Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Newsletter
“Preserving the Legacy”
Fellow members, supporters and friends,
2008 Spring Council Preparation for our Spring Council tops the list of news for this edition of our Newsletter. The Spring Council is for members of the National Executive Council which included the National Officers, Chapter Presidents and former National Presidents. All members of the Association may attend this meeting. My first Spring Council 10 years ago really helped to give me an insight as to how our Association works. Both the Spring Council and our National Convention will be held at the Downtown Houston Regency Hotel. Spring Council Dates are 17-20 April with the 17th and 20th being travel Days. If you are attending please make your reservations now. The number to the Hyatt is 713-654-1234. Please do not forget to ask for the Montford Point Rate.
Changes to the National By-laws: Changes to our National by Laws are done by resolution only. Request for changes should be in resolution format and submitted to the Chair of the Resolutions Committee, Alexandria Johnson at least 60 days prior to our National Convention. Alexandria may be contacted at: Alexandria Johnson Resolutions Chair MPMA 13 Freemont Turn Palm Coast, FL 32137-8416
Awards:Nominations for Association Awards are due no later than the first day of our Spring Council (18 April 2008). Please refer to our by-laws for the details of these awards. As always, our Awards Committee Chair and Western Regional Vice President, Nathaniel Hosea, sent packages to Chapter Presidents in late January detailing these awards. Award recommendations can come from any member but we prefer to receive them from Chapter Presidents or Regional Vice Presidents. There will be example Award Submissions for the Hall-of-Fame in this year’s package. Those members who are considered but not selected for the Hall of Fame will automatically be considered for another award. Our Award Committee consists of the Chair, National Vice President, Regional Vice Presidents and one Past National President as an advisor. For more information about awards, please contact Nathaniel Hosea at 714-537-3112.
MPMA Convention 2009: It’s never too early to start planning to host a convention. If you are interested please let our National Convention Director Nat James or the National Vice President Mike Johnson know. We are rapidly reaching the critical stage for planning. If you are planning on submitting a proposal for Convention 2009, please let me know immediately.
National News: The Month of February was an extremely active month for the Association both on a local and national perspective. Many members attended multiple events during the month. Both your National Vice President Mike Johnson and I attended the St Louis Chosen Few Banquet and the related events in St Louis. We forged a partnership with the St Louis Soldiers Memorial and we want to establish a semi permanent display at this magnificent building located just across from city hall. We are calling on members, specifically those in the Midwest, to donate Montford Point items to this memorial. Items can be donated through our Central Regional Vice President, Anthony Chestang. This in no way will take away from articles from our own Museum but will work in concert. The Mayor of St Louis, Francis G. Slay, presented the St Louis Chapter with a proclamation establishing Montford Point week in the City of St Louis. We also received a proclamination from US Representative William Lacy Clay acknowledging the pioneering work of the Montford Pointers. Although we lost a very prominent St. Louis Chapter member in Bill Washington right before this event, his spirit was with us every day. The US Senate Chaplain, retired Admiral Barry Black, was the guest speaker and, as always, Admiral Black delivered a inspirational speech about the Montford Pointers and stayed around for a least an hour after the event signing copies of his book: “From the Hood to the Hill” that depicts his rise from Baltimore “hood” to the hallowed chambers of the US Senate.
http://www.amazon.com/Hood-Hill-Story-Overcoming/dp/0785218815 There was also a contingent from Chicago that included Original Montford Pointers and Hall of Fame members Harry Hamilton, Wendell Ferguson and John Vanoy as well as the Chicago Chapter Ladies Auxiliary President and former National Queen Mrs. Valerie Neal. From Detroit we had the Chapter President Sylvia Riley and Original Montford Point and Hall-of-Fame member George Taylor. National Treasurer Charles Stallard was also in attendance with his wife Jane. Special thanks to Regional Vice President Chestang for taking very special care of me from my arrival to departure!
I also attended a very special Banquet at Morgan State University that honored Past National President Jerome Milburn. Maryland Chapter #17 President William Foreman was in attendance with about 8 chapter members to include five original Montford Pointers. NY Chapter member Joe Davis also made the drive from NYC to see our former National President receive some much deserved honors. PNP Milburn received a host of honors from the Governor of Maryland to the Special President’s Certificate I awarded him. PNP Milburn also assisted in handing out many honors throughout the evening and is much deserving of this fantastic night in his honor!
