the new class to discuss the HCCSAAA and what we are about, we may also have another brief pop-in prior to graduation. Thank you to Janice & Dick Snitkin for volunteering to greet class members as they arrived for their first evening of the Academy! Alumni will plan to host the graduation ceremony again this year which is currently on schedule for 6/2/22; more to come as the date draws near.

We were asked to recruit volunteers for the Peace Officer Graduation Ceremony coming up at the end of March (3/24); thank you to those who have signed up, we currently have 1 slot remaining if you are interested in volunteering.

We are coming into to some very busy months with fundraisers, Sunshine Kids, golf tournament, etc. Please be on the lookout for sign-ups as we will be needing volunteers for various activities. Upcoming dates can be found on the back of our meeting Agenda as well as on our website: www.hccsaaa.org Requests for Alumni assistance has significantly increased due to our incredible members; many kudos are shared about how helpful members have been and how appreciated our volunteers are! Thank you!

The 2022 TCPAAA Convention that Gary Anderson discussed at the September 2021 meeting is scheduled for June 12-16. Anyone who was interested in attending was provided information and understood it was ‘on-your-own’ if you wanted to attend. Gary Anderson, Ruth Diamond, Jack Diamond, and I plan to attend the Convention this year. Being that the convention falls on the week of our June Alumni meeting, we will need to look at shifting the June meeting to the following week, Wednesday, June 22. Looking forward to attending the convention, learning from other Alumni Associations, and sharing with Alumni upon our return.

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week (Dispatchers) is coming up the week of April 10-16, 2022, which falls prior to our April meeting. Last year the Alumni provided lunch for dispatchers (Schlotzky’s) for under $10/meal, 24 meals; the cost for the “other than Hays” dispatcher’s meals (Kyle/SM/Texas State – 9) were not paid with HCCSAAA funds. Is this something we want to do again this year? Does anyone have any other suggestions on what we might do to honor our phenomenal dispatchers?

Thank you for taking the time to catch up with what’s happening with the Alumni Association! Look forward to seeing everyone next week; please be sure to RSVP as Mary Capps has once again requested to provide a special treat for everyone at our March meeting and it really helps with planning.

Enjoy your day!

Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association

(512) 944-5569
11 MARCH 2022

“Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved!” ~ unknown

Volunteer Opportunities: Sunshine Kids

Alumni,

For the past two years we have not been able to host the Sunshine Kids due to the pandemic. Thankfully, they will be here for The Texas Hill Country Adventure June 6th – 12th . At our Alumni meeting in February, Lieutenant Dennis Gutierrez explained the activities that are being scheduled and the dollar amount the HCCSAAA will be contributing. Therefore, the funds raised at both fundraisers shown below will be used for the Sunshine Kids in June.

On Thursday, April 28th we will be doing either a cheeseburger plate or pasta plate along with a 50/50 raffle at the Government Center. At the present time, we are working on our cost to see which one will bring us the most profit. As we have done in past years, we will have seating for those who have gone through the serving line. In addition, we will be delivering to various businesses who have placed orders with us. Last year we delivered 116 cheeseburger plates to 11 businesses. Total cheeseburger plates sold was 300 in San Marcos.

On Wednesday, May 11th at the VFW in Wimberley, we will be doing a cheeseburger plate. As we did last year, we will be delivering to various businesses who have placed orders. Last year we delivered 163 cheeseburger plates to 19 businesses. Total cheeseburger plates sold was 240 in Wimberley.

Our goal this year is to sell 700 plates between these two fundraisers, and if we meet that goal we should net a profit of $5,000. Both events are going to be heavily promoted and we feel we can generate another $1,000 in donations. Needless to say, none of this is going to be possible without your support. Before we finalize everything and start promoting both fundraisers we will need to know if we have enough volunteers. We are going to need volunteers to do various tasks from 9am to 2pm at each fundraiser. We are going to need 8 people to help set-up and serve. In addition, we are going to need 5 people to make deliveries.

Both of these fundraisers are extremely important this year and your wonderful support is greatly appreciated. If you can volunteer, please reply to this email and let me know if you can work either event or both. I would appreciate having your reply no later than March 15th so an announcement can be made at our March 16th Alumni meeting as to whether we have enough volunteers for each fundraising event.

On behalf of the Sunshine Kids, HCCSAAA and HCSO thank you.

