I hope that this newsletter finds you all happy and healthy so far in this New Year. 2008 was a year of extreme highs and lows, i.e., gas & oil prices, the stock market, and the sale and installation of solid fuel appliances, but before we look forward to 2009, let's take a look back at 2008 for a moment.
Early in the year we had one of the most profitable NortheastRegional Conventions in Mystic, CT. Due to several business factors, the committee chose to disband, however this convention netted our Guild $14,639.00. Soon after, we lost a fellow sweep in New York, Shawn Simboli, in a horrible snowmobile accident. Soon spring broke and as we all scrambled to get our businesses back up and running, the summer brought us Sweepsfest in NH, and theNew York Summer Workshop. It was at this workshop that we celebrated the life of Shawn as well as others who had passed in our lives. Although somber at times, and wet as usual, a great time was had by all, especially those of us that took part in the motorcycle trips that were planned by Tom Biscoe, Paul Deveny and Greg Polakow. Summer was also when Mike Elliott suffered serious injuries in a bicycle accident, and as you all know, we had a "Sweep One for Mike" campaign. This allowed us to send a check to the Elliotts for $2,500.00. Mike eventually recovered from his injuries well enough to go to Washington, DC to "Sweep the White House" and we couldn't have been happier for him.
It wasn't very long after that, that we saw gas prices reach over $4.00 a gallon and heating oil there as well. Due to this, the sale of pellet and wood stoves sky rocketed and so did the stove installations. But as soon as those prices went down, so did the phone calls, however based on the rest of the economy these days, I can't complain.
The Guild sponsored a Thermocrete seminar in July, and as you can see by Billy Sweet's report, we plan on having a great deal of seminars in2009, so look for that information soon.
Last, but not least, we had our annual Holiday Party at the Radisson Hotel in Hyannis. Once again, I found the accommodations, the food, and those who attended made for one heck of a weekend for Dan and I. I'd like to thank the Sootprints once again for playing for us that night as well as the generosity of those who took part in our auction which netted the Guild close to $2,500.00. If you do business with any of the distributors that donated to the auction, please thank them the next time you place an order. I have sent out "thank you" certificates, but a little extra thank you never hurts!
I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that brings my 2008 wrap up to and end. Now, what to look forward to in 2009. Well, for immediate starters, I looking forward to the snow to stop! Although a little snow in the winter is nice, I think Mother Nature has taken it a little too far already.
Dan and I plan on attending the National Chimney Sweep Guild Convention in Winston-Salem, NC at the end of February. I will be attending as Guild President, and Dan is attending as a band member. The Sootprints were hired to play at the banquet, as well as a social function and we're really excited about going down. I'm hoping to be able to see John & Lisa Prodreca who "migrated" down there a few years ago from Mattapoisett.
In March, we will be having the last General Membership meeting before the elections in June. As I have indicated previously, it is imperative that you take a good look at what you can do for the Guild, not what it can do for you. You cannot have one without the other. This Guild does not run by itself and if you could find it in yourself to donate a few hours 5 or 6 times a year to keep building this Guild and its potential, then I guarantee you will not be disappointed. We are currently looking for people to run for President, Treasurer, and 3 Board seats. If you would like to be nominated, but cannot attend the March meeting, just contact any Board of Director, Officer or myself and we'd be more than happy to do it for you, but please take the nomination seriously and if you take a position, please be ready to serve.
Well, that's it for now. I'll be writing up only one more report before my term as President ends, so I'm going to keep my self positive and hope that the last report is full of wonderful things that have happened to the Guild, this industry and hopefully for the entire economy.
My best for a healthy and Happy New Year