October Update

Happy Fall Alumni!

First off, I’d like to thank you all for the thoughts and prayers for Mark Andrews and his family; they were sincerely appreciative of the cards and well wishes extended by everyone. The best news is that they are all doing well, and Mark returned to work!

If you were unable to attend the meeting; I’m sure you have had a chance to review the September meeting minutes. The Gun Raffle was a tremendous success, and we were able to raise a significant amount of funds to support the HCSO. Combined with the cheeseburger fundraiser and two very appreciated private donations (@ $1,000 each), the HCCSAAA will be able to have a significant impact on assisting with needs of the HCSO.

We are always looking for ways we can assist with HCSO needs; one such need had been discussed with regards to uniforms for the Honor Guard; however, those funds were already included in the HCSO budget. There was another need for the Honor Guard that was a little more unconventional; however, important for rehearsing to honor the fallen. If you have not attended a LEO’s funeral service; it is a sincerely heartfelt outpouring of honor and appreciation for the LEO and for the ultimate sacrifice of that officer.

The HCSO Honor Guard is an escort for the casket at a LEO’s funeral, a guard of honor escort. It is important for the Honor Guard to practice for these occasions and try their best to emulate the actual event to ensure the utmost respect and honor is provided to the LEO who has perished. The Honor Guard is meticulous in their process and take their responsibility very seriously. That being said, Gary Anderson understood that the Honor Guard was in need of a ‘practice casket’ (yes, you read that correctly) and they were discussing how to pay for one. They were each considering pitching in to purchase a casket for rehearsing. Gary let them know that was something the HCCSAAA could assist with and so the Alumni stepped in and donated the funds to purchase the casket at cost from a local funeral home.

The fact that the Honor Guard has the ability to use an actual casket is very beneficial to their run-throughs as it gives them not only a good idea of the size, weight, and maneuverability of what they will encounter during an actual event; but it assists with the reality of the moment. Practicing with a real casket helps to ensure the actual ceremony goes as smoothly and as honorably as possible. The Honor Guard was extremely appreciative of the HCCSAAA’s assistance with this purchase and Gary shared their thank you note at the meeting. I know this may seem like an unusual purchase; however, considering what the Honor Guard does to honor the fallen, I am sincerely grateful the HCCSAAA was able to step in and purchase this for them. Thank you!

We have asked to have the Honor Guard added to our list of guest speakers as it would be nice to hear about what they do. If possible, we look forward to having them visit with us at a future meeting!

The HCCSAAA Brochure was well-received at the meeting, and we hope to get it circulating in the community to bring awareness as to who we are and what we do. It was mentioned that we may need to look at including and/or suggesting an additional insert or separate brochure to promote the Hays County Citizens Sheriff’s Academy; I have reached out to Lt. Gutierrez to discuss further and will update as I know more. Additionally, it was brought to our attention that the HCSO does in fact participate in a “Coffee with a Cop” scenario; I have inquired about that as well and hope to have additional information to share at our next meeting.

I don’t have anything new to share on the Trophy Case other than the craftsman, David Hoag, has run into several delays while trying to secure vendor pricing for the tempered glass. As of today, my latest contact with him was on 10/2/21 when he shared that he has never seen a market like this; whereas he leaves messages for vendors and doesn’t receive a call back. He has contacted multiple vendors and is just not getting any response. He is determined to locate someone who will provide the information needed so we can move forward with the project. I will continue to provide updates as received.

The PSB Greeters did a fantastic job in September! Greeters also assisted by meticulously folding the HCCSAAA brochures which helped tremendously in having them ready for distribution! The October sign-up is up and running, we are a bit slow-out-of-the-gates this month; but I do see that there are a few slots filled; if you are a greeter or would like to be a greeter, please take a look at the October sign-up and volunteer to work if your schedule permits.

We are awaiting further information regarding the HCSO Community Outreach event on October 16th that Bruce Harlan discussed at the September meeting. It was understood that volunteers may be needed to assist with this event; a sign-up will be sent out as soon as we know more specifics.

