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
 

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