This page includes previous The Club Co-op columns from the WFSC newsletter, Across the Fence Post published in 1995
By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt
On the front page, President Greg Schmidt discussed a tax-related matter that will culminate for the WFSC within the next few months. Perhaps it's a timely topic for local stamp clubs, too.
It all begins when your club opens its first checking or savings account. The Internal Revenue Service now knows you exist, and you are obligated to reckon with them.
To simplify a complicated topic, most local stamp collecting societies qualify as tax-exempt organizations under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(7), described as social and recreation clubs. You can attain this status by submitting IRS Application for Recognition of Exempt Form 1024, and it is a relatively easy procedure. The IRS responds with a determination letter. Thereafter, unless your income in any one-year should exceed $25,000, you may or may not be required to annually file a token Form 990-T.
A word of warning: ALWAYS KEEP TRACK of your determination letter and the Employer Identification Number (EIN) you receive when that first checking or savings account is opened. Your club's EIN is comparable to your personal Social Security Number, whether or not you ever actually employ someone.
The WFSC is awaiting final determination for IRC 501(c)(3) status, described as a religious, educational, charitable, scientific, etc., organization. This application procedure is exceedingly more complex, but offers greater benefits. Most significantly, donors are allowed a tax deduction for contributions made to you, it grants eligibility for state sales tax exemption, and helps to qualify for preferred postal rates. I've been advised that it's practically impossible for a local club to achieve this status, but it has been granted to many state and regional philatelic organizations.
More tax status information can be found in IRS "Publication 557 Tax Exempt Status for your Organization." Check your local telephone directory for the nearest IRS office and an 800 number. The IRS will mail you this publication at no charge. They'll also send you an application form. Ask for Form 1024 for a 501(c)(7) or comparable status.
Next time, I'll discuss incorporation, which is handled through the Wisconsin Secretary of State and has almost nothing to do with IRS tax status.
What others are doing
On the lighter side, the winning entry in the Green Bay Philatelic Society's annual Way Out Topicals contest was titled "It's a Bad Hair Day." Their newsletter states: "The centerpiece of this collection was Israel #537 showing the painting `Lady in Blue,' by Moshe Kisling. Stamps from the United States showed Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein ... There were several stamps showing African hair arrangements, one showing an Australian aborigine, and one showing Sir Isaac Newton in a shoulder length wig." That's clever!
To answer last month's question, I've learned the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society is the official host of the 1995 Distinguished Philatelist Appreciation Dinner. Now, I'm anxious to know the identity of the guest of honor.
By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt
The 1994 holiday season brought me and many of our WFSC members some great surprises.
First, the Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) went out of its way to provide its members (and me) with a little something extra from Santa Claus - Santa Claus, IN, that is. The cover carrying their December '94 newsletter included a beautiful red Santa Claus, IN, December 25 pictorial post-mark (Figure 1). My cover arrived in pristine condition within a U.S. Postal Service glassine envelope.
Thank you, KMCSC, and I'm especially pleased to welcome you as a new contributor to this column. Added to my list of incoming newsletters is:
Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club Newsletter (West Bend), editor not listed.
An exceptional feature of this newsletter is that it includes a special section for its youth group meeting activities.
The second holiday philatelic treasure came from the Waukesha County Philatelic Society. This clever group mailed their January '95 newsletter in a cover franked with a single 29¢ Year of the Boar stamp, postmarked December 31, 1994. In case you missed the significance, it's explained in the caption below Figure 2, which was printed on a separate sheet enclosed with the newsletter.
Thank you, too, WCPS. With all the holiday happenings, I totally forgot about this one-day postal curiosity.
Plan ahead so your club also can reward your membership with a philatelic collectible at little or no extra expense. Take a look at the Show Calendar and Registry. All these events feature a special cancel. Have one of your members planning to attend a show hand-carry a club mailing for a pictorial cancel. Your efforts will be appreciated.
What others are doing
1995 officers of the Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club are: Pres. Claude Giralte, VP Joe LaPiene, Secy. Mary Yahr and Treas. Dave Hunsicker.