If interested, the information for 2022 TCPAAA Convention Gary Anderson discussed at the meeting is available at:
http://texascpaaa.net/convention/

The Strike Team Scenario Training was awesome! Thank you to those who were able to volunteer to help out; the assistance was greatly appreciated and provided valuable training for the Strike Team. Volunteers had the opportunity to ‘act’ as protestors not only inside the courtroom but outside as well. The drone team was there and had three drones up and running and catching all the action; it was interesting to see what role they played in assisting the officers. It was not only a learning experience for the Strike Team, but Alumni members also learned a great deal! We have asked Bruce Harlan to see if we can get the drone team added to our guest speaker list and possibly view the footage from the training scenario so members can see what these types of training opportunities are all about. They are not only fun; they are extremely beneficial in providing ‘real life’ scenarios for training.

I’m excited about our guest speaker for the October 19th meeting; albeit, at this time, we don’t know who the actual presenter will be due possible scheduling changes. What we do know is that we will have someone from the Secret Service speaking with us; more information will be provided as known… At this time, it is… Wait for i-i-i-t-t-t…………. SECRET! LOL. I couldn’t resist!

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the meeting! Enjoy this beautiful ‘fall’ weather!

Respectfully,
Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association

September Update

Good day Alumni!

I’d like to begin with a huge THANK YOU to everyone who participated in the Gun Raffle fundraiser! Our volunteers went above and beyond to help make this fundraiser a great success; it was wonderful to see members get involved! When the Marketing & Fundraising Committee presented the proposal to partake in this new and challenging event, it was received with great trepidation; however, with hard work and determination, the HCCSAAA pulled it off. It goes to show that together we absolutely CAN make a difference!

The Marketing & Fundraising Committee Chair, Jack Diamond, will be presenting the final numbers at the September meeting next week. It will be very exciting to hear what we were able to accomplish in just two short months! The kick-off began at Wimberley Ace Hardware on July 10th and ended on August 28th at two separate locations, Wimberley Ace Hardware and The Salt Lick in Driftwood.

I’d like to thank all of those who allowed us to set up at their locations to sell tickets; we sincerely appreciate the support of our community: Wimberley Ace Hardware; Triple S Feed (Dripping Springs); Lions Club (Rogers Holt – Wimberley Market Days); The Salt Lick (Driftwood); Hays City Store (Driftwood); Hays County Government Center (Jeffrey Jordan); Buda Walmart; Kyle Walmart; Mike Boese w/City of Wimberley – Knies Park); and Big Tex Gun Show Productions (Dripping Springs Ranch Park – Gun Show). We would also like to thank Cabelas in Buda for assisting with securing the amazing guns for our raffle (Browning X-Bolt .270 Medallion and Franchi Affinity 3.5 12 Gauge Semi-Automatic Shotgun).

The neat thing about the raffle and one of the reasons we may have had such an amazing response is that those who purchased tickets had the option of either choosing the gun they won or receiving a Cabela’s gift certificate for the prize value. Another reason would be that only 700 tickets were sold so the chances were very good for those who purchased tickets. The drawing took place on Friday, September 10th @ 2:00 pm and we provided live feed on Facebook. We appreciate Sheriff Cutler and Lt. Riffe for joining us as it added to the excitement of the drawing and reminded us why we do what we do. The winners were as follows: Kelly Higgins won the Browning X-Bolt .270 Medallion and Margot Dussler won the Franchi Affinity 3.5 12 Gauge Semi-Automatic Shotgun. They were both very appreciative and were delighted to have won.

We are very pleased with the results of this fundraiser as it will greatly assist us with our mission of supporting the HCSO! We are also extremely grateful to have received two very substantial private donations, one was $1,000 cash; the other was $1,000 check. These donations along with ticket sales allow the HCCSAAA to provide support for needs presented to us by the HCSO. We are sincerely thankful for the support of our incredible community and the expressions of appreciation shared for our HCSO and all of those in the law enforcement community!

I’m happy to announce that we have developed a HCCSAAA Brochure which will be available to the community to provide an insight of what the Association is all about; we’ll bring copies to the meeting next week. It was our goal to have these brochures ready for National Night Out; we met our goal and hope to be able to get the word out about what we do to support the HCSO.

