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General business meeting held

Saturday, July 5, 10 a.m.

Norfolk Waterside Marriott

The general membership meeting of the 99th Infantry Division Association Inc. was called to order at 10 a.m. July 5 by President Harry McCracken.

Treasurer J.R. McIlroy gave a treasurer's report, stating the association has $179,025.20. It was reported that there are 2,566 current members of the association.

Donna Bernhardt reported on the national convention, saying there were 450 registered including 30 first timers.

Bill Meyer gave a report on the status of the Checkerboard. Although costs are higher, he did not anticipate an increase in dues.

Meyer went on to speak about the 55th annual convention, scheduled for Aug. 1-5, 2004, at the Imperial Palace Hotel, Biloxi MS. Room rates are $49 per night. There is free parking. He said the board had agreed to look at San Antonio TX, for the site of the 2005 convention.

Meyer also urged all members with a service-connected disability to be re-evaluated.

Stewart Boone reported there still are 550 Checkerboard Chorus CDs available for sale. He presented the treasurer with a check for $2,500, reimbursement for initial costs to get the CD made.

Ron Kraemer reported for the archives committee. He said the archives were in good shape with lots of material. The 99th RSC has a good display at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh. They also are documenting, preserving, and cataloging all 99th artifacts. Kraemer announced his resignation as chairman.

Glenn Bronson had a report for the nominating committee. The following slate of officers was approved by acclamation:

Robert Hawn, president; Glenn Bronson, vice president; J.R. McIlroy, treasurer; Bob Hogan, legal adviser; Harry Clifton, auditor; Joe Johnson, chaplain; Del Stumpff, sergeant at arms; Donna Bernhardt, executive director; Ron Kraemer and George Snell, directors until 2006.

Bob Hogan read a letter from Harry Crossey, which is reprinted in this issue of the Checkerboard.

Hogan gave a report on the updated bylaws. He said the final draft that was included in each member's packet was accepted with the exception of two typographical errors and the deletion of a statement of the chaplain's duties.

Changes to the bylaws included a change of associate members to "associates," because of continuing attrition. The associates may attend meetings but do not have the right to vote. The office of executive director was established, which will include the duties of the membership manager and secretary.

A motion was made to adopt the bylaws as presented. The motion was seconded and approved by the membership.

J.R. McIlroy gave a Diggers' Report. He moved to increase the allotment for travel expenses to $2,500 per year. The motion was approved.

Walter Malinowski asked the association to present actor George Kennedy with an award from the 99th, which would be an enticement for Kennedy to be more active in the association and provide him with publicity. After some discussion it was agreed to leave the award at the discretion of the board.

A note of appreciation will be sent to Jim Fennie and the family of Frank Kyser.

Al Nelson asked about the future of the association. Bob Hogan addressed the question, stating the tentative plan was to establish a trust fund for the maintenance of monuments and the remainder of funds will be transferred to the Association of the 99th Infantry Division or an organization of comparable makeup.

Jesse Coulter urged everyone to keep documents and answer letters from family members to keep the memory of the 99th alive.

Jim Johnson, presenting the Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, said the group had created a video that showed presentations at area schools. He urged members to purchase the video to use at schools in their areas.

The colors were retired and meeting was adjourned at 10:55 a.m.