The KMCSC's December '94 youth group meeting activities began with a huge Christmas tree puzzle and viewing of a United States Christmas stamp collection. Next, the youths made a holiday decoration by pasting Christmas stamps on a cardboard tree cutout. Refreshments included pop and a cake emulating the U.S. 15e contemporary Christmas stamp portraying a gingerbread cookie Santa. Finally, each youngster received a packet of stamps, Wonders of the Sea first-day cover and a "Stampin' it" game.
Their January meeting featured a discussion of se-tenant stamp issues and a slide show of postally used valentines. Youngsters then chose an appropriate city for a Valentine's Day-related cancel. (Last year they chose Valentines, VA.)
Throughout 1995, KMCSC adults will participate in show and tells. For the January meeting, members Acre asked to bring a stamp or coin that relates to one of the alphabet letter; A-D.
Last spring, I discussed club anniversary observances and pictured the Waukesha County Philatelic Society's 25th anniversary seal. Their actual celebration consisted of two events: a dinner held in the summer with out-of-town founding members and a party at a regular club meeting. Both events featured a cake patterned after the anniversary seal design.
At the club meeting party, each member designed a cachet for a Wonder of the Sea first-day cover and wrote a favorite stamp memory on notepaper, which was used as a stuffer. The "time capsule" covers will be opened at a future meeting. Founding members unable to attend received a greeting in the form of other members' signatures on a sheet of club letterhead.
To conclude the 25th anniversary year, one club supporter made 50 Christmas ornaments incorporating the brilliant silver and gold foil anniversary seal. They were used to decorate the Christmas tree at the WCPS's annual holiday party and each party participant later took an ornament home.
Next time, I'll describe an Oshkosh Philatelic Society 65th anniversary project, discuss club incorporation (as promised last month), and tackle a backlog of less timely matters. Your newsletters haven't been forgotten!
By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt
Are your club officers personally liable for law suits against the group? To open a can of worms, the answer is 'yes» and "no."
To quell any panic, let me first emphasize that the "yes" is highly unlikely and only would apply to gross negligence on the part of the officers. And, a suit is more unlikely to occur unless the negligence resulted in severe bodily harm - an improbable happening while participating in a stamp collecting activity. Furthermore, this type of suit falls under most home-owners insurance coverage, My insurance agent advised me that it would require an extreme circumstance for a suit to proceed against one who is serving as a volunteer within a non-profit organization.
Your club can reinforce the "no" by becoming a Wisconsin Chapter 181 corporation, which is for nonstock and not-for-profit organizations. Theoretically, if your club is incorporated, your officers are a part of the corporation, and a claim can be made only for assets of the corporation. I use the word "theoretically," however, because I've yet to find a legal counsel who will confirm that an aggressive attorney absolutely cannot break through the corporation to go after the assets of an individual. Still, the overwhelming legal advice is m incorporate. Incorporation procedures differ from state to state. Fortunately, in Wisconsin, it's simple and does not require legal assistance. All you have to do is file Chapter 181 Form 102, titled "Articles of Incorporation." To get the form, write to: State of Wisconsin, Office of the Secretary of State, P.O. Box 7846, Madison, WI 53707. Instructions for completing the form and filing procedures are included.
Two fees are involved when filing for incorporation: $35 to the Secretary of State, and a minimum $16 to the Register of Deeds. The $16 fee goes up if you append pages to the three-page Form 102, which normally is not necessary for a local stamp club.
All Wisconsin Chapter 181 corporations are required to submit a one-page, fill-in-the-blanks Annual Report farm accompanied with a $10 check. This report form is routinely sent each year to the person you designate to serve as your corporation's Registered Agent. Failure to submit the Annual Report will result in the automatic dissolution of your corporation. Although there is a two-year grace period before dissolution, there also is a stiff penalty fee for not filing your Annual Report by the prescribed deadline date.
The point here is that if you want to maintain your corporation status without paying undue fees, you need to name a dependable club member to serve as Registered Agent. The Annual Report form allows you to change your Registered Agent. It also allows you to change those appointed to serve as your corporation's Board of Directors. Standard procedure is to list your club officers as your Board of Directors.
Note, you do not have to be incorporated to be eligible far tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(7) and vice versa. You do need to be incorporated for 501(c)(3) status.