The PSB Greeter volunteer opportunity kicked off on September 7th! The feedback received from HCSO has been very positive; having HCCSAAA members available to assist is truly appreciated and it provides the community an opportunity to see our members in action. Thank you to those who have signed up as PSB Greeters and who have had the chance to work the front desk.

Volunteer opportunities are available; thanks to our member’s willingness to serve, we have had more requests coming in for volunteers! You should have received information through sign-up genius and/or e-mail; if you would like to volunteer or have any questions, please sign-up or give me a call. Volunteering is a fantastic way to participate in our mission to support the HCSO. Currently, we are in need of volunteers for PSB Greeters (if you did not attend the training, no worries, it won’t take long to get you up to speed!); dismantling shelves at the old PSB Building; and everyone should be excited about the Strike Team Training volunteer opportunity coming up on September 28th! If you haven’t had the opportunity to join in on a training scenario, you absolutely should give it a whirl! Not only are they educational for members; they are super fun and give members the chance to see our LEOs in action! JOIN US!

Please keep the family, friends, and men and women in blue in your thoughts and prayers as we are extremely saddened to have lost another HCSO family member on August 27th, Correction Officer James “Skinny” Henry, who lost his battle with COVID. Please also keep in your thoughts those who perished on 9/11/01; these heroes remind us of how precious life is and how significantly important our First Responders are to each and every one of us. We are eternally grateful for those who serve as well as for their families. Always remembered, never forgotten!

I’m looking forward to our guest speaker at our September meeting next week, Jorge Molina, Forensic Artist with the Texas Department of Public Safety under the Texas Rangers Division. Hope to see you there!

Respectfully,

Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association

 

Volunteer Opportunity: Storage Contents Relocation

Good morning Alumni!

We have had a volunteer opportunity arise at the old 911 building on Uhland. They are in the process of moving Margaret to ‘temporary housing’ until the old building can be cleaned up and restored.

The duty at hand is to disassemble, move, and reassemble metal shelving units to her temporary quarters; this will enable her to move out methodically as the shelving units would be in place prior to moving contents from her current office. If you know how to use a screwdriver and can operate a dolly; this task is for you! (I put one of these shelving units together and if I could do it, anyone can do it…and I’m certain it would take someone else much less time doing so 😉 I would say that for me, it took a bit longer because I was by myself and it was somewhat cumbersome to balance; however, not impossible and it’s still standing so that’s a good thing! May make it easier to have two people; it would certainly take less time. I’m glad there weren’t surveillance cameras or I’d be all over America’s Funniest Home Videos 😉

Margaret will place markers where the shelving is to be set up at the new location. There are quite a few shelves; if you have a couple of hours to spare, your assistance would be greatly appreciated!

Please let me know ASAP if you would be able to assist (Margaret is there from 8-4 M-F – the only day she won’t be available is Wednesday, Sept. 1st; any other day beginning today she will be available).

Thank you!
Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association

Phone: (512) 944-5569
e-mail: president@hccsaaa.org
 

August Update

Might want to grab a cup of coffee, this is a long one Good day Alumni!

There is much going on with the HCCSAAA! We just finished up with the PSB Greeter Training this week. Lt. Dennis Gutierrez did a phenomenal job explaining what the duties would be and how volunteers for this opportunity will significantly support and assist the HCSO. We are excited about scheduling volunteers beginning after Labor Day. Please contact me if you would like additional information or wish to volunteer as a PSB Greeter. This opportunity has several slots on different days/times; even if you are only able to volunteer periodically, the support of having someone greet visitors to the PSB will have an important impact as well as provide the opportunity to let people see the HCCSAAA members in action.

Please keep the family, friends, and men and women in blue in your thoughts and prayers as the HCSO Deputy I mentioned at the August meeting, Brandon Dicke, passed away. Please also keep in your thoughts those in our HCSO family who are fighting the COVID battle. We are eternally grateful for those who serve as well as for their families.

The 20th Anniversary of 9/11 is coming up very soon; it is a day of reflection and a day that we will honor all the First Responders who so selflessly served with much strength and courage to help those in need. God bless them and their families; they shall always be remembered and never forgotten.

