Kitsap Audubon's President - Janine Schutt
At our September general meeting, the membership approved our new Bequest & Endowment Policy. The next step for future bequest spending will be to establish the endowment spending committee. The Board will keep members updated as things develop.
The Ann Sleight bequest now totals $360,000. $270,000 was bestowed on us last year and we received an additional $90,000 when Annís property was sold. We are investing these funds with the Kitsap Community Foundation in the Kitsap Audubon Society Ann Sleight Memorial Fund.
A special thank you to our friends on Bainbridge Island who have so generously supported Kitsap Audubon this year through the islandís annual One Call For All fundraiser. The 2013-2014 campaign raised $5,745 for our chapter. We use this money as part of our annual operating budget, so your generosity is greatly appreciated.
I would like to now share something very personal. This week my family received the devastating news that a close family member is losing his battle with cancer. As I struggled to make sense of things, I drove to nearby Wildcat Lake and launched my kayak in an effort to find solace in nature. I was delighted to see a pied-billed grebe diving for something tasty underwater. A flock of Canada geese allowed me to paddle alongside them. A snooty kingfisher wasnít in the mood for company and flew a short distance away, saying some choice words as it went. As daylight waned, I paddled back to the boat launch. As I loaded my boat onto my vehicle, a mallard quacked its goodbye and I was reminded why I had become a birder.
During a difficult period in 2003 I found myself watching the birds in my yard as a way to escape the stress. Prior to that I had never paid much attention to birds. I had one field guide at the time (I now have over a dozen), and I remember how excited I was when I identified my first red-breasted nuthatch and hairy woodpecker -- and as the saying goes, the rest is history. Although I see those species on a daily basis now, I have never become jaded with them. Watching birds is therapeutic and I donít think there are many who would dispute that. I encourage all of you to share the love of birding with people you know who are dealing with hardships. Give them a bird book or a feeder and share some of your knowledge with them. You may never know what a positive impact such a gesture could have. And you just may convert someone permanently into the world of birding.
Notes from the Board :
2014 recipient of the Kingfisher Award is:
Milly (Renee) Bellemere and Bob (Robert) Schumacher for the recognition of their more than 13 years of service to Kitsap Audubon. This is Kitsap Audubonís highest honor, awarded for outstanding service over a period of five or more years. Milly was Secretary to the Board for two years (2001-2002) and Bob served as 2nd Vice President in 2002. For the past eight years, Milly and Bob have been our official greeters, the friendly couple who welcome you and sign you in when you first come through the door at our monthly meetings. Milly and Bob have also been Kitsap Christmas Bird Count volunteers for ten years. They led the Seabeck area CBC in 2008, and Milly has led the backyard count for the past five years. The two have also given presentations for Kitsap Audubon based on their travels.
The KINGFISHER AWARD is Kitsap Audubon Societyís annual recognition of the member or members who gave extraordinary effort to the KAS mission throughout the year. This award is given to a KAS member who has been an active supporter of KAS for at least five years and has been an advocate for the environment and wildlife.
Put on those thinking caps! The KINGFISHER Award Committee welcomes your suggestions for next year's recipient of KAS's highest honor. This award, to be presented at our annual general membership dinner meeting in May, honors a KAS member who has a history of volunteer excellence with our organization. To be considered, the candidate should have demonstrated the following characteristics:
Please submit any suggestions for the Kingfisher Award to the firstname.lastname@example.org. Many people work very hard to make KAS the great chapter it is, and we want no one to be overlooked. Thanks! We appreciate your help.
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Submissions from readers are welcome. Email text or photographs to email@example.com or mail them to Gene Bullock, Kingfisher Editor, 1968 NE Lind Ct., Poulsbo WA 98370. Our deadline is the 15th of the preceding month.