By Sarah Linney
Happy New Year! I trust everyone survived Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, and New Years safely and with just the right mix of merriment, relatives and friends. Then there were all the Christmas Bird Counts--I think I'm doing four this year. Whew!
The November passing of Rich Paul, Audubon Warden extraordinaire, has sent ripples through the Audubon community and the many others that knew him. I have met both Rich and his wife Ann but did not know them very well. Just well enough to sense that you could count on them if you ever got in a bind. They both have been avid supporters of our birding festival, and Jason, our co-VP, has been working with the Pauls for our Project Colony Watch program.
A Rich Paul Memorial Fund has been established to support ongoing research and activities in the areas where Rich worked. On behalf of this Chapter, the board members have sent a donation to the fund in the amount of $220*, with the request that some of the money be used to buy a native tree to plant in Rich's memory. This fund will perpetuate the legacy that Rich has left for all of us. Jason found a website that has a number of reflective comments about Rich from friends and colleagues, most of whom were both: http://members.dslextreme.com/users/pdesimone/richpaul.htm. It's worth the time to read through these even if you didn't know Rich Paul personally.
But what is happening here, you want to know?! I am pleased to announce that our traditional Spaghetti Dinner is back! Thank you to Carroll Holland and Bob Brown for setting the date for February 26th. Tickets will be available at the next meeting.
We will be hosting our first bird-a-thon on March 18th from 6AM-noon, so start thinking of some teammates! This will be a fundraising event as well. Thanks Jason for putting this together!
We are getting ever closer to donating a purple martin house to be set up at the Canaveral Locks, at their request. Many thanks to our co-VP Jim Meyer for keeping on top of this little project.
If any of you reading this like to keep up with environmental issues happening in the county, the board is in desperate need of your help. Laurilee has been a great asset to us; but her schedule is stretched to the limit, and she cannot always attend our monthly meetings to keep us up to date. Please contact me, or any board member, if you are interested. Also would like to establish an Auction committee to organize donations, please contact Jason for more info.
*If you would like to send a gift as well, make sure to indicate that it is in memory of Rich Paul and send to Audubon of Florida, 444 Brickell Ave. Suite 850, Miami, FL 33131-2403.