Wednesday, July 3, 2013

52 Ways to Use Your VRPS Membership: Week 27, YOU

by Katey Legg, CPRP; VRPS President

While I’ve known for a long time that VRPS has some of the best people as members, it’s become increasingly clear to me why that is.  We have a stunning array of events, programs, workshops and more to develop not only ourselves, but our departments and communities.

The Virginia Senior Games, hosted by Newport News Parks, Recreation & Tourism, was held in May.  Over 700 athletes participated, with the oldest athlete being 101 years young!  This event doesn’t happen on its own.  The Newport News staff gave hundreds of hours of their time, not to mention resources of the City, to make this event happen.  The Senior Games takes place over several days, but I have to say that the Athlete’s Party on Friday was definitely a highlight.  The athletes were encouraged to party through the decades; participate in a sock hop, lounge on bean bag chairs, or get some big hair ‘80s style.  Special thanks to Susan Lineberry who chaired this dynamic group, and Michael Poplawski for readily accepting the challenge and offering the support of Newport News.

The 2013 Annual Conference is right around the corner, once again hosted by James City County.  Arlana Fauntleroy and a committee of enthusiastic folks have planned another fantastic conference.  The education sessions are intriguing and varied, the socials are well-planned and exciting, and you’re sure to have an amazing experience.  I encourage you to register early online and take advantage of the discounted rate. 
The Foundation Board has set an aggressive, but achievable, goal of paying off the Central Office mortgage in 2013.  Since VRPS acquired the building 5 ½ years ago, you’ve come together and provided donations that have contributed immensely to this goal.  Service Areas & Resource Groups alone have donated over $13,000 to the Capital Campaign.  In addition, personal donations have exceeded $30,000, and corporate donations have surpassed $14,000.  Because of this, and so many other efforts, VRPS is less than $39,000 away from paying off the building. 

I’ve mentioned before that the VRPS Board of Directors is looking at long-range planning and how we can best serve our members.  New this year, we will host a mid-year meeting with the Service Area & Resource Group Boards.  While I hope this will become an annual event and the format may change in the future, this year we will have a facilitated discussion on the strengths & weaknesses of VRPS, the gaps and needs in member services and gain a better perspective from our members.  We will be sure to share the information gleaned from this meeting with you all. 

And that’s not all – don’t forget the many events the Service Areas and Resource Groups offer!  The dedication you all show to your field is unparalleled.  I hope that you have a wonderful summer, that your camps and programs go off without a hitch (is that asking too much?), and that you take a little time to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.  Don’t hesitate to contact me for any reason and I’ll see you soon!

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