Philadelphia Chapter Vice President Charles Clarke and I manned a table at the Philadelphia Black History showcase on February 17th at the Philadelphia Convention Center which we had literally thousands of individuals stop by our table and gather information. I had to make a trip home to bring in more information because everything we initially brought was gone by noon. We made numerous contacts at this event and managed to get one membership and to sell items for the National Quartermaster.
I closed out the month by attending the Quantico Black History month program at the Fredericksburg Convention Center. There we had a table display for the 700 plus in attendance. The Quantico Chapter President Kenny Crutcher, and our National Public Relations Officer, Eric Lindsay, were in attendance as well as about 8 Quantico members. Sadly, long time member retired Master Sergeant Donna Coursey lost her dad right after the event. Donna had visited with her Dad before the event at the hospital and was returning for another visit after the event when her Dad passed. Besides being a long time member of the DC-6 Chapter, Donna also plays an active role in the Quantico Black History month event. Our prayers go out to you Donna. Finally a very special thank you to the Quantico Black History Month Committee Chair, retired Master Sergeant William “Bill” Jones, who always ensures the Montford Pointers are well taken care of at this event!
New Chapters:I am extremely proud to announce that Cherry Point Chapter #36 stood up on Thursday 13 March 2008! Our Southern Regional Vice President, James Averhart and many others, worked extremely hard to finally bring a chapter to the Cherry Point Area. We have fourteen members sign a new charter and write checks to the Association. Gunnery Sergeant Jason Mathis will be appointed as the interim Chapter President of Cherry Point #36. Well done to all who had a hand in getting a Chapter near the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point!
We are thankful that Atlanta is once again back in the fold of the Association. Atlanta #5 officially is back with retired Gunnery Sergeant Linda Sykes as the interim Chapter President. On March 15th Linda and her husband retired Master Sergeant Glen Sykes, held an initial meeting and had fourteen new members sign their new charter as well as checks to the Association! We all remember the great convention that was held in Atlanta under the leadership of Past Chapter President Chris Primose. We are hoping for a National Event in Atlanta soon.
The Southern Regional Meeting will be held 28-29 March in Jacksonville, North Carolina. I plan on being in attendance to formally award charters and letters of appointment to these two chapters.
Chapter Happenings: New York Metro: Our very own Northern Regional Vice and New York Chapter President James Carr, serves as the Vice President of Operations for the New York City Leatherneck Scholarship Ball which will be held on Friday April 18th 2008 at the NY Hilton. I know many of us will be at the Spring Council during this period, however this is a huge event and we are lucky to have James as an integral part of this event.
San Diego Chapter #12; Chapter President Charlie Lewis along with three Original Montford Pointers Carrel Reavis, Willie Marbrey and John Inge) attended a National Retired Federal Employees meeting where Charlie is the 1st Vice President and Charlie showed our Documentary Film. Charlie also set up a display to spread information about Montford Point. San Diego, like many chapters, had an extremely busy month of February and he and his members attended more events than I can list here. What is important is that many of us belong to other Veteran Organizations and we need to establish reciprocity with these organizations so that we can both reach our organizational goals. Thanks Charlie for always putting MPMA out front!
Indianapolis: Will hold their Annual Luncheon on Saturday, 17 May at the American Legion on Martin Luther King Drive. Tickets for this event are $8.00 and may be purchased from the Chapter President, Sergeant Major Johnny Washington. The Sergeant Major can be reached at 317-549-2849.
Louisville Chapter #22: had to postpone their 4th Annual Covington-Hagan Scholarship Banquet on Saturday, March 8th because of the sudden snow storm that came through that area. This event has been rescheduled for Friday, April 11th. Ticket price is $50.00 per person. Point of contact for tickets and additional information is Chapter President Charles Stallard at 502-231-0132 (H) 502-550-2423 (C) or email email@example.com. I will be the guest speaker at this event.