Oshkosh Philatelic Society's 65th anniversary booklet
In honor of the OPS's 65th anniversary, member Steve Langkau assembled a 27-page booklet of the society's history from its founding in 1930 to the present. Special emphasis is on the listing of each year's officers and earlier anniversary celebration activities. Excerpts from various records and clippings describe club meeting programs and special events.
The booklet includes photos of some of the group's many social affairs and illustrations of various commemorative covers and memorabilia. It concludes with a list of the 322 philatelists who have at one time or another held OPS membership. Three charter members are still living.
Congratulations, OPSI Can we all borrow Steve for our anniversaries?
By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt
Cheers to Walworth County Stamp Club (Elkhorn)! I'm delighted to have you aboard as a contributor to this column via the new:
Walworth County Stamp Club Newsletter, editor Mike Yopp.
The WCSC is currently concentrating on plans for WALCOPEX '95. Spring meetings featured auctions and buy/sell/swap sessions.
Speaking of club newsletters, two have received a face-lift in recent months. Perforations, newsletter of the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) is now being produced on editor Howard Shaughnessy's new computer equipment.
Stamping Around Wausau, the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society's newsletter changed a bit when new editor Fred Ziemann took over. Ernie Lurvey, who requested retirement from his position, served as editor for 14 years! He was duly thanked and honored the WVPS's January meeting.
What others are doing
Because of the past few lengthy columns on special subjects, I've fallen behind on overall club activity reports. Now, it's catch-up time.
Members of the Sheboygan Stamp Club contributed to a new display at their local post office. It depicts Sheboygan Post Office history in the form of photos and postcards of the old and new Sheboygan Post Office buildings. It also includes covers canceled on the last day at the old building and the first day at the new building.
SSC 1995 officers are: Pres. Margaret Goldmann, VP David Smith, Secy. Robert Keppert, Treas. Ruth Hoppe, and director Perry Harris.
As of January 1, dues were due in many Wisconsin clubs, which often requires members to submit an annual information sheet. In addition to the traditional current mailing address and collecting interests, members of the Green Bay Philatelic Society were humorously chided on their information sheet with ample lined space preceded by the words "I would enjoy helping with the following club activities. Please use the back of this sheet if you run out of room here."
The Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club warned its members that failure to meet the dues payment deadline would result in not only termination of membership, but also the loss of continuity toward life membership status. To further keep members on their toes, a list of names of those who were approaching delinquency status appeared in the KSCC newsletter.
The January KSCC meeting featured a slide program emulating a visit to the National Postal Museum. Their March meeting focused on stamp collecting and the computer. KSCC's annual awards banquet will be held on May 20, where their February show exhibit awards will be presented. Another highlight of the banquet will be the presentation of the Jack Larsen Memorial Award, honoring a member who has done an exceptional job for the good of the club.
1995 officers for the North Shore Philatelic Society (Milwaukee) are: Pres. Linda Brothen, VP Michael Uhlarik, Secy. Roberta Bicha and Treas. Robert Mather.
The Northwaods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) reported its successes with participation in two separate local mall events held last November. Their booth included displays supplied by the Niagara, WI, postmaster. Twelve prospective members signed up to receive two complimentary issues of the NPS newsletter, and their "guess the number of stamps in the jars" activity reaped 85 entries.
Many WFSC clubs participated in the Linn's 1994 stamp popularity poll because it's an enjoyable and educational experience. NPS submitted their poll results as an opportunity to tell the Postal Service, through Linn's, what they felt were the good, bad and ugly of the 1994 issues.
A slide program and discussion of perfins dominated the NPS March meeting.
Officers re-elected to serve the Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) for 1995 are: Pres. Bill Julian, VP Jim Caldwell, Secy. George Jacobs and Treas. Norman Braeger. At their annual January banquet, NSCC members heard an interesting program on the economics of collecting stamps and how stamps can be integrated in the school classroom.
Waukesha County Philatelic Society 1995 officers are: Pres. Bob Mather, VP George Stricter, Recording Secy. Wolfgang Magnus, Corresponding Secy. Bob Ulatt, Treas, Kurt Albrecht, and directors Andy Blackburn and Roy Marks.
