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

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

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

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