The Gun Raffle is down-to-the-wire! We have two remaining events scheduled for this weekend, one @ Hays City Store on Friday (8/27, Noon to 7 pm) and the other at The Salt Lick on Saturday (8/28, Noon to 7 pm); if you have anyone interested in purchasing tickets, they can come out to either of these events or you may have them, contact Jack Diamond, Marketing & Fundraising Chair @ (404) 625-8261. Let’s meet our goal; we absolutely CAN DO THIS with your help! Spread the word! Drawing will be held on September 10th @ 2:00p.m. @ at the PSB; we plan to live-stream the drawing on Facebook, ticket holders need not be present to win.

Many of our volunteers are not aware that we participate in the Presidential Service Awards. We have the ability to track volunteer hours and submit once per year for those earning an award. Following are the awards:

100-249 hours – Bronze
250-499 hours – Silver
500+ hours – Gold
4000 hours of accumulated Lifetime Achievement Award

The specific award is at the discretion of the Sheriff’s Office and will either be a certificate, pin, coin, or medallion.

Volunteers are the fabric of our society; without volunteers we would not be able to provide such amazing support and assistance to those in need. The HCCSAAA has some of the very best volunteers and it is important to recognize their service and dedication to helping others. (Please note: attending meetings may also be considered as volunteer hours.)

If you are interested in participating, please provide your HCCSAAA service hours to Gary Anderson (email: treasurer@hccsaaa.org) and he will log them (beginning date: January 1, 2021; ending date for this calendar year: December 31, 2021). Please let us know if you have any questions.

Please be sure and review the list of upcoming volunteer opportunities/events; these are included on the monthly Agenda which can be found on our website: hccsaaa.org and are also posted on Facebook and e- mailed to all members (please be sure your contact information is up to date; you may contact Ruth Diamond, Secretary (e-mail: secretary@hccsaaa.org) to ensure your contact information is current or provide any updates.

One event coming up next week that we are still in need of a few volunteers is the following:

September 1, 2021 – Two shifts available: set-up chairs for ceremony @ the PSB 9 am –11 am; and take down chairs after ceremony 5–7 pm; please sign up if you are able to assist with either of these shifts.

 
Another volunteer opportunity was e-mailed to members today; assistance @ the old 911 building @ 1303 Uhland Road and we have another very exciting opportunity in September that we’ll soon be providing more information about!

Due to member’s willingness to volunteer, we have been receiving more requests for volunteers for different activities and have received extremely positive feedback on how much our HCCSAAA volunteers are appreciated. I see this as a promising step in the right direction as; albeit response was limited with the survey, one thing that did stand out was that members wanted more opportunities to volunteer in a variety of ways. I think we have absolutely seen the increase in opportunities available and am very grateful to see our member’s enthusiasm to serve. Keep up the great work; your support does not go unnoticed!

Please be sure to keep up with the latest and greatest news! There is a lot going on and much more coming up! Looking forward to our Guest Speaker @ the September meeting: Jorge Molina, Forensic Artist with the Texas Department of Public Safety under the Texas Rangers Division. This was a direct request from members at the August meeting and our HCSO Liaison, Deputy Bruce Harlan, made it happen!

Our website is a great way to stay informed; and you are always welcome to contact me should you have any questions and/or comments.

Thank you for your support of the HCCSAAA and most importantly, for the HCSO!

Respectfully,
Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association

Phone: (512) 944-5569
e-mail: president@hccsaaa.org
26 Aug 21
 

Fundraiser (Update: 08/09/2021)

Good morning Alumni!

It’s getting down to crunch time; if we want the Gun Raffle to be the success we all know it can be, we need to step up our game! As of last count, we have sold 192 tickets – that leaves 508 left to sell if we want to meet our goal (which we ABSOLUTELY DO!) When Jack & Ruth presented this fundraiser as something we may like to do, there were many who said, YES, let’s do this! So, LET’S DO THIS! I know it’s difficult for some to volunteer to work the events that are scheduled; but, there are other ways you can help. If you want to help us reach our goal, please get with Jack or me and get some tickets to sell. Would you be able to sell 2, 5, 10, or more tickets? YES! That is absolutely doable!

