How many events do you think our club sponsors every year? I was doing a quick count of calendar entries while preparing our annual activity report and found well over four hundred individual events! Some are relatively routine, repeated events that need only a modest amount of preparation, while others are large-scale special events that can represent weeks of work by multiple individuals. The sum total of volunteer effort that goes into supporting more than four hundred events a year is amazing! The diversity of events is also striking— from museum and embassy visits to mah jong games and creative sewing, and from investigations of Berlin’s best pastries to hard exercise that works off the pastries’ effects.
We have thanked the organizers of these events before, but we also need to thank all the good participants who have also helped to make the events successful. After all, at these events, a lot of us spend most of our time with people other than the organizers. I know that I speak for many other members when I say how much I have appreciated the efforts of fellow-participants who went out of their way to make sure that a newer member was introduced to everyone in the group, or who took time to make new friends at an event as well as to spend time with old friends, or who took time to help the organizers herd straggling participants from one point to another. (Growing up in the American West, I learned something about herding cattle on the open plains, and I trust that no one will be offended if I say that herding club members from museum to cafe presents similar challenges!)
By the time you read this, we will have had our AGM and the annual elections. As you will know from emails, the plan for filling EC positions for the coming year (not an easy task!) is that Sue will take over my position as Vice President and I will attempt to fill Irma’s shoes as Web and IT Coordinator, as Irma is stepping down. The Web Team, like the activity organizers, gets through a lot of work during the year, and I hope to be able to help this work to run smoothly for the benefit of the club.