President's Blog

President’s Blog

Hi Alumni!

It’s been a while since I’ve sent out a PBlog; thought I’d catch everyone up on some happenings since the last one…I’ll be brief (LOL!)

We’ve had a lot of activities happening since back in March; I’d like to share a few highlights in order to remember some significant HCCSAAA moments.

The cheeseburger fundraisers we did in April and May to raise funds for the Sunshine Kids were amazing! Once again, we sold burgers at the Government Center and with pre-sales and walk-ups, we completely sold out all 400! We received many compliments on how delicious the burgers were and people really seemed to like the double patty presentation this year; something we will more than likely continue as it also helps in the cooking time. We did okay in Wimberley with pre-sales; however, the walk-ups were not as fruitful as we had hoped quite possibly due to the location we chose. Even with that, the sales in Wimberley worked out well and between the two locations and donations, the funds raised were phenomenal and greatly contributed to the Sunshine Kids Hill Country Adventure.

Based upon the work the Marketing & Fundraising Committee put in to ensure both events went off without a hitch, it was determined that the Committee needed to secure additional members to assist with ‘behind the scenes’ duties. Jack Diamond, Marketing & Fundraising Chair, has been working on securing additional active committee members to assist with Marketing & Fundraising Committee duties and as of now, the committee has a total of 5 active members including the Chair. This growth and the commitment from committee members will significantly help the Committee to continue to succeed in meeting the Association’s Marketing & Fundraising goals. Many kudos to Jack, Ruth, and the Committee for all the arduous work they continue to do not only to make these events fun; but, to put so much blood, sweat, and tears into researching and doing the things necessary to accomplish remarkable things!

The most recent Citizen Academy Graduation ceremony was held on June 2nd ; it was a great turnout, and everyone enjoyed the camaraderie, food, swag-bags, and door prizes. We had several graduates sign up to become members of the Alumni that evening: Goldie Kruger, Teri Holtzclaw, Nicholas Costilla, James Bryant, Jr., Michael O’Dell, Don William, Matt Wells, John Gagliardi, Bridget Fidler, and Stephen Albright. We also picked up another member from the Academy since then, Thaddeus Foster.

Welcome to our new members; we are excited to have you join us! Our new members have already become quite active; you may see Teri working the front desk at the PSB as she has signed on as a greeter. Bridget and Thaddeus have become members of the Marketing & Fundraising Committee. If you haven’t met our new members, please be sure to introduce yourself and let them know how happy we are to have them on board.

I can’t say enough about how much love, joy, and inspiration the Sunshine Kids (SSK) brought to our community! This was my first year to participate in this event and everything I had been told about how amazing it would be was absolutely on the mark! I am so incredibly grateful for what the HCCSAAA was able to contribute to these precious kiddos due to our fundraising efforts! We had the honor to pay for lunch at the State Capitol when the SSK took their ride into Austin for a tour; it was great to see the kids so happy, I even heard one of the kids overjoyed when she asked, “we can get anything we want?!!” The Alumni was also able to provide all the incredible prizes for the Bingo night; the kids adored the prizes and were so enthusiastic in sharing the game. A couple of tear-jerker moments where when some of the kids would win more than one prize and would automatically, without any prodding, give it up to another kid who hadn’t won yet. To say these kids are phenomenal is an understatement! The Nurses and the SSK staff were incredibly grateful for the ‘swag-bags’ the Alumni provided to each of them and the Jersey Mike’s lunch was enjoyed by all; one of the staff members had never had Jersey Mike’s before and she absolutely loved it!

I’d like to once again thank those who were able to volunteer and/or contribute to raising funds for these events. Without our incredible members, we would not have been able to share so much love and joy with these very special kiddos! If you weren’t able to join us this year, it is definitely something you should plan to help with next year; just being around these kids reminds us of how precious life is and that every moment is a chance to dance like no one is watching!

I’d like to take a moment to remember a true light in our world that was extinguished way too soon, Carol Cutler. Carol was a delightful inspiration to many; she spoke with the Sunshine Kids at the BBQ dinner night @ Rio Vista Park and cheered them on to fight the good fight. It was heartbreaking to hear of her passing, her light will continue to shine through the love she shared and the difference she made. Please keep the Cutler family in your thoughts and prayers.

Following SSK week, Gary Anderson, Ruth & Jack Diamond, and I attended the TCPAAA Conference @ Margaritaville on Lake Conroe; it was a fantastic conference as it provided the opportunity to talk with other Alumni groups and hear what they are doing in their area; in addition, there were very informative and incredible speakers. I connected with a couple of people who will be sharing some interesting concepts that we may be able to incorporate in our group; I look forward to speaking with them more when we are able to hook up. Unfortunately, the gift my husband and I brought home from convention was COVID and I have to say that it totally kicked our tails! I’m not used to being down for so long and was extremely disappointed that I had to miss the June meeting and the wonderful speaker we had. Thank you to those who checked in to be sure the buzzards weren’t circling; I appreciate your well-wishes!

I’m finally feeling like my Tigger tail has some bounce back and I am ready to be back in the saddle! I’m looking forward to hearing what the Marketing & Fundraising Committee presents for our Fall fundraiser (heck, I look forward to FALL!). Interviews for the HCSO History book were put on hold; but will kick off again within the next couple of weeks. Also, I haven’t forgotten about he HCSO T-shirts; we’ll be sending that order soon so if you haven’t already added your name to the list, please do so.

I’m sure I forgot something; but I’ll blame it on COVID. I look forward to seeing everyone at the July meeting! I’ll let you know who the guest speaker is as soon as it has been confirmed. In the meantime, enjoy your day and always remember that your time, effort, suggestions, and support considerably contribute to our success!

Thank you!

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