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                    MERRY CHRISTMAS AFY!

                                                (December 20, 2003)


Welcome and Happy Holidays!  I wanted to take a moment and share with you an overview of just how great this year has been for AFY!  First and foremost, our new additions this year:  Greg, Tim, tom and Helen.  All of which, have been wonderful assets to AFY and we are truly appreciative of what each of these members bring to us!  Thank you for being apart of our family! 


Secondly, the completion of the tax exempt process, which has resulted in AFY being tax exempt!  I want to give a personal thank you to all involved in that process!  This was a huge step for AFY.


Next up, our membership with the Astronomical League!  This, also, was an advantageous step, as this brings benefits to both the organization and the individual members alike.  Through membership with AL, we also have acquired insurance, which is a wonderful benefit for AFY, not to mention, peace of mind.


2003 also proved to be a great year for our monthly star parties!  Our first full year in operation, resulted in 180+ visitors and 8 monthly star parties (as the weather did not cooperate in November)!  We also had two scheduled parties for a Boy Scout troop and church group.  We also have started quite a following, looking at some repeat visitors throughout the year!  One factor these programs were such a great success, was due to the hard work that both Tammy and Greg had put forth with the Star Party brochures and Electronic Programs done by Tammy.  These proved to be excellent tools that truly reached out to our visitors, not to mention that sets us apart from the “other” clubs out there!                                                                 





I also want to mention the wonderful job that Curt has done with the AFY brochures!  These have been a great tool in advertising our existence, and actually have generated some enthusiasm with the public.  Just a small note here, we have been told by the Mansfield/Richland County Tourism & Information Bureau, that we have a spot in their office for our brochures!


I also wanted to add that when we were once members of another club, one complaint we heard quite often, was that members were not well informed of the “behind-the-scenes” information.  I want to make sure that all of you are informed. This is your club as well as mine.  So this is strictly for your information.


2003 Beginning Balance:                                                                       $115.00

Membership Dues – New Members                                         $120.00

*T-shirt Donations                                                                                $ 50.00

Star Party Donations                                                                 $ 39.39

Tax-Exempt Donation per Robert                                             $500.00

Insurance Donation per Curt                                                     $327.00


Sub-Total                                                                                                         $1151.39


Exempt Fee                                                                                          $500.00

Insurance Annual Premium                                                        $327.00

Astronomical League                                                                $ 20.75


Total - Balance                                                                         $303.64


*The costs of T-shirts ($90.00), was donated per Curt.


Just to keep in mind, Astronomical League dues will be coming up at the first of the year, 2004.  This should be around $90.00.



I would like to mention some goals for 2004.  We are hoping to double our membership, increase attendance at our programs, supply more T-shirts for donations and get a little more use out of that great donation scope (provided by Robert)!  2004, hopefully, will bring us some good news involving the grants that Curt has been working on.  This will allow us much more involvement and options for our programs.


As 2003 draws to a close, I, again, want to thank each and every one of you for making AFY what it is today and what it will be tomorrow!  I also feel that a special thank you should go to the families of our members, as without them or their consideration, we would not be a success!  They provide us with the warmth of support for both the love of astronomy and the exceptionally chilly nights.  We appreciate you and your understanding!


I hope each of you has a wonderful holiday season and may all your wishes come true in the New Year!



With much love,