Jack Diamond
Marketing

Citizens Sheriff’s Academy Application Deadline

Deadline to Apply for the Citizens Academy is Approaching

Reminder: The deadline to apply for the Hays County Sheriff’s Citizens Academy is fast approaching. Very few seats remain, so get your applications turned in quickly. A “stand-by” list will be generated in the event some applicants won’t be able to attend.

Sheriff Gary Cutler is pleased to announce that the Hays County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy is now accepting applications for the 2022 spring class. The course will tentatively start on March 10, 2022. The Hays County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy is a 45 hour program designed to give the citizens of Hays County a working knowledge of the Hays County Sheriff’s Office and the criminal justice system. This free program includes 12 weeks of instruction by Hays County Sheriff’s Office staff and other guest speakers. Classes are held on Thursdays from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the new Public Safety Building located at 810 S. Stagecoach Trail. in San Marcos, directly behind the Government Center.

The objective of the Citizens Academy is to build a better understanding between citizens and the Sheriff’s Office through education. The academy will help increase public awareness and increase Sheriff’s Office and community relations and rapport. Consequently, the Sheriff’s Office becomes aware of the feelings and concerns of the community from the participants through interaction. The instructors of this academy are supervisors, deputies, correction officers, and guest speakers who work in the areas being taught, and their training will give participants insight into the day-to-day operations of the Sheriff’s Office. In return, class instructors receive direct feedback from the class participants on the effects the Sheriff’s Office has on their lives.

Students will have the opportunity to tour the Hays County Jail, the Juvenile Detention Center, the Government Center, and the Public Safety Building including the state-of-the-art communications center if current COVID guidelines allow. Students will also have an opportunity to ride along with a deputy as an observer during a regular patrol shift.

Due to Covid, class size is limited to 20 people per class to maintain social distancing, so it is important to get your application in early. Applications may be obtained in person at the Public Safety Building or by emailing Deputy Mark Andrews at mark.andrews@co.hays.tx.us. Additionally, within the next few days you will be able to download the application from our website, http://www.co.hays.tx.us/sheriff.aspx Applications must be received on or before February 28, 2022.

Those persons with felony convictions, or who are currently on parole, probation, or anyone who has been convicted for any offense involving moral turpitude are not eligible to attend. Applicants must be at least eighteen (18) years of age and either reside, or work, in Hays County. For questions regarding the Hays County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy, please contact the Hays County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach Unit or Deputy Mark Andrews at 512-393-7373 or via email at mark.andrews@co.hays.tx.us Applications for the Citizens Academy may be mailed, faxed, or emailed to:

Hays County Sheriff’s Office
Community Outreach Unit
Attention: Mark Andrews
810 S. Stagecoach Trail
San Marcos, Texas 78666
Phone: 512-393-7373
Fax: 512 393-7879
mark.andrews@co.hays.tx.us

President’s Blog: Happy New Year Alumni!

Happy New Year Alumni!
 
WOW! 2021 sure went by quickly! I’d like to start off by saying thank you for affording me the opportunity to continue serving as your HCCSAAA President for 2022! I sincerely appreciate the support and look forward to seeing what we are capable of accomplishing this year!
 
For those who were able to attend the December Holiday Social @ Grins, thank you for your donations to the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center. The HCCSAAA received a very nice thank you letter from the Executive Director; she shared how grateful they were that we thought about their clients during the holidays as it helps make their days a little brighter. Thank you to Mary Capps for the suggestion to donate to this very important organization!
 
If you missed the Holiday Social, one of the gifts provided to those in attendance was the HCCSAAA Challenge Coin. For those not familiar with Challenge Coins, they are very symbolic and meaningful among those who receive them. I enjoy providing challenge coins to our guest speakers as a way of thanking them for presenting to the HCCSAAA. Because the Association did not have a specific HCCSAAA coin, I had been providing different coins that I have collected over the years. When I initially began as President, I had spoken with others that provided some great ideas, one of those was Jeffrey Jordan who said he had wanted to develop HCCSAAA specific coins back when he was working with the Association and it may be something we may wish to do…well, that got my gears working and I thought, “why not launch a coin at the Christmas party?”. If members liked it, the HCCSAAA could choose to continue with the tradition or not. Being that I appreciate Challenge Coins and their meaning, I personally purchased the first 150 to pass out to members as a gift at the Christmas party and to give to our guest speakers when they present (No alumni funds were used for this first round of coins). The set-up fee for the ‘holiday’ coin has been covered so if the Alumni decide to purchase the same coin design at another time, the only charge will be for the coin itself. Being that this was a covert-operation-Christmas surprise, Alumni may wish to design a different style coin for the future; this was just a way of getting the idea out there since it is something that is a good way to show appreciation, honor, and respect not only for our guest speakers; but for those who support the HCCSAAA and Law Enforcement. If you missed out on the coins at the Christmas gathering, they are available to purchase from the HCCSAAA @ $10 per coin, all proceeds go to the HCCSAAA.
 