Topics scheduled for the remaining 1995 WCPS program meetings are:
Apr. 13 - Stamps and Minerals - the Best of Two Worlds
Apr. 27 - Disposing of a Stamp Collection
May 11 - Plate Number Coil Collecting
May 25 - 50th Anniversary of the U.N.
Sept. 28 - Air Mail Video
Nov. 9 - My Significant Other - Hobby, That Is
Effective in January, the American Air Mail Society, Billy Mitchell Chapter changed its meeting location. The group now meets at the Wauwatosa Savings Bank on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m.
The Wisconsin Postal History Society is currently updating its Wisconsin Post Office Handbook, which is a directory of Wisconsin territorial and statehood post offices. The update contains post office names and name changes, location by county, dates of establishment and discontinuance, and names of first postmasters. The project is expected to be completed sometime in 1996. For further information, contact: Frank Moertl, Secy.-Treas., WPHS, N95 W32259 County Line Rd., Hartland, WI 53029.
There are many more club activities to report ... next time.
By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt
Stamp clubs avoid it; state and federal bureaucrats thrive on it. I'm speaking of the red tape that invariably creeps in at one point or another to suppress a club activity.
One major piece of that red tape can be eliminated by ensuring that your bylaws include a dissolution statement, a policy for the dispersal of club assets in the event of disbandment.
It can be simple. Here's how it appears in the WFSC bylaws, which typifies the minimum warding for non-profit organizations, including local stamp clubs:
"Upon dissolution of the WFSC, the officers thereof, after paying or making provision for the payment of all of the liabilities of the WFSC shall dispose of all of the assets of the WFSC exclusively for the purposes of a philatelic or other organization organized and operated exclusively for charitable, educational, or scientific purposes which shall at the time qualify as an exempt organization under Section 50i(c)(3) of the I.R.C. (Internal Revenue Code) or corresponding section of any future federal tax code."
In essence, this statement assures that no individual or for-profit organization will receive assets accumulated through non-profit club endeavors.
While you're at those bylaws, spell out the minimum slate of officers required to continue as an organization. Too often, no one will step forward to serve as president at the time of elections. The obvious is to simply go on without a specified leader. The situation becomes the norm and is never resolved. Before long; that dissolution policy becomes essential, not for pursuing a club activity but to actually close the books.
Although inconceivable, there truly are times when an inadequate or token leader is better than no leader at all!
What others are doing
In May, the Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) will hold its annual spring banquet. In June, the group will visit a Green Bay Philatelic Society meeting to participate in a silent auction.
Everett Ellwitz, a U.S. Postal Service Marketing Specialist in Milwaukee, was the featured speaker at the February Milwaukee Philatelic Society meeting. He showed some interesting films and shared information about the United States postal system.
Far the past several years the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) has been meeting at the local Warren-Newport Library. To show their appreciation for use of the facility, the group recently presented the library with a $75 donation. It shocked the library staff, which apparently isn't used to such generosity.
Here's a different twist on clothesline exhibits planned for the May meeting of the Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander). Each member will bring a one-page exhibit enclosed in a page protector. Exhibits will be judged in the following categories:
Non-commercial album page
Commercial album page
Oldest picture postcard showing oldest cancel
Cover with the most postmarks (front and back)
Oldest stamp on cover.
Wauwatosa Philatelic Society members had a busy February. On the 20th, they set up a beautiful one-month display at the Wauwatosa Public Library titled "Our Cyclopedia of Stamps."
On the 28th, they sponsored a Kid's Night at the Library, where 14 WPS volunteers presented a program on various facets of stamp collecting and distributed related materials and gifts to all the youths.
July/August issue No column this issue
By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt
The 1995 Experimental Aircraft Association's Fly-in theme of World War II presented a perfect opportunity for the Oshkosh Philatelic Society to highlight their area's annual international event and promote philately as well.
Several OPS members contributed toward an exhibit located in the lobby of the Oshkosh Main Post Office. It remained on display July 26 - August 2, the duration of the 1995 EAA event. Exhibit items included a variety of World War II philatelic items: a V-Mail form and a V-Mail printout, censored and postage-free covers, and an unusual ripcord cover. Hank Schmidt, who reported the OPS activity, described the ripcord cover as having a tiny red string under the stamp that extended beyond the perforations. Paratroopers often attached these "rip-cords" to mail sent to their loved ones.
