31 December 2010

Once More for 2010

Just under six hours remain in the year 2010 as I write these words. Let me get in one more blog post before 2011 arrives.
On Friday 17 December, two IPMS Gateway clubmates and I came to Gravois Bluffs Shopping Center in Fenton, Missouri. Y98 radio was hosting a marathon broadcast that day, and this was the opportunity for our club to donate our $451 raised in the past year to the US Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots. I presented the check to the USMCR on our behalf and the Marines were very pleased to receive the money. Thanks to the generosity of club members and Gateway Invitational attendees (due to the club's 50/50 raffles, silent auctions of kits, and the big raffle at the Invitational), some Metro St. Louis children had a Merry Christmas with a toy under the tree. (Tom Bogacki took the photo you see here of me holding the check with two of the Marines.)
That night, I went to Stress Free Fridays at Palomino Lounge on Delmar in west St. Louis. Had a fine time with the gang.
The next day (18 Dec.), I refereed futsal at Omni in St. Peters, Missouri that afternoon, then went home to change and then to DePaul Health Center in Bridgeton, Missouri for the IPMS Gateway banquet. It was a fine event, with good food and company. I was master of ceremonies and didn't do too bad, I think. In that capacity, I presented our Ron Foulks (Modeler of the Year) and Bob Stroup (Outstanding Achievement) awards. Tom Bogacki won the former and Tony Kirk the latter, although Tony could not be present, due to the funeral of his stepson earlier that day. The banquet's featured speaker was Sgt. Clarence Cherry, a B-17 Flying Fortress waist gunner who flew 29 missions over Europe in World War II. He served in the 100th Bomb Wing (Heavy), 8th Air Force in England. It was fascinating to hear Sgt. Cherry's tales of the missions over German-held Europe and the stateside training that came before and after his combat tour.
IPMS Gateway's meeting on 21 Dec. was memorable for me on two counts. One, I was reelected president by acclamation for 2011 (no other candidate stepped up). Two, I won a raffle prize in our big kit raffle held at the December meeting. I selected a two-ship kit.
The good health slipped from me Christmas Eve morning, when I woke up to vomiting. I caught stomach flu and was bed ridden for almost all that Friday and much of Christmas day. Not the best of time to be sick, for sure. I had to back out of a luncheon date with my good friend from high school Tim Popp, who was in town for the holiday. I was well enough to open presents Christmas morning with my parents. Among the gifts I got was a new day planner binder (the one I had dated back to 1994 and showed it), and a new watch I can use for my soccer refereeing. It was a nice Christmas, otherwise.
On a sad note, my sister in-law Linnea Hauge died Saturday morning after battling breast cancer. She was 46 years old and was a sister of my brother Brian's wife, Gretchen. I met Linnea at Brian and Gretchen's wedding in 2000 and she came across to me as a bright and nice person. So sad to see someone like her taken away well before her time. RIP, Linnea, and my deepest condolences to everyone near and dear to her.
Having recovered from the stomach flu, I ran the IPMS Gateway business meeting Tuesday night (28 Dec.) at Mike George's house in Florissant, Missouri. We planned our January meeting (the annual Swap & Sell and Kit Auction), plus determined the special categories for our 2011 contests towards Modeler of the Year. Check out the club at http://ipms-gateway.com.
The last two nights, I was at the Immacolata Catholic Church's gymnasium in Richmond Heights, Missouri. The 2nd Annual Mary McDermott 3rd Grade Basketball Tournament was held this week, with girls and boys teams from Immacolata and other Catholic parishes playing. Mary McDermott was the daughter of my friend, Bill McDermott, graphic designer and St. Louis' Mr. Soccer. Mary died from a heart ailment in 2008, aged only 24. All proceeds from this event benefit the Hybrid Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis. It felt good to show up and support this most worthy cause.
Anyway, that's it for 2010. See you in 2011! Let's all hope it a very good year for all of us.

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