Queens Contest: By now many chapters are in full swing with the raffle ticket sales for our National Fundraiser. For those who are not familiar, the Queens Contest is our only National Fundraiser to help with our scholarship efforts and operational costs. Tickets sell for $1.00 each or $25.00 for a book. Chapters are required to sell a minimum of $500.00 worth of tickets to remain in good financial standing with the Association. The Chapter Queen that sells the most tickets is crowned National Queen at our convention. In speaking to our National Special Projects Officer George Herring, he reports that the highest gross amount we have ever raised was 34K. I have established a goal of 40K for this year. There is no doubt we can reach this goal. Many of you have asked me over the past year what you can do to assist in our efforts to gain national attention for the Montford Pointers. My answer is to buy raffle tickets!!! These tickets sales also offset some of the travel I must do to ensure America finally hears the complete story about Montford Point. I cannot communicate this story to the masses by sitting in my home in Pennsylvania. I must travel to these events to get that word out. In the past I have offered to fill out the stubs for those who purchase tickets from me. I first want those chapter members to purchase tickets from your chapter representative, however if you are a member at large or a supporter, I’m asking you to write a check for $50.00 or $100.00 to the Association for Queens Tickets and I will personally make up address labels for you. Again this is what you can do to help the Association offset the many events that I must attend to keep our momentum going. Please take time and write your check today! George is once again asking that chapters submit their monthly reports and to send him your reports and checks by 1 July. Chapter representatives are requested to bring their final report and all stubs to the National Convention in Houston.
Chapter Newsletters and Websites: I continue to be impressed by the number of chapters who now have chapter newsletters. I know that the New York, DC-6, Camp Lejeune Chapter and the Quantico Chapter all put out newsletters that covers both national and local news. Please continue to copy me on these newsletters. Our website has seen over 7500 “hits” over the past three months with many of these “hits” coming from new supporters. Master Gunnery Sergeant Gilbert Taylor continues to update this site on a regular basis as do the Camp Lejeune, Maryland 28 and NY Chapter webmasters. Maintaining these sites requires a lot of work so a very special thank you to all the webmasters who constantly work to ensure accurate and new information is posted regularly on these sites.
KUDOS: To Johnny Thompkins, Robert Flowers and Joe Cobbs, who spent time during February at the Carter Woodson Black History Month exhibit at Twin Rivers Mall in New Bern, North Carolina. They were all featured in a great story by Charlie Hall in the New Bern Sun Journal
http://www.newbernsj.com/news/marines_38575___article.html/point_montford.html This is not the first story that Charlie Hall has written about the Montford Pointers. We appreciate Charlie’s continued support!
To Navy Captain Annie B. Andrews, Commanding Officer of the Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes Illinois. Captain Andrews was the featured speaker at the 2007 Chicago’s Presidents Ball and promised to include the Montford Pointers in ceremonies aboard Great Lakes, which she did in February. Original Montford Pointers from the Chicago Chapter were recognized during ceremonies aboard Great Lakes. Thanks Captain for being true to your word!!!
National Chaplain: Chapter Presidents and members are reminded to encourage our elder members to prepare a bio for the press and the funeral home. We often get last minute requests from the family asking about their loved one’s service dates, rank, etc… Please make sure that up-to-date bio information is ready at the Chapter level. Members are reminded to report the lost of members and supporters immediately to our National Chaplin, Reverend James Moore. Reverend Moore may be reached at 843-846-0881 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chapter Rosters: As we get closer to Spring Council and Convention time, it is extremely important that our National Recording Secretary, Regina Lawrence, has up-to-date rosters of all your members who are in good standing (read: paid up members) within the Association. Chapter Presidents, please ensure this happens at your earliest. Out of date rosters costs us in postage and prevents our newest members from receiving updates such as this one. Please get these rosters in soon!
As always, please continue to check our official website for more information through the Association at www.montfordpointmarines.com or www.mpma28.com http://www.mpmalejeune10.org or http://www.mpmanyc.com or www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org
Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the Legacy of our heroes!
Joseph H. Geeter III Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired) National President Montford Point Marine Association Inc. 27 Red Tail Court Limerick, PA 19468 email@example.com 610-495-3619