Other exhibit items included EAA covers and EAA Fly-in covers with past years' pictorial cancel. One such cover was autographed by Col. Greg "Pappy" Boyington, a World War II Marine ace fighter pilot. Boyington is credited with 26 victories (enemy aircraft destroyed) and visited the EAA Fly-ins many times before his death a few years ago.
Philately lends itself to a wealth of subject matter. Perhaps your club can emulate this OPS activity in relation to a local event. Your community will appreciate the effort, and it's a great vehicle for publicity.
OPS's 1995-96 officers are: Pres. Henry J. Schmidt, VP Allan Marcus, Secy. Orion Hintz, and Treas. Paul Schroeder.
What others are doing
After a two-year experiment, the Badger Stamp Club (Greater Madison area) determined that collectors in their area prefer daytime meetings. Traditionally, the club met the first and third Saturday afternoons of each month; with a morning talk 'n' swap session on the second Saturday. The club thought it had all options covered when the first meeting of the month was switched to a Tuesday evening. Due to extremely low attendance at the evening meeting, however, this September BSC reverted to its original schedule.
New BSC officers are: Pres. George Cook, VP Art Arntsen, Secy. Ray Gaus, Treas. Ed O'Brien, and board members Myra Reilly, John Rettig, Peter Smith and Dan Undersander.
At their April meeting, members of the North Shore Philatelic Society (Milwaukee) saw how computers can be used for inventorying a stamp collection.
Perhaps you've been planning to visit a NSPS meeting. If so, note that as of July, their meetings start at 7:15 p.m. The group's annual auction was re-scheduled to Wednesday, November 1.
The Central Wisconsin Stamp Club (Wisconsin Rapids and Stevens Point) also reported a change. Stevens Point meetings, the first Thursday of each month, are now held at the Parker Realtors Building.
The Chain-o-Lakes Stamp Club (Waupaca) will have a display in the Waupaca Library September 10-30.
If you ever get to the Sheboygan Post Office, be sure to look for the Sheboygan Stamp Club exhibit. The club provides a new exhibit every 45-60 days.
Many clubs hold spring elections in preparation for the fall stamp-collecting season. Certainly, all those who have accepted a nomination for a club office deserve our utmost thanks and recognition. Here are more election results:
Chippewa Valley Stamp Club (Eau Claire) - Pres. Skip Solum, VP Robert Baldwin, and Secy.-Treas. John Burnett.
Wisconsin Postal History Society - Pres. Merwin Leet, VP James Maher, Secy.-Treas. Frank Mcertl, and directors Daniel Harrunell and George Stricter.
Green Bay Philatelic Society-Pres. Don Kimps, VP Ron Oates, Secy. Clete Delvaux, and Treas. Ken Coakley.
Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) - Pres. Chuck Baldridge; VP Tom Pleyte, Secy. Jim Steams, and Treas. Ellsworth Semler.
Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) - Pres. Dick Boyson, VP Howard Shaughnessy, Secy. Jack Dutton, and Treas. Walter Veile.
Manitowoc Philatelic Society - Pres. Roger H. Oswald, VP Paul Timm, and Secy.-Treas. Renee Seiler.
Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club - Pres. Bob Balcome and VP Carl Sandine. A special thanks to Bob. This is his fourth two-year term as KSCC president!
October issueBy WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt
There's no doubt that the computer modem has made a significant positive impact on our hobby. With all its online capabilities and collector communication, though, it still can't replace the benefits of a physical gathering of philatelists at a local club meeting.
Why? Probably for some of the same reasons that we visit our family and friends even though we've talked with them over the phone five times in the past week; probably why movie theaters still thrive when most homes have at least one VCR. Even stamp collectors who often are characterized as being somewhat introverted are, by nature, social beings. As such, the passive traits of the telephone, VCR, and computer screen cannot satisfy our need for face-to-face and societal interactions.
