Our Annual Spring Council again tops the lists of items in this month’s update. The Spring Council will be held in Chicago from 7-10 April 2005 with the 7th and the 10th being travel days. Business will be conducted on the 8th and 9th of April. Please call now to reserve your rooms. Chicago has blocked out 50 Rooms at the Hyatt Regency (312) 567-1234 or 800-233-1234, for the spring council meeting. Rooms cost is $109 per night plus appropriate taxes. Point of contact is Chapter Vice President MSgt Retired Racine Wilson at 312-217-4162. Be sure to mention that you are part of the Montford Point Marine Association. If you are a retiree, ask for the military or government rate.
Chapter Presidents, Regional Vice Presidents and select National Officers are expected to submit reports of their activities detailing any monies spent. If you are not attending, please ensure your reports are forwarded prior to the Council. Please bring enough copies for the National Executive Council (about 40 copies).
Also, chapters are reminded to provide a detailed chapter list to our National Recording Secretary, Regina Lawrence. Regina works diligently on the National Roster, but she can only put out what we give her. Please make the effort to give her an accurate roster prior to the Spring Council. Regina may be reached at: email@example.com or 804-763-3592.
All National Award recommendations are due at the Spring Council. The Awards Chairperson, Nathaniel Hosea, recently sent award criteria to all Chapter Presidents. Please coordinate with your Chapter President the submittal of all award recommendations.
BROOKS GRAY BUILDING DEDICATION
The dedication of the “Brooks Elbert Gray Jr. Consolidated Academic Instructional Facility” will be Friday, April 15th at 10:00 AM aboard Camp Johnson (Montford Point) North Carolina. The recommended hotel is the Hampton Inn, 474 Western Blvd, Jacksonville, NC 28546 (910) 347-6500. Rooms are $69.00 plus tax. Please contact our National President, Nathaniel James at 910-455-5393 for additional information.
February was African American History month and a number of chapters participated in local and National Events that helped promote the history of Montford Point. I had the honor to sit on a panel at the Baltimore Social Security Office on February 17th and every give-away article I had was swept up by the persons in attendance.
Additionally, I had the great pleasure to travel to Quantico for their Black History Month Program on 26 February. In attendance was Past National President, Sam Saxton and a contingent of folks from the Connecticut Area to include Original Montford Pointers Howard Hunter and Leroy Pitman, members Deacon “Doc” Michael Szumigalea and Paul K. Young (SSgt & Vietnam vet). All are new members and wore the appropriate MPMA Uniform and looked quite impressive at the event. I made a presentation on behalf of the Association to the guest speaker of one of our Coins and various publications listing the history of Montford Point. Special thanks to retired Master Sergeant Bill Jones, who always includes MPMA in this event! Quantico Black History Month Committee member, MPMA member and 2004 James Calendar award recipient Master Sergeant Donna Coursey was also in attendance with various members of DC Chapter #6. When the Montford Pointers were announced, they received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd. Thanks to all who ensured that Montford Point was included in this event!!!
Special Thanks to Marine Lance Corporal Shaahn Williams, a Public Affairs Marine with the Quantico Sentry. Shaaha wrote a series of articles about Montford Point and the Association during the month of February. Carolyn Ferren contributed greatly to these articles. Carolyn is the daughter of a Montford Pointers and has for years has had a website detailing not only her Dad’s experiences but good information about Montford Point before we had any National or local websites. Thanks Carolyn and Shanna!!!!
Visit Carolyn’s site at http://www.geocities.com/nubiansong/woods.htm .
Looking for Heroes: Frank Carroll, Chairman Korean War Memorial Committee in Worcester, MA, is looking for African American Veterans of the Korean War and Wars and conflict since. Frank is attempting to include these forgotten Americans in their Memorial and possibly other media events in the near future. Please contact Frank directly at 800-343-0939 ext 110 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not be shy about calling. Frank has the support of some very influential individuals that can help give a much deserved recognition to these veterans.
Commemorative Coins: The third and final coin of our trilogy of commemorative coins has arrived!!! Coins depict the 40th anniversary of our Association and are brilliant in color on both sides. Coins are only $8.00 and may be purchased from the National Quartermaster, Elijah Abram. Mr. Abram may be reached at email@example.com or 843-838-5475. Special note that some chapters have purchased coins for resale and may charge a slightly higher price in efforts to raise funds for their operating expenses. Coins make an impressive gift for new members. Special thanks to former National Public Relations Officer, Master Gunnery Sergeant Gilbert Taylor, for the design and ordering of our Commemorative Coins!!!
Queens Contest.: Chapters should have received their compliment of Queens Raffle Tickets to sell by now. The Queens Contest is our premier National Fundraiser. Besides raising money for our National Scholarship commitment and to help with operating costs, this fundraiser should be viewed as an excellent opportunity to raise money and awareness of our individual chapters. Chapters are required to raise a minimum of $500.00 each to remain financial with the National Office. Chapters that are not financial will not have any voting privileges at the National Spring Council or National Convention. Tickets are $1.00 each for a grand prize of $2500.00 cash with 2d place receiving $500.00 and 3rd place getting $300.00. Please see your chapter representative for tickets.
Convention Chicago 2005: The dates for our 40th Annual Convention are 13-17 July 2005 with the 13th and the 17th being travel days. Chicago is hard at work to make our 40th Convention a memorable event! Registration packages have been sent out to Chapters detailing the events and cost. This year Chicago is offering a discount for those who purchase packages for the events in the amount of $25.00. Also members will be allowed for the first time to purchase tickets by phone utilizing their credit cards. Please contact John Vanoy at 773-487-1922 or at the Chicago Clubhouse at 773-873-6600. Also, Chicago has set up a website at www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org to help communicate the latest convention information. Please visit this site for the very latest on Convention ’05. We’ll see you in Chi for 05!
Convention Journal: The Convention Journal serves as a great reminder of the convention and Chicago is now taking orders for ads in the Convention. Please see your Chapter representative for the proper forms and prices or contact Rochelle Crump at the Chicago Chapter at 773-581-6540. Deadline for submissions is June 19th 2005. Please get your ads in early!
We are still searching for a Chapter or Chapters to host Convention 2006. If you are interested, please contact the National President or myself as soon as possible.
Scholarships: Past National President and National Scholarship Director, Gene Doughty, is now accepting Scholarship Applications for Academic year 2005-2006. Chapter Presidents have received the information. Deadline for submittal is 30 April 2005. For Criteria and more information contact Gene at 718-882-1251.
New York Chapter Newsletter: The New York Metro Chapter publishes a very informative newsletter that includes Senior Citizen information. Chapters are encouraged to follow their lead with information from this newsletter and from the websites below to keep their members informed. Kudos to the NY Metro Chapter for not only their newsletter but for their website!!
Please continue to check the following websites for more information concerning the Montford Point Marine Association; www.montfordpointmarines.com www.mpma28.com http://www.mpmanyc.com www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org and www.geocities.com/nubiansong/montford.htm
We not only ask that you visit these sites, but please take just a few minutes to make comments on the guestbook. All folks involved in maintaining these sites do so on a volunteer basis and a note of encouragement goes a long way in continuing to motivate these dedicated individuals Many thanks to those who send emails and letters informing me of MPMA events. Please continue to feed me information so that I can inform the masses. Please do not forget to also inform our National Public Relations Officer, Master Sergeant Carmen Cordoba, of events also. Carmen may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-497-3598.
Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the Legacy of our heroes!