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much! ~ Helen Keller

Respectfully,
Cathy Gieselman, President
HCCSA Alumni Association

9 Aug 21

Call To Action!

Happy August Alumni,

CALL TO ACTION! In reviewing our sign-up for the Gun Raffle Fundraiser, it appears several slots remain open. One of the most important roles of the Alumni Association is to support the Hays County Sheriff’s Office; our fundraisers and other volunteer opportunities are a huge part of supporting the HCSO.

I understand everyone’s lives are busy and there is always something that may keep us from adding just one more thing to our list of things to do. If volunteering is not something you are able to do because your schedule does not permit it; there are other things you can do to help. If you are just hesitant about volunteering, give me a call and we can talk about it; I’d love to hear your thoughts! Someone mentioned the possibility of providing ‘incentives’ for volunteering; that may be something we need to look into if it’s something that will get more people to step-up-to-the-plate (although, shouldn’t the incentive be that we are all here to support the HCSO?) I’m open to suggestions.

If your schedule doesn’t permit you to volunteer for the opportunities that are currently open (there are other opportunities other than the raffle), if you would be willing to sell some raffle tickets, please get with Jack Diamond, Marketing & Fundraising Committee Chair to get some. This would be a great help toward our goal of selling 700 tickets! If you can find a little bit of time to volunteer, below are the slots that are currently open for the raffle sales (also found on sign-up genius and our website: hccsaaa.org):

Salt Lick, Saturday 8/21/21 2 pm – 5 pm (1 slot); 5 pm – 9 pm (2 slots)
Hays City Store Friday, 8/27/21 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm (2 slots); 4:30 pm – 7:15 pm (2 slots)
Tractor Supply DS Saturday 8/28/21 10:45 am – 12 pm (1 slot); 12 pm – 2:15 pm (2 slots)

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” ~ Helen Keller

Items of Importantance

  • The PSB Greeter training is scheduled for Tuesday, August 24th @ 1 pm – 4 pm; if you haven’t signed up to be a greeter; but are interested in attending the training to see what it is all about, please let me know, we will need a headcount of who will be there for planning purposes. You are more than welcome to attend the training even if you haven’t signed up to be a greeter. Once you’ve attended the training, you may decide to volunteer as a greeter at some point and it would be beneficial to have the training completed. Even if you are unable to be a greeter, this is a great opportunity for you to get some great insight on the PSB and have a behind-the- scenes tour from Lt. Dennis Gutierrez!
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  • VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES! Please be sure to check out the volunteer opportunities available. We send out notices through Sign-up Genius, post on our website (HCCSAAA.org), post on Facebook, and e-mail all members when there are volunteer opportunities available. At times when we receive ‘short-notice’ requests, you may even receive a phone call to ask if you would be available. Our volunteers are very important and play a significant role in assisting the HCSO with special projects. Please let me know if you have any questions about volunteering or volunteer opportunities.
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  • Alumni T-Shirt Order: We will be placing the order for Alumni T-Shirts on Monday, August 2nd; if you have not already let me know if you wish to purchase an Alumni shirt, please let me know no later than Sunday, August 1st. The sample t-shirts and pricing information can be found on our website; payments can be made via cash, check, or Venmo. By ordering our shirts on August 2nd, we should be able to receive them prior to the August 17th meeting (if you wish to place an order and don’t do Venmo, you can just bring your payment to the meeting). Please let me know if you have any questions.
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  • Clarification on wearing Alumni ID Badges. I have spoken with Lt. Gutierrez to request clarification on wearing Alumni ID badges outside of the PSB as it is a question that has come up on more than one occasion. He will be providing a brief explanation which I will share; however, in the meantime here’s the gist of what is acceptable: Alumni ID Badges should only be worn during Alumni Association events and/or while volunteering for such events/activities. It is very important to ensure when identifying yourself that it is clear we are not employees of the Sheriff’s Office. Our identification badges specifically state our information; however, some people just hear “Sheriff” and nothing further; it’s our responsibility to make it clear. This has come up in the past and is one of the reasons we were instructed in the Academy not to wear our badges outside of the building. This is pretty much common-sense stuff, wear your Alumni ID Badge for “Alumni Association” events/activities; and, if you have one, wear your Alumni shirt as well. Don’t wear your identification badge for daily activities such as shopping, dining out, etc.; take it off unless you are acting on behalf of the Alumni Association. If that is clear-as-mud, please get with me and I can answer any questions you may have.
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    Cathy Gieselman, President
    HCCSAAA