Stamp collecting, too, is an extremely visual hobby, and there's nothing like seeing the real thing as compared to a photo or a scanned imagine on a screen. Within our print media we can find an abundance of superb reproductions of philatelic rarities. Why then do we rush to see these items when they appear on display at a stamp show?
Although we're cautioned not to actually touch our philatelic treasures, we derive pleasure from holding and manipulating them with our hobby tools. Again, this involves genuine philatelic items and knowledge about proper manipulation techniques. We can gain much of that knowledge by reading and even by posting questions on an online bulletin board or participating in an online conference. Learning stamp-collecting techniques, however, is more efficiently accomplished when we can practice them under the watchful eye of someone who is more experienced.
Sure, we can order stamps by mail and we can buy, sell, and trade online.
What's lacking here, however, is the instant gratification of taking possession of that latest acquisition, some-thing we enjoy during those buy/sell/ trade stamp club sessions.
Will local stamp club meetings fall by the wayside with the increasing accessibility to cyberspace? I think not.
What others are doing
If you've never seen Ken Lawrence's renowned The Sun Never Sets on Mickey Mouse: Walt Disney's Worldwide Empire exhibit, get over to the Waukesha Public Library on Saturday, October 14. As part of an October National Stamp Collecting Month promotion, the Waukesha County Philatelic Society and the area Postal Customer Advisory Council arranged to have the exhibit shipped to the library for display. Lawrence's exhibit is, indeed, a clever tie-in to this year's NSCM "Toon into Stamps" theme. Members of the WCPS also will provide stamp collecting demonstrations and hands-on activities for kids.
On November l, the North Shore Philatelic Society (Milwaukee) will hold its annual public auction. The event will be held in the club's usual meeting hall at the Whitefish Bay Department of Community Services, 5205 N. Lydell Ave., Whitefish Bay. Lots may be viewed at 7 p.m., a half hour prior to the start of the auction.
At their August meeting, members of the Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) made purchases from approximately $6,000 worth of stamps received in the club's first American Philatelic Society circuit book mailing. NPS will continue to receive the books every other month. A club auction is held at alternate monthly meetings.
The Wauwatosa Philatelic Society recently reminded members of its Stamp Bucks program. Members earn stamp bucks that can be used as payment for lots won at an annual stamps bucks auction. It is up to each member to keep track of how many bucks are owed to them and to collect them from the officer in charge. Stamp bucks are paid on the following basis:
5-per meeting attended
2-for bringing any items to an auction
5-per committee/officer-called meeting attendance
2-for a door prize donation
5-for an hour at the TOSAPEX table, or club work
2-for attendance with a guest
5 - when your guest joins the club
10-giving a short talk of interest
10-writing a short article for the newsletter
5-bringing refreshments to a meeting or social
10-serving as a director
10-reading a prepared program script
15-serving as auctioneer at the club auction (5 for mini-auctions)
15-serving as a club officer
25-per year for serving as president
25-presenting an original program at a club meeting
The Oshkosh Philatelic Society has its act together with a full pre-planned 1995-96 meeting program schedule. You might consider some of these programs for your club. Or, if you're in the area, you could drop in for a visit.
Sept. 5 - Pick 'n' Poke Mixture
Sept. 19- Computers in Philately
Oct. 3 - Bring a Stamp Story
Oct. 16- Auction
Nov. 7 - APS Slide Show "In Violation of the Rules"
Dec. 5 - Philatelic Grab and Trade
Jan. 2 - Linn's Stamp Popularity Contest
Jan. 15 - Traveling with Jim Ryan
Feb. 6 - Auction
Feb. 19 - WFSC Trivia Contest
Mar. 5 - APS Slide Show "More In Violation of the Rules"
Mar. 18 - Dealer Phil McCormick
Apr. 2 - Philatelic Round Table
Apr. 15 - Members' One-page Exhibit
May 7 - Lindberg Remembered
OPS meetings begin at 7 p.m. at the Oshkosh Post Office Building (north-east entrance), 1025 W. 20th Ave., Oshkosh. A members' swap meet is held prior to each meeting at 6:30 p.m.
