A United Hobby Delivers Results
We just completed the final day of the 2023 Great American Stamp Show in Cleveland, Ohio. Collectors worldwide are returning with new items for their collections, saying goodbye to new and old friends energized by our annual summer show. The APS Team is returning to Bellefonte, unpacking boxes, and taking a well-deserved break. By all accounts, the show was a great success. It does not happen by accident, and there are so many people to thank for helping to make GASS a premier stamp show.
Thank you to the City of Cleveland for warmly welcoming and supporting the collecting community. Mayor Justin Bibb declared Thursday, August 10, 2023, Stamp Collecting Day in Cleveland and welcomed all those attending GASS. Zack Reed, Business Development Administrator in the Mayor’s Office, joined us to present the proclamation on Thursday morning.
We are grateful to the Cleveland-area stamp clubs, especially the members of the Garfield-Perry Stamp Club, for working so hard to make the show memorable. I’d like to single out Dennis Sadowski, who worked with local media to promote the show, getting news stories placed in print, radio, and television, and Rocco Caponi, who traveled the show circuit to get collectors, dealers, and anyone who would listen to participate in the show.
Thanks to the United States Postal Service for again serving as the show's primary sponsor and hosting two great first-day ceremonies for “Life Magnified” and “Thinking of You.” Posta Faroe brought world-renowned stamp engraver Martin Mörck to highlight his 1,000th stamp design and Posta Faroe’s 1,000th stamp issue. Mr. Mörck signed autographs for his large and growing fan base throughout the show. The Marshall Islands teamed up with Linn’s Stamp News to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the George Linn and the first pre-printed, cacheted first-day cover. Boston 2026 organizers presented the third label in its series, “The Road to Boston 2026,” presenting a Chris Calle design honoring Samuel Adams to promote our next international stamp show in 2026. The United Nations Postal Administration issued its series on “Body, Mind, Soul” to preview the upcoming UNEXPO exhibition, which will be held at the American Philatelic Center on October 20-21, 2023. Finally, David Gill, Rattlesnake Island Local Post's postmaster, and stamp artist Beth Gregorson previewed the upcoming Rattlesnake Island Local Post issue commemorating the Battle of Lake Erie.
Thank you to all the volunteers who spent countless hours welcoming attendees to the show, working the bustling youth area, putting up exhibits, and helping with activities to make the show enjoyable for everyone attending. It is only possible to do this with the hundreds of volunteers who give so much of their time at the show.
Thank you to the American Topical Association and American First Day Cover Society for partnering with us again this year on the Great American Stamp Show. Since 2018, we’ve co-hosted shows around the country, and each organization brings great strengths to the show. A particular thank you to Dawn Hamman, President of the ATA, Jennifer Miller, Executive Director, and John Hamman, ATA Show Coordinator, who go the extra mile year-round to work with us to make the ATA a significant presence at the show. Thank you to Lloyd de Vries, AFDCS President, and Foster Miller, AFDCS Show Coordinator, for their support in making our first-day collectors a great part of the show. Congratulations again to Lloyd for receiving the prestigious John N. Luff Award for Exceptional Contributions to Philately.
Thank you to the dealers who participated in the show. I spoke to most dealers personally throughout the weekend, and without exception, they all had a great show. The crowds kept them busy for most of the show. Even on Sunday, when things were quieter, many dealers were still serving customers up until the end.
Thank you to the members of the Royal Philatelic Society London who contributed to the impressive Court of Honor of rare material of the United Kingdom. The exhibition was well-received and was a popular spot for show attendees. Special thanks to past RPSL president Peter Cockburn and his wife Judy for escorting the material (weighing almost 90 pounds exhibiting material) from London to Cleveland. We are working to bring a similar Court of Honor to our 2025 show in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Thank you to the APS membership, who participated in supporting the show in so many different ways. For those of you who traveled to the show, we hope you have great memories. We’d love to hear your stamp show memories, so please share those at [email protected] so we can share those with the whole community.
Thank you to all the supporters and attendees of the annual Stamp Soiree fundraising dinner. This year, the event was held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and all attendees enjoyed a journey back in time to their favorite musical acts. To date, we’ve raised more than $100,000, and the proceeds will support the Joint Capital Fund to replace a portion of the roof on the Match Factory. This year’s event is the most successful fundraising dinner in the history of the APS and is a great start to meeting the $400,000 needed to finance the project in 2024.
Finally, thank you to the incredible APS staff for organizing the event and engaging the APS members throughout the show. Special thanks to Wendy Masorti, Director of Membership and Shows, and Sarah Myers, Membership and Shows Assistant, for their tireless efforts to attend to every detail, large and small, to make the event a big success. Thanks also to the APS staff who remained in Bellefonte to ensure APS members continue to receive excellent service and take on those extra duties while the rest of the team is on the road.
The planning for the 2024 Great American Stamp Show in Hartford, Connecticut, begins very soon. I will visit clubs in Connecticut and other parts of New England in September to solicit on-the-ground support, update members on the APS and APRL, and hopefully add some new members to our Society.
We’ll share more news and information from the 2023 Great American Stamp Show over the week ahead.