2016 Aurora Fossil Festival Remembered

  The very first words in this column are to thank all of the Friends members who took vacation time, personal time, or retirement time to make the trip to Aurora to help the museum, the auction, and the fossil festival itself to be the absolute best it could be. I am continually amazed at the outpouring of effort that members make in this volunteer endeavor. The giving started on Monday and continued through the week until late in the day on Saturday. The Result: Nothing short of a great support weekend at the festival. It is always a time when good friends from all over the United States can come together to reunite old times and lend a helping hand to the museum.  

  So many things were accomplished, including the setup for the auction and Community Center, repainting the Meg jaws in the museum entrance and whale room, planting two fossil trees (Gingko trees) in remembrance of fossil members who have passed on, cleaning, sweeping, hanging flags, as well as assisting Jay in the auction. By all accounts everything was a success, including the Friends Royal Blue Volunteer T-Shirts, which everyone wore on Saturday in an impressive display of pride and unity.

  I also felt that the new schedule changes for the annual meeting worked in a positive way to support the Festival opening ceremonies, an area which we have had conflicts in the past. Modifications to the display setup times (Friday evening) and the closing procedures of the Community Center following a day of displays made for a much smoother run for setup and take-down.

Friends Annual Meeting

   On Friday evening the early supper and get together allowed for members who wanted to experience the Opening Ceremonies to do so. Moore’s BBQ provided a great supper along with servers for the first time (which was a surprise to me). We all ate to satiation, with many working off the excess calories by staying behind to help with the setup for Saturday’s festivities in the Community Center. After the Opening Ceremonies, everyone returned to the Learning Center for our Annual Meeting where we met the three speakers, Bobby Boessenecker (College of Charleston), Alex Hastings (VA Museum of Natural History), and Vince Schneider (NC Museum of Natural Sciences). Dave Bohaska was the Keynote speaker who spoke on the Smithsonian Renovations

  During the business portion of the AGM, Joel Hardin and Joyce Drakeford were elected to the new BOD positions of Director of Trips and Activities and Director of Social Media and Website Content, respectively. Also passed unanimously, were the changes to the Rules and By-Laws that allowed the three “at large” positions to be specified as Director of Memberships, Director of Social Media and Website Content, and Director of Trips and Activities. Also included was the specification of certain computer skill sets and software expertise that is required to perform tasks as a board member.

My best to all,

Lee Cone – President of the SFAFM