By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt
Visitors to DANEPEX '95 found a special treat. To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the show, all of its "best of" exhibits were called back to participate in a Court of Honor. It included both Best of Show and Best Youth exhibits of the past. The presentation was especially impressive be-cause many of those exhibits had since been upgraded for competition on the national level.
DANEPEX is sponsored by the Badger Stamp Club (Greater Madison area), which also hosted WISCOPEX '95, just six months ago. In this respect, the Court of Honor provided a break for the weary exhibits chairman who was relieved of recruiting fresh material.
WaUSApex, sponsored by the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society, did something new this year, too. Recognizing that the majority of WVPS members are intimidated by the rules that govern competitive exhibiting, the show encouraged "anything goes" displays. It pulled in ten displays of members' collections that were judged by the general public.
Here are two examples of successful innovations that were needed to meet particular situations. One that might help preserve a show sponsored by an aging club membership is to call upon a local Boy Scout troop to lug heavy equipment and assist with the setup.
Having trouble getting your show - cover off the ground? Try hiring a club outsider to do it. Because of the cost, your profits may not be so great, but you'll manage to maintain a tradition. It's worth it in a pinch.
This brings me to the subject of a circular I recently received from an individual in Lakewood, OH, who specializes in producing stamp show cachets. He enclosed two samples of his work, -which are beautiful. Tell him your show theme and he'll design the cachet. He'll reproduce it (in full color) on as many covers as you want. He uses a computer color printer, a printing method that would be most economical if you're looking at producing a small quantity of covers.
Regardless of the number of covers ordered, however, this fellow charges only 50 ¢ per cover, plus a $3 shipping fee for up to two pounds. Unless there are some hidden charges, this sounds like a pretty good deal to me. If you're interested, send me a SASE, and I'll send you a copy of the circular.
What others are doing
Elections get a bit complicated for the Central Wisconsin Stamp Club, which is a combination of two groups. One meets the first Thursday of each month in Stevens Point; the other meets the third Thursday in the Wisconsin Rapids area. The following list of 1995-96 officers shows how the club is structured: Pres. Gregg Greenwald and Treas. Pat Brookman, Stevens Point VP Larry Glenzer and Secy. Carl Farnsworth, Wisconsin Rapids VP Tom Sanford and Secy. Dave Carney.
The CWSC traditionally honors its deceased members by donating a book to the local public library. The library of choice, of course, depends upon whether the member was active in the Stevens Point group or the Wisconsin Rapids group.
For their July meeting, each member of the Green Bay Philatelic Society brought a philatelic item that first captured his or her interest in stamp collecting. At the September meeting, each member spent a maximum of five minutes describing what he or she like about one or two of their favorite dealers.
"You Show Me Yours; I'll Show You Mine!" was the title of the Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club's August meeting program. As an incentive to participate, a cash prize went to the individual who best explained the best or worst philatelic item in their collection. The winner was determined by a vote.
1995-96 officers of the Belle City Stamp Club (Racine) are: Pres. Frank Garniss, VP Bill Pier, Secy. Ray Wood and Treas. Dick Martell.
In September, the BCSC participated in the local Senior Craft Fair by giving stamp-collecting materials to children and philatelic literature to adults. The club's meeting program schedule for the year is:
Sept. 5 - Buying Stamps at Auction
Oct. 5 - Auction
Nov. 2 - Great Americans on Stamps
Jan. 4 - Auction
Feb. 1 - Lincoln on Stamps
Mar. 7 - WFSC Club Trivia Contest
Apr. 4 - The Guernsey Collection
May 2 - JFK
June 6 - Wheeler-Dealer Night
The very generous Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) recently contributed $500 to the Nicolet College Foundation in support of two scholarships. It also donated $150 to the Oneida County Commission on Ageing in appreciation for the club's use of the Senior Center for their meetings.
NSCS's new auction rules ensure that all members may enter as many lots as desired. Bidders view the lots prior to the auction and indicate an opening bid on accompanying lot sheets. Only those lots with opening bids are called by the auctioneer.
Happy golden anniversary, Wisconsin Postal History Society. The group held its 50th annual meeting while at WISCOPEX, on April 23, 1995. ®
By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt
"The secretary-treasurer, in recognition of his considerable duties, shall be allowed compensation of 20 percent of the total membership fees paid."