I’d also like to thank those who donated items to include in the ‘You make a difference’ Christmas gift bags provided to all employees of the HCSO (400 gift bags)! The HCCSAAA received several thank you notes expressing appreciation for the thoughtfulness. We are grateful for our HCSO, and I am incredibly happy that we were able to spread a little joy around the holidays!
 
If you weren’t able to make it out to the January meeting, Judge Benjamin Moore provided a wonderful presentation about magistration and the bail process; this was a topic suggested by members. It was a great presentation! Judge Moore is a delightful and engaging presenter who explains things in ways that are easy to understand. Members requested to have a bondsman come and speak to the group; another suggestion added to the list!
 
There were quite a few topics of discussion on the agenda. Our Marketing & Fundraising Chairman, Jack Diamond, reviewed the 2022 fundraising plans with a goal to raise between $10,000 – $20,000 in 2022! I for one am excited about the upcoming events and look forward to seeing everything fall into place (check out the January meeting minutes for details). The Marketing & Fundraising Committee (Jack Diamond, Chairman; Ruth Diamond, Vice-Chair; Rick Brennes; and Tammy Walden) are working on the logistics for the 2022 planned events and will provide updates as they are available. I’m very happy that in 2021 we were able to establish a committee for this important aspect of the Association and since then have gained committee members for the 2002 planning year! Please get with Jack if you are interested in serving on the committee.
 
Jack and Ruth did an outstanding job of taking fundraising to remarkable new heights! My understanding is that it may be the most the Association has ever raised! Yay team! I know it will be extremely helpful to have the additional members this year to help share the load and to ensure our events will be as amazing as they were the first year the Committee was established. Thank you to the Marketing & Fundraising Committee for all your hard work, fantastic, fun, and ‘doable’ ideas!
 
We had a T-Shirt fundraiser that was presented to us by Sheriff Cutler whereas the proceeds would be split equally between the HCCSAAA and the Sheriff’s office flower fund/ceremonial fund. The first round of 100 shirts were donated; therefore, all purchases were 100% profit split equally between each group. Additional shirts are available for purchase @ $20 each or two for $35 through the HCCSAAA; last day to purchase is February 4, 2022. This was a nice opportunity for us, and I appreciate Sheriff Cutler coming up with the idea and sharing with the HCCSAAA; if you haven’t gotten your HCSO shirt and are interested, you can check them out on our website and on our Facebook page.
 
Jeffrey Jordan asked for volunteers for a Court Scenario Training Scheduled for February 15 th & 16 th @ the Government Center; these types of trainings are a fantastic way for members to see our HCSO in action and have a little fun participating in a very beneficial training session. When I received the dates for the training, it was noted that the 2nd day of training was scheduled the same day as our February Alumni meeting; therefore, in order to afford those who wanted to attend the training the opportunity to do so without missing anything crucial at the February meeting, I decided to keep the February meeting on schedule and just push anything crucial to the March meeting. One such item will be the review of our Bylaws. As of today, there have been 7 members sign up for the 15 th and two members sign up for the training on the 16th; members were made aware that the Wednesday night training is on the same night as our meeting, and they had the opportunity to choose to attend the meeting or participate in the training. If you’d still like to sign up for either night, please be sure to do so through the sign-up link.
 
Please review the Bylaws posted on our website: www.hccsaaa.org under the “about us” tab. There will be a discussion at the March meeting regarding the possibility of having a set amount that the Executive Board can approve without first having the members weigh in. There were a few numbers suggested at the January meeting; however, any Bylaw revisions require adequate notification for member’s review therefore any recommendations to amend the Bylaws will be discussed and/or voted on at the March meeting.
 