    29 Jul 21

    Ordering Shirts

    Here is a link to the sample shirts we showed at the meeting last night (07/20/2021). Information about each shirt is included with pricing information. We will be preparing a list to order so if you would like to get in on this round of
    ordering, please let me know which shirt(s) you would like to purchase.

    Link to Sample Shirts

    Note: I have the list from those of you who inquired at the meeting.
     
    These are straight pricing structures. The HCCSAAA does not mark-up the pricing and does not profit from these sales. Therefore, payment is due when order is placed. A price break of $1 is provided over 36 shirts. However, since we have several shirt options, I don’t think we would meet that number.
     
    Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or if you would like to order a shirt.
     
    We will be placing an order early August so if you would like to get in on that round of ordering, please let me know ASAP. Turn-around time is approximately 2 weeks once order has been placed.
     
    Cathy Gieselman, President
    HCCSAAA

    PSB Volunteer Training

    UPDATE (07/23)
    The PSB Greeter Training date has been confirmed: Tuesday, August 24th from 1:00pm – 3:00pm @ the PSB; it will be classroom instruction, additional tour of the building, and an introduction to the main receptionists in other departments that you may be dealing with. Lt. Dennis Gutierrez will be providing the training. If you are not currently on the list to volunteer as a greeter and would like to, please let me know.
     
    Cathy Gieselman, President
    HCCSAAA

     
     
    Good day Alumni!
     
    As discussed previously, we are hoping to schedule the PSB Greeter Training; it looks like the best week for training will be the week of August 23rd. The specific date and time will be provided once confirmed; training shouldn’t take too long maybe 1-2 hours max. Volunteers will also have a security check conducted prior to starting. At this point, please look at your calendar and let me know if you are available that week and what day/time might work best for you. We currently have 4 people interested in serving as Greeters; it would be fantastic if we could get more volunteers to ensure we have sufficient coverage.
     
    PSB Greeter Volunteer needs:
    2 shifts per day, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Monday – Friday
    (can be split between different volunteers)
     
    This is a great opportunity for Alumni volunteers to support the Sheriff’s Department; and it should be fun!
     
    Please contact me if you have questions or are interested in serving as a Greeter at the PSB. Will provide update as soon as date/time has been confirmed.
     
    Thank you!
     
    Cathy Gieselman, President
    HCCSAAA

    Run For The Badge

    Alumni!

    Please check out the link from Jeffrey Jordan (President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Hill Country Lodge #23…and one of our very own HCSO heroes) for Run for the Badge; this is a great opportunity to raise money for the National Law Enforcement Memorial. Our fine men and women in Law Enforcement who have paid the ultimate price should always be remembered and never forgotten.

    Below is the link Jeffrey Jordan set up for Run for the Badge. He has done this for the last 2 years, and last year was the first year he raised money for the National Law Enforcement Memorial. He raised over $500.

    This year, Jeffrey set a goal of raising $1000. He set up the team Remembering Hays County’s Finest. It automatically set a goal of raising $2,000.

    Registration is $40 for the virtual run/walk and counts towards the total raised. Runners/walkers receive a numbered bib, a medal, and t-shirt. Anyone who wishes to register to participate, please search for and join the team Remembering Hays County’s Finest. If there is a big enough group, we could probably make arrangements to do this as a group and create a route near the Government Center in San Marcos.
     
    This would be a great way to get together and do something outside of our Alumni meetings which is something we talked about at the meeting last night.
    Let’s do this! It should be fun and is an amazing way to pay honor to the fallen! Who’s in?

    https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/RFTB/JeffreyJordan

    Cathy Gieselman, President
    HCCSAAA