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Commitment Drives Successful Show

Volunteers Ed and Judy Jarvis Honored
for Their Hard Work at Westpex


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     I ndustrialist Andrew Carnegie offered this insight, “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.” Although Carnegie drove the expansion of the steel industry in the United States, he is remembered for his philanthropy — giving away $350 million of his personal wealth in the last 18 years of his life. In today’s dollars, that would be an amazing $79 billion. His spirit of selflessness and views on leadership came to mind when I learned that Ed Jarvis was stepping down after 16 years as chairman of the Westpex Show Committee.

     For those who have been to Westpex, you’ve experienced one of the finest stamp shows the hobby offers. Complete with a great visual of the San Francisco Bay and the airport, the show is in Burlingame, just south of San Francisco. It’s a three-day show that is part of the World Series of Philately, with the exhibiting grand champion going on to compete in the American Philatelic Society’s Champion of Champions. In April, Jan Hofmeyr took the grand with his exhibit, “The 3-cent Washington and its Centrality to USPO Fraud-prevention and Cost-cutting Efforts: 1861–69.”

     There are many fine elements to the show, including its long-standing relationship with local schools that bring young faces to tour the show every Friday. The Westpex banquet is light with the evening’s entertainment led by Daryl Reiber, known for his colorful style and special Westpex awards presentations. This year, Westpex also hosted a two-day APS On-the-Road course, “Western Expansion: As Illustrated through Postal History,” moderated by John Birkinbine, and with presentations by internationally recognized researchers and exhibitors.

     If you talk to Ed, he will tell you the strength of the show is the large group of volunteers dedicated to organizing and supporting Westpex. It is true, you will see the energetic group of volunteers all wearing matching T-shirts, working hard at every event and assisting attendees with a smile. That doesn’t happen by accident and although Ed doesn’t ask for credit, his leadership has been integral in the success of the show.

     With Ed comes his lovely wife, Judy, who takes on the Westpex banquet every year. She and Ed have committed countless hours to the show over the years and it shows in the care they take in Westpex and its volunteers. Judy will also retire this year and she and Ed have planned for a well-deserved break. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. Both Ed and Judy have been awarded the Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Award by the APS Board of Directors this year. It’s been a pleasure getting to know Ed and Judy and see firsthand how they’ve helped the hobby. Thank you!

Connecting History through Stamps

     Recently, we were introduced to the Holocaust Stamps Project at the Foxborough Regional Charter School in Foxboro, Massachusetts. FRCS is a charter school in the Boston area with more than 1,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. The project, now in its eighth year, has a goal of collecting 11 million stamps, one for each victim of the Holocaust. With the stamps, FCRS pupils have developed art projects teaching different lessons about the Holocaust, including censorship by the Nazi government and international remembrance projects by Holocaust survivors. The school supports the project with volunteers, stamp donations, and fundraisers, including sales of the student artwork.

     The project was the vision of Charlotte Sheer, an educator who saw the value in teaching through stamps. Although Charlotte has since retired, she is still one of the program’s most active volunteers. Today, Jamie Droste is the project director for the program. Both Jamie and Charlotte were recently honored with the Leadership in Holocaust Education award from the Greater Boston Jewish Community Relations Council.

     In conjunction with my trip to the Philatelic Show, I offered to bring a donation on behalf of the APS membership. The total delivery was 17 boxes of stamps totaling at least 500,000 stamps loaded in the APS van.

     Jamie and Charlotte were wonderful hosts during my visit to the school. I was able to see the various student art projects focusing on different topics, from music to civil rights. Not only was the art impressive, but so was the care involved in selecting stamps as part of the message. Stacks of boxes holding 9 million stamps, trimmed and sorted by volunteers, were stored in the school’s library. I was able to meet two students who started with the program when they were in the fifth grade and now, as seniors, are planning the next chapter of their lives. Although we don’t have them as stamp collectors today, both believed they would return to stamps after the chaos of college and careers subside.

     Jamie and Charlotte extend a big thanks to all the APS members for supporting this great education project. With our efforts, we have them close to 10 million stamps. Charlotte is hoping to get stamps from all 50 states and, as of this writing, they still need donations from Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, West Virginia, and Wyoming. For more information, you can visit foxboroughrcs.org/students-families/frcs-holocaust-stamp-project.

Strengthening Our Grassroots

     Last month, I wrote about the society’s efforts to reach out and find collectors that were actively collecting, but not part of organized philately. This is just one element in our effort to grow and recruit. One of the most important ways to bring new members into the APS is through the 480 local APS chapters. According to our most recent reports, roughly 50 percent of club members, or 8,500 collectors, do not belong to the APS. Chapters with more than one-third of their members belonging to the APS qualify for free chapter dues. In concert with the Membership Committee and the APS Ambassadors, we have developed another incentive for chapters to actively recruit for the APS. The APS Chapters of Excellence and the Chapter Champions.

     Chapters of Excellence. All current APS chapters that: maintained or increased chapter membership in the previous year; submited on-time consecutive annual reports, including a complete member list; qualifies for free dues; communicated with chapter members through electronic and/or hard-copy newsletters at least four times per year; and have a website linking to the APS website.

     Chapters are categorized based on the number of chapter members: Small (up to 24 members); Medium (25-to-49 members); and Large (50-or-more members). Chapters of Excellence will receive recognition as a Chapter of Excellence and a specially designed logo for use on their website and promoting the club. These chapters will also be eligible for the Chapter Champion.

     Chapter Champions. An award of $200 will be presented to one chapter in each group size based on the net growth of APS membership from the Chapters of Excellence. APS Chapter Champions winners must wait three years to be considered for this award again.

     We will be promoting this award throughout 2017 and awarding the first Chapter Awards in 2018 after the annual chapter reports are completed. All chapters remain eligible for the free dues and the $5 recruitment award for recruiting a new APS member.

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