The Trophy Case is in production and on schedule for anticipated completion in March/April timeframe; updates will be provided as the project progresses. As noted in the December PBlog, Alumni member, Ken Tolces, met with Dave Hoag, our craftsman, to discuss other possible lighting configurations. Ken provided some very ‘enlightening’ information (LOL … see what I did there?) … who knew there were so many different lighting options?
 
Based on the meetings between Ken and Dave, the additional price to go with a more ‘gallery-type’ lighting system and looking at what Dave had already encompassed into the design for the case, the Executive Board unanimously agreed to go with the original lighting design and forgo spending additional funds for higher-end lightening as suggested by Ken. Dave assured me that the lighting designed for the trophy case will provide sufficient lighting especially due to the location of the case. I’d like to thank Ken for taking the time to meet with Dave and discuss other lighting options and am appreciative of members who are willing to share their knowledge in their areas of expertise! I know I learned a lot more about lighting!
 
As of January 22nd, Jeffrey Jordan wanted to put the word out that Crime Stoppers has 4 Board positions open. They have decided to create Associate Board member positions that will have the opportunity to learn about the program and help with events and projects.  Associate Board Members will be able to become Full Board Members when a position becomes available and will be offered those positions first.  Associate Board members will not be able to vote on decisions but can help with activities and events and serve on committees, as well as raising public awareness.  Full Board members are the voting body that make all decisions for the Hays County Crime Stoppers.  Either way, volunteers wishing to serve will have the opportunity to learn about Crime Stoppers and how they can empower our communities to fight back against crime.  They are planning to host the 2023 Campus Crime Stoppers Conference here in San Marcos in February 2023, so they will need all the help they can get. Please contact Jeffrey Jordan if you are interested in serving or have any questions about Crime Stoppers.
 
We’ve got a lot on the calendar for 2022! If you haven’t had a chance to look at the upcoming events that were provided with the January meeting agenda, please take a look when you have a chance. This information will be included with upcoming agendas as well, but it helps with planning to have an idea of what’s coming up!
 
I’m looking forward to our February meeting as Lt. Dennis Gutierrez will be providing an overview of Sunshine Kids! From what I understand, there are many members who have had the opportunity to be involved with this very beneficial event and helped to make it a special time for all the amazing kiddos. The event hasn’t happened for a couple of years due to the pandemic, so I have never had the pleasure of actually seeing the outpour of service and joy extended to these remarkable kids and am excited to see how it all comes together!
 
We will possibly have a guest speaker from Texas Parks & Wildlife at the March meeting; I have not yet received confirmation at this point but will update once speaker has been confirmed.
 
As of 1/28/22; the Alumni has 21 active/paid members and 1 honorary member. Each of these members was sent an e-mail today with information about scheduling “Coffee with the President;” this is something new I’d like to try this year as I believe it will be beneficial for communication. If you did not receive the e-mail; but would like to know more about this, please let me know.
 
Well, you know me, I try to keep it short but lots of words come out. Just want to keep everyone up to date on what’s going on with the HCCSAAA!
 
Thank you again for the honor to serve the HCCSAAA for 2022; we have amazing members! I am proud to be a part of an organization that has the ability to support the needs of the HCSO!
 
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions, concerns, snacks… LOL!!! Just wanted to be sure you hadn’t nodded off and were paying attention.
 
Have a beautiful week!
 
Respectfully,
Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association
(512) 944-5569
30 JAN 2022

 
“Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved!” ~ unknown
 

President’s Blog: Coffee with the President!

Good Day Alumni!

Last year was an incredibly positive year for the HCCSAAA; I believe our successes were significantly due to the input, commitment, and participation from members as well as the continual support of the HCSO.

I’d like to start off the new year with something a little different than what we tried at the beginning of last year; mix-it-up a bit 😉. In 2021, a member survey was sent out to ask for input from all members (active/inactive). The response was minimal (out of the 145 surveys sent out, 17 members responded); however, we were able to receive some very valuable feedback from those that participated in the survey and have continued to receive feedback throughout the year from many of our members.

I appreciate the support and the opportunity to serve as President again this year and look forward to what the Alumni will be able to accomplish in 2022! Which brings me back to the idea I’d like to try this year. I’d like to meet with each active member individually (or with both husband/wife members which we have several of) for “Coffee with the President.” As of 1/28/22, we have 21 active/paid members.