This was WFSC policy from the time of its inception in 1932 through the early 1970s, when compensation was no longer allowed. In 1978, the office of secretary-treasurer was divided to create two separate positions.
I thought the idea of monetary compensation for service to any local (or regional) hobby club had become a thing of the past. That was, however, until Post Scripts, newsletter of the Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club, published an announcement that the group recently approved a constitutional amendment regarding the matter. Apparently, KSCC's treasurer traditionally received a sum equal to 50¢ per member per year. The amendment still allows compensation, but the amount, if any, is now at the discretion of the Executive Board.
Obviously, no one is going to feed a family on a percentage of a local club's annual dues. But, is there an advantage to some monetary compensation for an officer, newsletter editor, etc.? Does it promote diligence in duty and an incentive to participate? Is it really any different than distributing stamp bucks for club service?
I have mixed emotions about this issue. First, let's not confuse compensation with reimbursement for actual expenses incurred. The club should always provide reimbursements. Some-times, though, there are undocumented able hidden costs to service, and this is where compensation is a plus.
The downside of compensation is that the membership's view of this benefit is often distorted. It fails to consider those hidden costs when it doles out-the club's meager affordable amount. It also tends to look at the recipient as an employee. At the very least, the recipient experiences self-induced pressure to perform a respective service as though it was the bread and butter on the table. In my opinion, that's not what hobbies are all about.
I'd like to hear your comments about this subject. I'm also wondering if any other WFSC member club allows compensation for club service.
Speaking of the Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club, I'd like to compliment their newsletter editor, Serge Logan, on the face-lift to Post Scripts. It's a great two-column, computer-generated publication that now includes illustrations.
Another positive of Post Scripts is that it is usually franked with a stamp from a current commemorative mini-sheet of multiple designs. Members who don't collect United States issues return the canceled stamps to the club, and accumulated sets are given away as door prizes. The KSCC has gone through the World War II and Civil War issues, and is now using the American Comic Strips stamps.
There's more about the KSCC, too. At their sixth year of participation at the "Just Say No Rally" at Carthage College, the club distributed philatelic literature and whopping 600+ packets of stamps!
What others are doing
Last week I received Vol. I, No. 1 of The Oshkosh Philatelic News, edited by Hank Schmidt, who is also the Oshkosh Philatelic Society's new president. Good goin' OPS! I'm de-lighted to add your publication to my list of incoming newsletters.
A feature story in the newsletter relates that the Oshkosh Postmaster wants to promote sports aviation issue, with a first day held at a future EAA convention. OPS has endorsed the project and offered its assistance.
I heard the Ripon Philatelic Society planned to provide a display for October National Stamp Collecting Month at the Ripon Library. I'm looking forward to receiving the details.
The Waukesha County Philatelic Society held its annual major fall auction on October 26. It consisted of 79 lots. The WCPS regularly holds mini-auctions throughout the year.
1996 officers of the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society are: Pres. Rosemary Jahnke, VP Doug Van Beek, Secy-Treas. Walter Jaglowski, and Board Member Don Birschel. The topic for the group's November 21 meeting was "surprise." I'm wondering if this was another way of stating, "to be announced" or if attendees did have a genuine surprise in store for them!
The North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee 1996 officers are: Pres. Linda Brothen, VP Robert Henak, Secy. Roberta Bicha and Treas. Robert Mather.
Members of the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee) played bingo at their November meeting. Bingo Nite is an annual event for this group.
The Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) participated in the local mall's annual International Fair. Members set up stamp exhibits, staffed a table and distributed philatelic literature. Youth were invited to guess the number of stamps in a jar and pick free stamps from a mixture. The jar of stamps went to the youngster with the closest guess.
The vice president of the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) is campaigning for new members; His publicity includes press releases to the local news media about LCPS meetings and posters to all local libraries. He additionally regularly scans the American Philatelic Society's list of new members published in the American Philatelist. If he spots someone in the Gurnee area, he sends the individual a copy of the LCPS newsletter and a personal invitation to a meeting.
Finally, 'tis the season and many WFSC clubs are looking forward to their annual holiday parties. ®
Latest update: June 12, 2005