I hope each and every one of you will make a special effort to attend our Annual Meeting on Saturday, January 28th, at the Inn at Kelly's Ford. Our officers for 2017 will be installed, including as president, Jerry Hubbard. Jerry previously served as our president in 2005, and has been a stalwart of our chapter for over 20 years. Jerry brings a great deal of experience in the SAR and other prominent lineage societies. He also will bring new ideas and emphasis for our chapter in 2017, for which he has my full support. We are very fortunate to have his leadership in this new year.
I call upon each of you to support our chapter in 2017 by identifying some task that has your interest and volunteer your time and effort to Jerry for that task. Some of you have already done just that. Simply volunteering to plan and execute a chapter meeting would be a great help. There are also specific programs, such as the orations, essay, and eagle scout competitions, that need someone to lead our efforts. Small contributions add up to make a very successful chapter.
I would like to thank, and hold up as examples, some of the many compatriots who have been so helpful to me during my service as chapter president. Some have been very visible, such as Lon Lacey, who has led our color guard and organized events such as our Independence Day Celebrations and the Gabriel Long Memorial among many other things. Don Jennings for his truly great management of our ROTC recognition program, with an able assist from Jerry Hubbard.
The officers, who in many cases, have served for many, many years. For example Len Cowherd, Jake Lay, Don Jennings, Jerry Hubbard, Paul Bess, and Francis Lay. I also received able support from our newer members who have recently stepped forward to serve as officers.
The strongest support I received may not have been so obvious to our membership. There are those, who, by virtue of their experience and abilities, quietly guided and supported me. These include Jim Bayne, Larry Alexander (and Beverly), Gar Schulin, Bob Bowen, and Gerry Culver. And also, the one who clearly provided the most needed support to me, Lance Lyngar. I also am grateful to the support and leadership I received from the Virginia Society Officers, most notably, Wayne Rouse.
My strongest supporter, and the one who has worked hardest for our chapter, is my wife, Cat. Those of you who have a strong, supportive spouse understand perfectly how important she has been to everything our chapter has accomplished. I have been blessed with a wonderful helper, and have been happy to share this blessing with you.
I will close with a heartfelt thank you to all compatriots and friends who have supported our chapter, and my prayer that God will bless each of you in the New Year.
Bill Schwetke, President