I believe this would be a wonderful opportunity for me to have some one-on-one time outside of the ‘meeting’ arena to hear from individual members, a bit more personal than a written survey. It is difficult sometimes to just chat with everyone when we have a meeting and I’d like to meet with members to give each of you an opportunity to not only share your thoughts, ideas, and experiences with the Association but to get to know our members a bit better.

Please let me know if you would be interested in scheduling Coffee with the President (my treat!) and when you would be available to meet up. I can come to your area, so you don’t have to travel far. I’m always looking for ways to improve communication and I think that meeting up is a good way to do so. Look forward to hearing from you and sitting down to chat!

Respectfully,

Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association
(512) 944-5569

President’s Blog: Happy December Alumni!

Happy December Alumni!

For those who weren’t able to make it out to the November meeting, the Drone Team presentation was quite remarkable! It was very interesting to see some of the drones and hear about what they are used for. It was pretty neat to see how far the Drone Team has grown in just a couple of years when they first visited my class during the Academy. Great presentation!

We had a lot to cover at the November meeting. For those who missed it, the Board unanimously voted and recommended, and the members present at the November meeting voted to approve moving forward with the Trophy Case purchase! YAY! Total cost for the project is $9,996.60; which includes delivery and set-up by the craftsman. The reason we are able to purchase this Trophy Case is due to the hard work and efforts exhibited by the Alumni through fundraising activities. Mucho Kudos! This is FANTASTIC!

This is a project that we began discussing early this year; there were some difficult challenges in finding someone who was willing to and who had the time to help us with this project. Multiple vendors were contacted; however, being that this is a smaller project, the majority didn’t have the time or resources to assist. Other hurdles encountered were material costs and product availability. Being that we discussed looking at the possibility of purchasing a nicer product rather than a ‘shelf’ product; it was important to receive input from the members if the amount to purchase a quality product was something the Alumni wanted to do. Thankfully, with the recommendation of Steve Meyer, we were able to recruit Dave Hoag, Catskill Hill Country Services. Dave is an avid supporter of Law Enforcement and was more than happy to assist us with our project; he has been very gracious to work with and understands the importance of a long-lasting piece that will stand the test of time. One of our Alumni, Ken Tolces, requested to discuss lighting options with Dave as Ken has extensive experience with lighting and wanted to ensure the cabinet is lit well; he will be meeting with Dave next week to look at some possible lighting arrangements. The lighting had already been calculated into the cabinet cost, so we’ll find out if anything is different after Ken meets with Dave and have any discussions and/or make any decisions that need attention at that time. I for one am very excited to be moving forward with this project! The Trophy Case should be completed in 12-14 weeks so around March/April. Gary Anderson will be contacting media and we will have a special presentation to the HCSO when installed; members will be notified and can plan on attending. A plaque will be affixed to the case to show it was donated by the HCCSAAA. Not only will it be a beautiful addition to the PSB, but it also ties into our desire to improve morale, and it is something the Alumni can be enormously proud of because it took blood, sweat, and tears to achieve. YAY TEAM!

I had a great meeting with Sheriff Cutler this week to discuss boosting morale among other things. He is tremendously supportive of the HCCSAAA and was very open to ideas about how the Alumni can make a difference when it comes to morale. I let him know we would be passing out small Christmas bags next week to all staff and he was extremely appreciative. Being that he is in Law Enforcement, he understands the importance of what even the smallest gesture can do to let people know they are thought of and appreciated. I’d like to brainstorm for 2022 to see what we can do throughout the year to ensure we continue these types of things as I wholeheartedly believe they make a significant difference.

The Christmas bags were kind of a last-minute thing so coordinating was a little rushed this year; I’d like to thank those who have donated items for the bags; I know they will be greatly appreciated! This is something we will talk more about when we are planning for 2022 to ensure adequate planning time and/or funds.

Everyone should have received a copy of the November meeting minutes earlier this week/also should be posted on our website. Two significant things I’d like to point out are:

1) Based upon input from members, 90% approval from those weighing in, our monthly meeting date has changed to the 3rd Wednesday of the month beginning in January (first meeting will be on Wednesday, January 19th).

