The near freezing temperatures didn’t slow down the annual chapter party guests . Yes, it was cold outside but inside, warm hearts, smiles, and spirits were plenty. All told I think close to fifty people, members and significant others were in attendance. My first year attending, I found the environment most welcoming. From Santa at the door to the plentiful aiming-to-please servers, I don’t think anyone felt left out of the festivities. Familiar faces met and greeted new ones with the same vigor as seeing an old friend.
Bill Conlin did a spectacular job of organizing, planning, decorating and hosting the event. We all owe him a special thanks along with those members that helped him. Several wonderful gifts were donated for the silent auction and raffle. GoreTex rain suits, a duck carving, rods, a reel, guided trips and ‘secret gifts’ specifically for the ladies were just a few of the prized prizes.
We paused for a small blessing that included all in attendance and the many not among us. It was a heart warming gesture that help set a thankful mood.
The sounds of fishy tales, remembrance of dear ones, discussing latest methods, upcoming trips, conservation projects and general merriment filled the room. Rising above the banter were the, greatly anticipated, announcements of raffle winners. In the background members visited the silent auction table to write in their bids, ever keen to keep a watch on the bidding as the close of the auction neared. By 830pm several bids had been hurriedly written in, not to mention a few among the rough and tumble of members trying to be final highest bidder. It was all in good fun.
It was a much anticipated event that many members look forward to every year and I now see why. I look forward to many more and hope to see many more members joining in.