Secretary’s Report Minutes of the Annual Meeting, September 26, 2021
Karin James opened the 2021 Annual Meeting at 1:10 pm in the basement of the Barn. She welcomed a large group of attendees, wearing masks, and thanked them for coming on a beautiful fall afternoon.
The minutes of the 2020 Annual Meeting were accepted in a motion made by Ann Letendre, seconded by Bob Letendre.
Committee reports followed, highlighted by Ann Letendre, Membership Chairman’s announcement that our membership is at 165 members and contributors. We have received $12,925 in dues, and $1,670 in contributions to the endowment fund, an increase from the previous year. She recognized a generous gift from Irene Gay’s family that allowed us to purchase a bench in her memory and locate it next to Railroad Brook, along the Braille Trail. She reminded members that we have a website: www.thefriendsofvalleyfalls.org, and a FB page: The Friends of Valley Falls, Inc. Vernon CT.
Bob Letendre reported that the Buildings and Grounds committee this year contracted With Rock-Vern Electric to install an underground 200 Amp service directly to the stable, soon to be come the Heritage Center, for which new wiring and lighting systems were also installed. The farm buildings have been cleaned of debris, and the water treatment, smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector systems have also been upgraded at the farmhouse. The historic–but dying–oak tree was removed. He credited Ron Levesque, Betty Wardrop, and Adam’s Lawn Service for the beautiful condition of the grounds at the Farm.
Ann reported steady progress at the Heritage Center, with design of the display panels and collection of artifacts nearing completion. The photos on this year’s Annual Report covers reflect FVF’s collaboration with the Vernon Parks and Rec Department to restore proper mowing and care of the five fields at Valley Falls Park.
Karin read the slate of officers and directors put forth by the Nominating Committee for a two-year term, ending July 30, 2023. She asked if there were any nominations from the floor. Hearing none, a motion was made by Diane Peskurich, seconded by Ann Bonney to accept the slate as proposed. A vote was taken to confirm the slate as read: President, Karin James; Vice-president, Maryann Levesque; Secretary, Nancy Steffens; Treasurer, Bob Letendre; Directors, Ginny Gingras, Joe King, Ann Letendre, and Jean Merz.
Treasurer, Bob Letendre, reported that pages 9 thru 12 of the annual report contain a summary of the major financial highlights of FY 2020-21 (p. 9), as well as listings of our assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021 (pp. 10-12). He reported that most of our cash assets are now invested in Vanguard Index Funds, and our organization continues to be debt free. He thanked the audit committee for their review and accord, and he thanked members for their continued support.
Alan Valli, one of our beekeepers, reported that 20-30 lbs of honey was harvested from the hives in both spring and fall.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:40 pm.
Respectfully submitted, Jean Merz, Secretary
Following the meeting our speaker, Jon Roe, for today AKA “Count” Hans von Munchow, discussed the good fortune for the Friends of Valley Falls in Vernon’s brief encounter with the Count, owner of Valley Falls Farm, 1910-1913.