The APS StampShow is more than just a gathering of philatelists – and more than its rooms of exhibitions, show floor of dealer booths, On-the-Road Courses, and meetings of philatelic societies. StampShow is about a community, connected by a shared passion for philately.
One very good example of this philatelic community is, ironically, a group of non-philatelists who were united by their shared support of their spouses and partners in the Precancel Stamp Society. Sandi Kust explained to the APS how the “Precancel Stamp Society Ladies” began as a social gathering of the companions of Society members during Precancel meetings, but morphed into a community of friends who share more than just a familial connection to philately.
Sandi explained how the Ladies make group plans for the yearly StampShow: “The group has a Book Club where we read a predetermined book and get together to talk about it over breakfast.” Other events depend on the tourism options of the city where StampShow is held.
In 2017, at StampShow Louisville, KY, the Ladies toured the Louisville Sluggers Plant, each taking home a souvenir baseball bat – a very different collector's item than a precancel! The group also traveled to Churchill Downs to see the race courses and horse stables. During StampShow Columbus, OH, in 2018, the group took a food tour, shopped in an Artisan Market, and learned how to make jewelry and candles.
Most importantly, the group continues to evolve each year. In 2018, the Ladies added a service project to their agenda – they met early one morning and made blankets together to donate to the Children’s Hospital (donating forty total). This year at StampShow Omaha, the group plans to continue the project and deliver more than 125 blankets to the Omaha Children’s Hospital.
What other events do the Ladies have planned for Omaha? Sandi told us that “there are so many things to do, it's going to be hard to choose . . . We have a list of over thirty things to do and see.”
The Precancel Stamp Society Ladies may not spend much time during StampShow Omaha sifting through the covers and precancels on offer on the show floor, but their commitment to each other and the wider community is a testament to the power of philately to bring people together.
To learn more about StampShow 2019 in Omaha, check out our website. Registration is free, and there are events and activities to appeal to people with a wide range of collecting experience and a variety of interests. Invite your friends and families, as well - there's plenty of experiences, philatelic or otherwise, waiting for you in Omaha this August.