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Minutes of planning committee

Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2004

Imperial Palace, Biloxi MS

The planning committee of the 99th Infantry Division Association met Aug. 3, 2004, at the Imperial Palace Hotel, Biloxi MS, during the 55th annual convention.

Those attending the meeting were chairman J.R. McIlroy, Harry McCracken, John Vasa, Bill Meyer, Robert Hawn, Robert Hogan, Mike Strollo, Joe Johnson, Vern Swanson, and Donna Bernhardt.

The committee addressed several issues pertaining to the association and the annual conventions. No final decisions were made, however.

Most agreed conventions may continue at least five to seven years. It was suggested they continue until the attendance reaches 50 members, then agree to disband the following year.

J.R. McIlroy, chairman, noted that income of the association would decrease as time passes, and expenses would increase.

The group also discussed where to have future conventions. One option is to alternate between two cities. John Vasa suggested finding the center of the membership and holding conventions where the most members are located. Another plan was to locate all conventions in a central location, preferably within 500 miles of Kansas City MO, because it is centrally located.

The final decision was to leave the decision about future sites up to the site selection committee.

The committee discussed a need for backups for all elected officers. They planned to ask the board to appoint an assistant treasurer who would be able to write checks in the absence of the treasurer.

The future of the archives collection was discussed. It was suggested the collection be left with the Pittsburgh museum (Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall). Some felt the museum was not doing an adequate job of preserving and displaying the 99th's contributions. However, the facility is undergoing a $10 million renovation.

It was suggested the 99th RSC Headquarters be used for the archives collection. They have museum status and storage area available.

The committee spent considerable time discussing the establishment of a trust fund for 99th monuments and the dissolution of the corporation. Legal adviser and planning committee member Bob Hogan offered to review options for establishing trust funds and draft a proposal for future recommendations. His proposal will be sent to the executive committee for review, then be presented to the board of directors at next year's convention.

According to law, funds remaining after paying creditors and at the dissolution of the corporation must be given to a comparable organization, such as the Association of the 99th. With this in mind, the committee discussed ways to decrease the association's reserve.

Several members agreed a trust should be established but thought the remaining funds should be given back to the membership.

A list of current expenses was reviewed and after several minutes of discussion it was agreed to leave expenses as they are. Current expenses discussed included the cost of printing the Checkerboard, the diggers' travel fund, and other miscellaneous expenses.

McIlroy shared a written proposal for the use of funds of the association in the future, generally for the benefit of the members attending conventions in reduced fees for different activities.

Mike Strollo also submitted a written proposal. A third proposal came from John Vasa.

A motion was made by Bob Hogan and seconded by Harry McCracken that the proposals be studied by members of the planning commission. After consideration, the chairman would submit his written recommendation to the board of directors on the use of funds.

Since the date of the convention the executive committee has conferred with the chairman of the planning committee and it appears that the planning committee does not have sufficient data at this time to make any recommendations to the board. It probably will require further review of the situation, not less than two years from now.