December News

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE

Have you begun to get into the spirit of the season yet?  Things like tinkling bells, the aroma of holiday baking throughout the house, and the smell of an in-home real tree are traditions that go with this time of year.  The Covid 19 pandemic sure has messed with many of our traditions and our club has been impacted just like so many other things in life.  It has been our tradition to have a local high school choir be the highlight of our December program.  Not this year!  We do have an alternative however that is in keeping with this time of year and one of the older traditions of the season – Christmas trees.  Our Monday, December 7 meeting will begin via Zoom promptly at 7:00 pm.  We again recommend that you join the Zoom meeting about 6:55 or so to have plenty of time to complete the process.

December Program

“Christmas Tree Production in Michigan” will be presented by Dr. Bert Cregg, Professor of Horticulture and Forestry and Christmas Tree Extension Specialist at MSU. He will discuss the current state of the Christmas tree industry in Michigan and the challenges that growers face in raising a conifer seedling to the 8 foot tall Christmas tree in your living room. 

Michigan ranks third in the US in Christmas tree production. Christmas trees are grown in nearly every county in the state.  Michigan’s Christmas tree industry is diverse and ranges from small-scale choose-and-cut operations to some of the largest wholesale producers in the country. Dr. Cregg’s lab conducts research on the physiology and management of trees in landscape, nursery and Christmas tree systems. He holds a doctorate in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia, an M.S. in Forest Science from Oklahoma State University and a B.S. in Forest Management from Washington State University. Prior to joining the faculty at MSU in 1999, Dr. Cregg was a research plant physiologist for the US Forest Service and International Paper.  A native of Olympia, WA, he began his professional career shearing Christmas trees iwhile n high school.

Watch for a tickler message from me next weekend which will contain the link to the Zoom website and procedures to connect.  Share the Zoom link with friends who may like to participate in the program.  Steve Harsh our Zoom Host, will be happy to assist you with any Zoom questions you may encounter so feel free to call him.

Recent Happenings

The LAANRC Board held a special Zoom meeting on November 19 to lay plans for the remainder of our 2020-21 program year.  The following outcomes were achieved:

We will continue to hold all meetings via Zoom for the rest of the program year unless something alleviates the issues presented by the pandemic and we could meet safely.  Many thanks to Steve Harsh for serving as our Zoom Host.

Roger Brook, one of our newer members, offered to create a website for the Club and serve as its webmaster at no cost to the Club.  The Board approved establishing a website, appointed Roger to be a member of the Communications and Publicity Team and to serve as the webmaster.  An action plan prepared by the Communications and Publicity Team spelling out the steps for implementing the website was also approved by the Board.  Included in this plan is the appointment of a short-term Input Team to assist with website creation matters.  Members of the team will be:  Bob Pangman, Chair plus Roger Brook, Martha Schwab and Maxine Ferris  all members of the Communications and Publicity Team, Ben Kudwa, Chair of Membership Development, Ken Rauscher, Club President and Steve Harsh, Zoom Host.  Many thanks to Roger Brook for stimulating the establishment of the website at this time and for volunteering to be webmaster. 

Our new Club website name, lansinganrclub.org was approved by the Board.  This name was chosen after considering a number of names appropriate for the Club.  Strengths of the name chosen are that our general location and the fact that we are a club are both identified in the name.  These key words help people to find a website when searching the web.  During a search, clicking on the website name will bring up a short description, including the organization’s full name, to guide people further. 

Having started in 1941.LAANRC will be 80 years old in the coming year. Consideration is being given to celebrating that milestone event sometime later in 2021.

Members are encouraged to forward any ideas for future programs to Gloria Kielbaso, Program Planning Team Chair.  Many past programs have come from member suggestions.  Thanks for your help in identifying good programs.  .

New membership directories have been completed. A mailing to all members is anticipated by the first week of December.  Please watch your mail for its arrival.  Members have said that our directories have been useful as a reference document containing not only the membership listing but other pertinent data about the organization. We hope you can keep it in an “easy to find” location for use as a tool to help you connect with the club and its members.  Many thanks to Martha Schwab for her efforts in organizing and publishing the directory again this year.

Membership status for the current 20-21 program year stands at 82 Active households and 12 Sustaining Member households.  Our Active membership is down slightly from last year’s 86 Active households.  With Covid interrupting our on-going membership recruitment activities, we have not gained any new members this current year.  Our most successful way to recruit new members has been to have members personally invite others to attend and join.  We encourage you to use the Zoom programs as an outreach to others who may enjoy participating and then become acquainted with the Club.  It will be as simple as sharing the link to the specific Zoom program.

Recordings of past Zoom Club programs will be available as soon as the links to each program can be placed on our new website.  This will provide many of you who do not use Zoom the ability to access the programs after the meeting is held.  You can watch programs at your convenience.  It will not require Zoom to access.  More specific instructions will be forwarded to all members when details are finalized. 

Scholarship News

Just a reminder that there's still time to consider a contribution to our Club's Scholarship Endowment before the end of this calendar year.  Our goal is to grow our endowment to $100,000.  This will allow giving multiple scholarships annually in an amount that has a meaningful impact on helping with students' MSU tuition.  Please see the Membership Directory for the scholarship story.  The story includes directions for investing online and sending a check to MSU.  If you have a scholarship brochure, that includes a form for making a donation.  

Donations should be forwarded directly to MSU.  If you itemize taxes, your gift is eligible for a charitable deduction on itemized income tax returns if you give by December 31, 2020. If you do not itemize your taxes in 2020, traditional IRA funds, with the check written directly from your financial institution to MSU will not be considered income thereby reducing potential taxes on the donation.

If you had the opportunity to hear our 2020-21 scholarship winners, Hanna Dutcher and Caitlin Henne, speak at our November Zoom meeting, you know how impressive these young leaders are.  The endowed nature of the scholarship assures that we will continue helping students indefinitely as we are using only the annual earnings of the principal for grants. We can truly be proud of our MSU/CANR endowment which has contributed almost $47,000. for 36 scholarships.  

Many thanks to all of you who have continued to support and grow our endowment.  With COVID preventing face to face meetings so far this year, we have had to postpone our scholarship auction until we can again meet in person. We plan to reschedule the auction as soon as we can safely do so.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact members of the Scholarship Coordination Team listed in the Membership Directory.  Sandy Stuckman chairs this team. 

We look forward to having you participate in our December program.  May the peace and joy which comes from celebrating the real reason for this season be yours this year and always.

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