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Thank You for Your Contributions

Our Hobby Remains Strong When We Advocate,
Educate, and Recruit


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     E very April, we recognize the amazing members who give of their time, their money, and their leadership to the American Philatelic Society, American Philatelic Research Library, and the hobby at large.
     Their support has allowed us to open the new library in Bellefonte, bring young collectors to the hobby, increase our technological capabilities to serve you, and make stamp shows and member services great experiences for our membership. There are not enough words of thanks we can give to the support we receive from each and every one of our members. Image

     One example is the Daniel F. Vooys Fellowship, named to honor the man who led our efforts to form the APRL. He was known as “Mr. Philatelic Literature” because of his commitment to bringing research and publications to the general membership.
     When we opened our new library in October 2016, it was a fitting tribute to his memory. Since 2007, 38 members have contributed $5,000 to support a permanent fund to keep the library going. Last year, five new Fellows were added to the list, commemorated with a plaque in the APRL. Three new members also pledged to become Fellows of the library and we will continue to work toward growing this support even further. Joining is very simple and the commitment is payable over five years. To learn more about the Daniel F. Vooys Fellowship, please visit stamps.org/vooys-fellow. Image
     Another example is the Young Philatelic Leaders Fellowship, which is a one-year program for high school and college-aged collectors to learn more about the hobby and increase their knowledge of philately. For those who joined us at AmeriStamp in Reno, you hopefully got a chance to say hello to one of the Fellows in the program this year. We were also excited to host the Fellows at the American Philatelic Center in March before they headed off to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum to visit one of our great partners in promoting the hobby. In 2017, we have three new named sponsorships joining some of the longtime supporters of the program and will be offering a new learning track for postal art and stamp design. If you would like to learn more about the YPLF program, you can visit us online at stamps.org/support-yplf.
     Our goal is to make sure being a member of the APS and APRL remain good investments for as many stamp collectors as possible. The hobby remains strong when we remain united to advocate, educate, and recruit. When we ask for support of time and resources, it is with an eye to the future of the hobby. For some, the annual membership dues are all that they can give and for that, we thank you, you are making a difference. There are many ways to support the growth of the hobby and the APS and you can learn more at stamps.org/donate.
     In each of my columns, I also ask for your advice and insight into ways to better serve you and the hobby. It is a standing invitation and hundreds of members have taken the time to call, write, or e-mail with insights on a variety of topics. Hopefully, you’ve noted some of the positive changes that have resulted from those contacts, or perhaps you think there is something else we should consider. We’d love to hear your thoughts and you can reach me at scott@stamps.org. or 814-933-3814. Many members use traditional mail to share thoughts and I welcome and respond to each of those as well. So, on behalf of the boards of the APS and APRL and the staff, thank you for your support and we look forward to serving and growing with you.

When We Get it Wrong
     In the February 2017 issue of The American Philatelist, we received a letter from Dr. Kent E. Weaver on adding more information on certificates provided by the American Philatelic Expertizing Service (APEX). The editor’s response referred Dr. Weaver and others to use library services to learn more about why a stamp may be a forgery and suggested space restrictions prohibited us from providing more information. While we encourage all members to use the library for research purposes, the response was not accurate and not complete.
     We recently developed a set of core values for the APS and APRL staff to be the best team we can be for our members. The first value states, “Our Members Come First: The APS and APRL would not exist without our members. Everything we do is based on the concept of delivering value to our members. We do that by being humble, helpful, and respectful with every encounter. We encourage employees to know and understand our members and the hobby so we can meet their needs.” Image

     In this case, we fell short, and to Dr. Weaver and all our APS members, please accept my apologies. As Dr. Weaver rightly notes in his letter, part of our mission is to educate collectors, and we are reminded of that each time we connect with you. As members may know, APEX has been serving APS members since 1903. Thanks to experts around the world, we can provide a critical link in fighting fakes and forgeries while educating our members on the stamps in their collection. Further in this issue is a column from our director of expertizing, Mercer Bristow, that provides a more thoughtful and comprehensive answer on what to do when you need more information about the certificates you receive from APEX.
     Thank you to the APS members who have contacted us about the service, the response and helping us do more to serve you. Despite our long service, we are not perfect, but we always strive to be better.

A Sad Note
     In the November 2016 issue of The American Philatelist, I wrote about meeting Charles Fricke, the 2016 recipient of the Charles J. Peterson Philatelic Literature Lifetime Achievement Award. Charles’ son, Robert, contacted me to let me know Charles had passed away on Valentine’s Day after a short period in hospice care. Image

     When I met Charles in September, he was bedridden, but in great spirits and sharp wit. Despite the numerous accolades he has received over the years for his contributions to the hobby, he remained humble and credited so many others for his success and impact.
     Charles is survived by his wife, Nettie, and sons, David, Michael, and Robert. In his obituary, receiving the Luff and Peterson Awards were singled out as great accomplishments after his family and his service in the U.S. Navy and to his country. I remain honored to have met Charles before his passing and thankful for all he did to serve the hobby. His legacy will live on at the APRL thanks to the generous contributions of his research and writing.
     Farewell, Charles!

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