2) Annual dues have increased to $20 per year and are due in January; payment can be made via Venmo, check, or cash at the January meeting. Annual dues have not increased in multiple years; the dues we pay as members go into the general fund and go toward funding our mission which is to promote and enhance the relationship between the community and the HCSO through engaging in and advocating for continued law enforcement education, supporting and promoting special projects as identified by the HCSO. Yes, your contribution through dues along with your amazing support of fundraising efforts has helped secure such things as rugs for the PSB lobby, a practice casket for the Honor Guard, a long-wanted trophy case to display trophies earned by HCSO that have been sitting around for years collecting dust in a storage box, food for the Kyle family event, and food for Brown Santa Lock-up Event. Your contributions go a long way and are greatly appreciated!

It has been brought to my attention that some members may have felt left out of the loop on the funding for the Brown Santa Lock-up event; if that is the case, I apologize, it was not the intent. My understanding is that this is something the HCCSAAA has helped out with for many years. Serving fajitas was discussed at the November meeting; however, the cost of doing so was a concern as meat costs are way up and the cost for doing fajitas would have been $1,600 which was too much. The Brown Santa team was looking into more cost-effective options and being that the event was to be on December 3rd, when the cost came in for the food on 11/22 (125 servings each of Tortellini Alfredo and Baked Ziti w/meat sauce, salad dressing, plates/to go boxes, water, and parmesan packets – additionally, Texas Roadhouse will be donating the salad and Fazzoli’s will donate the breadsticks) the Board weighed in and unanimously approved the cost not to exceed $1,000. My understanding of how the Lock-up works is that people get locked up and make bail (minimum $250); those locked up eat for free (i.e.: DA, Sheriff, Constable, Commissioners, Businessmen/women) others will be charged for meals. This fundraiser supports Brown Santa.

My understanding was not that the support of spending the money wouldn’t have been there, it was the fact that it was not run by the members first; therefore, they were not provided the courtesy of weighing in on the cost and/or to approve spending a certain amount and that the Board made the decision to approve the amount/charge without first consulting with members. This does happen from time to time due to time constraints and the Board will not approve anything without considering the best interest of the HCCSAAA as a whole; this was not an intentional slight, it was just TCB.

That being said, at the request of Jack Diamond, an item to discuss how these types of decisions are managed moving forward so we can all remain on the same page has been added to the January agenda for discussion. Jack proposed that members should vote on a dollar amount that the Board can approve to be spent on the HCSO without Alumni approval. The Bylaws that were reviewed/approved last year do not address this; it would be something that would need to be incorporated if it were to be something members desire moving forward. Please be thinking about this for discussion in January as it is important to talk about to ensure we are the most effective moving forward as a team.

Based on input from members, we should have the first run of the Alumni directory up and running on our website after the first of the year thanks to Steve Meyer and Ruth Diamond! The more in-depth version will be planned to launch by the end of the first quarter. This is something that has been requested for awhile so I’m delighted that we can get it up and running!

Brown Santa is in full gear with many activities and events going on throughout the community; anyone wishing to donate items or purchase raffle tickets, information is posted on the Brown Santa Facebook page or, you can always contact me, Gary Anderson, Mark Andrews, or Bruce Harlan for more details. The schedule is also posted on our website. Thank you to those who have signed up to help out at the Lock-up; this will be my very first time at this event and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes! Should be a real hoot!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Alumni Year in Review/Accomplishments/Plans for 2022 information sheet that was included with November’s meeting minutes; please take a gander! I am incredibly happy with what the Alumni have been able to accomplish this year! It is with continual efforts and discussions that we can be the best we can be! I’m excited for everyone to hear what the Marketing & Fundraising Committee has come up with for 2022; Jack Diamond will be presenting at the January meeting, let’s get excited!!! We are going to have an extremely fun and productive year!

Looking forward to seeing those who are able to attend the Holiday Social in a couple of weeks; I met with Grin’s again yesterday and moved us to the bigger room, so we’ll have a bit more room to move around. They have been amazing to work with! Please remember if you wish to bring an item to donate to the Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center, we will have a collection box provided. If you are not attending the Holiday Social and still wish to make a donation, please let me know.

I’m sure I forgot something…as always, if you ever have any questions/comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Respectfully,

Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association

(512) 944-5569

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
― Mother Teresa