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

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