Westy Weekly April 2nd, 2015


Westland Area Jaycees and Friends,

As you may have noticed, there was no newsletter last week as the board had an “OFF” week. Sarah Austin was enjoying a wonderful vacation on a big boat in the Caribbean while April and I went to National Conference in Nashville. There is SOO much to do and talk about, so lets get to it.


The Easter Egg-Stravaganza. WOW! Can I just say that again? WOW! What an amazing project. I know we surprised a lot of people including ourselves. We had Easter egg hunts, a cake walk, pictures with the Easter bunny, movies, food, dancing, etc. Our wonderful Firefighters brought out the ladder truck and our K9 officer was also on hand to say hello! We even pulled off our mystery egg prizes and got those HUGE chocolate bunnies! Vic Barra from the Civic League was VERY pleased with the showing and sounds like he wants to work with us more. I couldn’t be prouder of this chapter and our project Chairs; Melody Montgomery and Jeff Lowrey. You guys rock! Read the article that was published for more info. http://www.hometownlife.com/story/news/local/westland/2015/03/29/westland-area-jaycees-create-extra-special-easter-event-kids/70559072/

The D4 Dodge, Duck, and Dive social was fun. We pulled together a team to represent Westland in the games and had a great time doing it. I never truly appreciated how exhausting running around on a trampoline could be. I have a new found respect for them, the people who play on them all day, and for conveniently placed sources of hydration. Congrats to Redford – 2 for winning the brackets.


What a wonderful time. In all, over 35 Michigan Jaycees were in attendance and we were the dominant state. We took home a number of awards and managed to pull a sweet honor. Michigan won the bid to host the National Conference Next September in Detroit at the RenCen! We are so excited to have this honor and we look forward to getting to work as a state, district, and even on our level – to plan for this. This is our chance to show the world that Michigan Builds Leaders, Detroit hustles harder, and to showcase Westland’s strength. Im stoked! April and I did well to represent our state. While we didn’t win first place, we did very well and the opportunity was an honor. We also met a number of people from around the country and they are very excited to hear about what we are not only doing in Michigan, but also here in the Westland Area. We never missed an opportunity to talk, trade ideas, and even trade some swag. I will go on to say, that Westy Wear is a very hot and sought after commodity on the national level it seems. What can I say, we look good! I, along with three other Michigan Jaycees actually managed to earn a Montana Big Sky Hat. This is a huge deal. Every year, a Montana Senator hand paints cowboy hats for all the Montana Jaycees that go to a National Conference. After the awards Banquet – it is up to them if they trade it off or not. After some tough negotiation (not really), Austin Schlosser from the Billings MT Jaycees removed his hat and handed it to me in exchange for an ONTO pin, and Personal presidential pin (that he had to also “earn”) and a Westy hoodie and Cap. He wore it all night. I think he was prouder of the pin and cap then I was for the hat. Regardless, Austin is a wonderful Jaycee and I look forward to seeing him again next year in September, right here in the D. Ill bring the Hat, and all of the other T-Shirts and swag we earned to the GMM.

At this time – I would also like to congratulate Sarah Austin for earning her 10th Degree Jaycee Pin (again). We are very proud of you Sarah!

In addition to all of this, I was also given the honor by PP Fay Poissant to serve as the personal host to 2015 TOYA Recipient USAF MAJ Tucker Hamilton. His story is both heroic and amazing. I feel honored to have had the privilege to meet this man. His strength and service both also earned him a Westy 2015 Pin. I presented him the pin, but also told him I knew he wasn’t allowed to wear it on his uniform, so he put it on the inside of his jacket. Amazing man, amazing hero. Read his story here. http://www.jayceemember.com/toya/profile_Honoree.asp?hid=840

On the Horizon

We are coming into our busy time of the year!  Last night, I met with VP Markonni and Director Willingham to discuss our project outlook for 2015 and steps that need to be taken in order make them successful. I know most of you are really excited to get involved. Soon, you should see some communication from them regarding all of these projects coming up and what we need to do to get them going.

May Conference at the Great Wolf Lodge. For those that are going, if you haven’t booked your room yet, do it NOW. We actually ran out of rooms for our block. The hotel opened up Fri Night again for the $80 rate plus taxes, but the SAT room is now $139. The state didn’t expect such a good showing, but I warned them this would happen. After Troy, more people want to hang out with us, cause were a big deal. If you don’t have lodging yet, let me know. Some rooms might be open to sharing, but those discussions need to happen off line. If you have a need, Ill make sure it is known and we will work together to do what we can to accommodate.
Also – We need competitors. Its good for you, the chapter, and the state. There are a few you do NOT need to be at the convention to compete in as they are submitted early. The Film it, Prepared Write up, and the Professional portfolios. We also have Impromptu Speak-Up and Master Speak-up. I know a few of you have expressed interest in competing. Let me know who you are via email so I can get you registered with the Competitions chair right away.

The 123.Net Card Dealing Night is 23 Apr at 6:30. We will be at the 123 offices located in Southfield MI. We need to make sure we get their early and setup. We also need to Re-Felt four of our tables beforehand. I would also like to take this opportunity to announce that 123.Net is our official 2015 Ambassador Sponsor. Their contribution to the chapter will allow us to meet a good portion of our obligated operating costs for the year. Also, we received a combined contribution from Matt Kilarski and American Tower which puts them at the Silver Level.

This is getting pretty long and I don’t want to lose you, so I’ll wrap it up here.
Have a great weekend!

Upcoming Dates

April 7 – Monthly GMM and Bylaws Vote.
April 15 – Dinner at DeLucas
April 22 – Swimming with the Fishes – Great Lakes Aquarium
April 25 – Party like Rockstars with the Westland Area Jaycees
May 5 – Off Site GMM at Mr. Mikes in Westland
May 8-10 – May Conference at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City!
May 15-16 – World Expo of Beer in Frankenmuth
May 22 – R4L Bowling for Hero’s Fundraiser at Westland Bowl

Jim’s Pearl of Wisdom for the day. When being right is more important than being happy – you are neither.

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