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Presidents Corner – November 2016

As I have gotten to know the members of Austin Prime Timers, I have found they have vast experience in many different areas as well as an amazing list of accomplishments. I’m sure there are boxes of trophies and award stuffed back in their collective closets. But I think you will agree with me that no award is more prized than the recognition that comes from our peers. That is one the things that make the annual Woody Baldwin award very special.

For those of you who may be relatively new to our organization, the Baldwin award was begun in 2014 to recognize the Prime Timer who had made the greatest contribution to our organization that year. The award is named in honor of Woody Baldwin – a man of many accomplishments who founded Prime Timers on August 15, 1987 in Boston before relocating to Austin and organizing this chapter in 1989. Woody passed away this year but although we no longer have him with us, we remember his accomplishments each year with this award.

Each year the President appoints three members of our organization to nominate members for this award. This year’s nominating committee consisted of David Soileau, the Woody Baldwin award winner in 2014, Charles Curry, award winner in 2015, and Jim Harp, our immediate past president. The nominations themselves are a unique recognition of the contributions these members have made to our organization.

AND THE ENVELOPE PLEASE… The 2016 Woody Baldwin award nominees are:

GARY COOPER Gary is relatively new to Prime Timers but has worked for years to improve the condition of the LGBT community in Austin. Gary has served on our Board since 2015 and has been instrumental in increasing community awareness of Prime Timers and building a positive image of an organization that gets involved in the community and gets things done. Our recent record-breaking fund drive for the AIDS Walk is but one example; Gary was the top individual fundraiser in the 27 years history of the Walk and helped Prime Timers set the record for top organization fund raiser. Gary has also worked tirelessly to involve leaders of the LGBT community in our effort to make Austin a more age-friendly city – especially for LGBT elders. Most importantly, Gary is always there to quietly lend a hand with whatever needs to be done, whether it’s proof reading articles for the Momentum, recruiting new members or being a volunteer driver for Member Support, Gary is always “can do”.

JOHN GUERTIN John has been a member of Prime Timers since moving to Austin in 2012. He immediately pitched in to fill a vacancy on the Board and served as Secretary for four years. John has also worked on the Communications Committee since joining Prime Timers, not only serving as Facebook Coordinator but also taking the lead on the year-long task of rebuilding our website. As a member of the Communication Committee, John helped reestablish our presence at the Pride Festival with the first booth in several years back in 2013. In doing that John perhaps found his real passion – recruiting new members. He has served as Chair of the Membership Committee ever since as we have more than doubled our membership to the nearly 170 members we have today – knocking on the door to becoming the largest PT chapter in Texas. He has also introduced several new activities to our calendar including the popular membership socials and, most recently, a bowling team.

CHARLEY TUCKER “Mr. Dependable”, Charley has ben our “go to” man when there is a difficult job that needs to be done. A member of the Board for over two years, Charley first served as Chair of the Activities Committee and began the process of adding the variety of activities to our monthly calendar that we currently enjoy. This year Charley agreed to take over the Treasurer’s job when Charles Burdine decided to retire. He’s the guy that keeps our money straight and keeps the Board and the membership informed of our financial condition. In April 2016, with the Board in near panic after month of searching with no success for a David Soileau replacement to edit the Momentum, Charley again stepped forward to take on a very time consuming and vitally important task. He has succeeded in maintaining the top quality publication that David built for us.

IT’S UP TO YOU It is an impressive group of nominees to whom we as an organization owe a huge round of applause. At the General Membership meeting on November 13th those present will vote to select one of these men to be our Woody Baldwin award winner for 2016. The award will be announced and presented at our Holiday Party on Sunday, December 11th.


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