Minutes of the Avon Historical Society, 3-5-01

In the absence of President Mike Wolfe, Vice-President Jack Smith opened the March 5, 2001, meeting of the Avon Historical Society at 7:00 p.m.

As a first order of business he asked the secretary to read the minutes from the last meeting. The minutes were read and a motion was made by Pat Furnas and seconded by Dr. Fischer to approve the minutes as read.

The vice-president then asked for the treasurer's report. In the absence of treasurer, Barbara Wolfe, Jean Fischer reported that the January, 2001, balance was $451.93. Dr. Fischer was reimbursed $38.59 for expenses for the Christmas party, leaving a balance of $413.34.

In addition a deposit of $35.00 was received from Rose Mitock for the sale of a painting leaving a current balance of $448.34. Barbara Wolfe is out of town and the treasurer's report was not available for this month's meeting. Jean Fischer will report next month if the treasurer is not available.

Further reporting, Jean reminded the club that it had been our intent to donate $60.00 in memory of Jack Kearney to go along with the $65.00 from his relatives and to donate the Avon video tapes to the Avon Local Schools as a memorial gift in his name. Apparently June Kearney has already purchased the tapes and given them to the schools - saying that they were from the Avon Historical Society.

Jean further stated that she enlisted the help of Charlotte at the Avon Library to see if there was anything they the library could use that we could donate with these funds. She stated that they were in need of a large, unabridged dictionary. Upon a motion by Bill Furnas, and a second by Dan McGhee there was a unanimous vote of the members present to purchase such a dictionary for the library.

Moving on to old business Mr. Smith asked Jim Szippl who served on the date committee for the Dr. Norton Towndshend celebration to announce the date they had selected -- Sunday, May 6, 2001.

Dr. Fischer then stated that he has already contacted Avon Police Chief John Vilagi to give him advance notice of this event so that he could adequately prepare for the large influx of out-of-towners that would expected that day. John asked that he be reminded 2 weeks in advance of the event so that he may make final preparations also to handle the traffic and crowd.

As the next order of business the vice-president asked Nancy McGhee to lead a discussion on an outline she had prepared which brought up many questions and suggestions that needed to be decided upon for the upcoming dedication.

As stated at an earlier meeting, it was decided to use the Avon Middle School on Stoney Ridge Road as an alternate site in the event of rain. Jack Smith volunteered to go through the proper channels with the local schools board or superintendent or whomever to get permission to use the school.

As more ideas and suggestions were brought up concerning the dedication ceremony Jean Fischer stated that she had intentionally not scheduled a speaker or program for the April 2nd meeting as we will need that time to have a working meeting to conclude final details for the dedication.

Dr. Fischer then displayed some sample programs from other dedication ceremonies for use by our committee in preparing our handouts. It as decided that we should include the language on the plaque somewhere in the program. Dr. Fischer also reminded the committee that the Ohio Bicentennial Commission seal and the Ohio Historical Society Emblem must be displayed somewhere on the program.

A short discussion then following regarding the color scheme and decorations. It was decided to stick to a spring color theme, green, yellow and white with fresh spring flowers from our gardens.

It was further decided to keep the dedication ceremonies to no more than an hour at most. It would begin at 2:00 p.m. and conclude with refreshments in the Old Town Hall.

A suggestion was made to invite the Avon VFW color guard to participate as well as the local boy scout, girl scout, cub scout and brownie groups to participate in the pledge of allegiance.

Depending on the response we receive from invited dignitaries, the speaking time will be divided up accordingly. We need to designate a representative from the Avon Historical Society to be the unofficial master of ceremonies to introduce the distinguished guests, etc., Jean Fisher was unanimously nominated - but she will let us know her decision after she thinks about it.

Another item to deal with is a PA system with microphone to be heard over the traffic noise. It was suggested that St. Mary's has a portable unit that we might be able to borrow. It will have to be tested to see that it is powerful enough to overcome the noise level. If not, we can rent from A to Z rental to meet our needs. Nancy and Theresa will also approach Fr. Cleaton regarding using St. Mary's parking lot that day.

It was agreed that at the reception following in the Old Town Hall we would serve coffee, tea, punch and finger desserts. All members of the club will be asked to bake. We are dealing totally in the dark as to estimating the number of people who might attend so it may be better to prepare for a huge crowd.

Nancy has a list of county officials that we will work from to invite. Many others to be invited include local clergy, past presidents of the club, all other Lorain County historical societies, representatives of any and all clubs in Avon as well as the general public via newspaper advertisements.

Dr. Fischer will provide a list of the names of the 5 members of the Bicentennial Commission that we also need to invite. The vice-president than stated that in view of the mass mailing that we are talking about, he would like a motion to advance $50.00 to Nancy McGhee for postage and supplies. A motion was made by Jean Fischer and seconded by Bill Furnas to advance $50.00 which motion was unanimously carried.

The discussion continued regarding the types of letters to be sent and it was agreed to send a generic, standard letter to most organizations with special personalized letters to special invited dignitaries such as Sherrod Brown and the Bicentennial members. We will ask the selected dignitaries to speak in a second follow up letter after we know they are coming. Theresa Szippl will attempt to scan the letterhead at work. We may also redesign our current letterhead.

Mr. Smith then reported that he and Dr. Fischer had attended a Bicentennial meeting last week. He brought back 7 general ideas that we might think about regarding the upcoming Bicentennial celebration: migration - density; rivers - lakes, and transportation; industry; people; agriculture; buildings and areas; and education.

He next presented a nomination for Woman of Ohio - Dorothy Gauchat who was the founder of Our Lady of the Wayside and the other homes that followed. He passed out a very informative, interesting summary of her life. A motion was made by Nancy McGhee and seconded by Jim Szippl to submit Dorothy Gauchat as our nominee for the award.

Bill Furnas next reported that 2 or 3 weeks ago he once again presented the Avon video at the Northgate Community Center - this time to the Avon Junior Women's Club. He also sold another copy of the tape. He further noticed that some of the tapes had a flaw in them and so he will run all of them and dispose of the defective tapes. Next week he will present the program at the Kiwanis meting.

There being no further business to conduct, upon a motion by Bill Furnas and seconded by Theresa Szippl, the meeting was adjourned.

Jean Fischer then presented a slide presentation of D.A.R. Quilts that was enjoyed by all.

Respectfully submitted, Nancy McGhee, Secretary

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