Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
"The Club Co-op" columns for 1999

          This page includes previous The Club Co-op columns from the WFSC newsletter, Across the Fence Post published in 1999.

January issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

In my November 1998 column I discussed the positive aspects of show themes and covers. But marketing the covers is another story. TOSAPEX, sponsored by the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society, boosts cover sales by generating a more collectible first-day cover in conjunction with its show cover.

The club plans ahead by looking for a theme to conform to an upcoming new stamp issue. It then produces an appropriately cacheted cover and submits a number of copies for a First Day of Issue cancel. The cachet includes the club's name, show title, and show dates, thereby making it not only a first-day cover, but also a commemorative show item.

In order to get the first-day cancel, these covers sometimes have to be produced well in advance of the TOSAPEX show date. When the date arrives, traditional show covers featuring the same cachet are prepared with the pictorial show cancel. Cover buyers now have a choice between a first-day or show cover. Additionally, one could create a dual-cancel cover by affixing another first-class rate stamp to the first-day cover and adding the show cancel.

Good thinking, TOSAPEX!


What others are doing

Club newsletters reveal that holiday parties dominated most December meetings. Some were held at the meeting location; others included a meal at a local restaurant. Many parties featured a philatelic gift exchange with an average $5 value limit.

The Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) recently received a donation of used stamps in the form of approximately 80 lots ranging in catalog value from just a few dollars to up to a couple hundred dollars each - some stamps having serious "medical" problems.

Since the benefactor's only request was that they be used to encourage stamp collecting, the group had to determine a proper means of dispensation. It was decided that the lots, packaged in envelopes, would be placed face down on a table. Club members then drew a number to establish the rotation for selecting at least two lots each. Several proxies served on behalf of members who could not make it to the meeting. •

March issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

The artwork is complete (or at least far enough along) and it's time to get the word out about your club's annual show cover. You've submitted your offer information for the traditional listings in the philatelic press, but did you remember the Internet? You can post the same information at the following sites, and it's free:

• Usenet newsgroups –

alt.collecting stamps

rec.collecting stamps

rec. collecting. stamps. Marketplace

• www.delphi.com/stamps (Online Stamp & Cover Bourse section)

• stamp collecting forums found on CompuServe and America Online

The Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) chose another route by going through a commercial Web site advertising service. The cost of such services varies and usually includes Web page design assistance. To see the WVPS's illustrated WaUSApex '98 cover ad go to: www.phoenix2000.com/wausaupex/.

As a reminder, ATFP also provides a free listing, and display ads are inexpensive. An example is the ad submitted by the WVPS and shown below. It promotes covers the group acquired as a result of providing canceling assistance at a Hospice stamp first-day ceremony sponsored by the Comfort Care & Hospice Services of Wausau Hospital.

New WVPS officers are: Pres. Bruce Goetsch, VP Mike Lenard, Secy. William Grosnick Sr., and Treas. Fred Ziemann.

What others are doing

The Ripon Philatelic Society reports that its 1998 programs included stamp trivia, videos, auctions, show and tell, a quiz, and a Christmas party. RPS officers for 1999 are: Pres. Marge Beuthin, co-VPs Beth Walters and Roberta Comfort, and Secy. Donna Mueller.

What's in a name? The Oshkosh Philatelic Society recently discussed changing its name to Oshkosh Stamp Club. Some time ago, the Waukesha County Philatelic Society considered the same change. In the end, both clubs decided to retain the more formal "P" and "S" words.

Here's some interesting results of a WCPS member survey regarding programs: American Philatelic Society slide programs were favored by a ratio of 4-to-l, but at a frequency of no more than three per year. Overwhelmingly favored were once-a-year competitive activities such as stamp bingo, scavenger hunts, trivia games, and programs where members are required to prepare materials at home. Show and tell received 100 percent approval. The most favored activities were auctions and programs that include member participation.

1999 North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee officers are: Pres. Linda Brothen, VP Robert Henak, Secy. Howard Perlick, Treas. Robert Mather.

The January meeting of the Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) featured the APS slide program titled "Postally Used Valentines of the Nineteenth Century."

Officers elected to lead the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee) for 1999 are: Pres. Paul Zientek, VP and Librarian Don Arndt, and Secy.-Treas. Bill Carter.

Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) members were asked to prepare one-page exhibits for the group's April meeting. NSCC officers recently re-elected are: Pres. Lawrence Marten, VP James Caldwell, Secy. John Barnick, Treas. Norman Braeger, and board member Roland Zimmerman. •

May/June issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

It's good and getting better! This is what those who attended a recent Badger Stamp Club (Madison) meeting heard about the state of the U.S. stamp market. The news, in the form of a presentation, came from a BSC member who closely watches Internet auctions held at eBay. COM. This is where many within the general public are buying topical stamps as collateral material for their other interests. It's altogether possible that some of these folks will become interested in stamp collecting.

No doubt the Oshkosh Philatelic Society is gearing up for the CTC Express train's visit to their city in early June. The Waukesha County Philatelic Society is planning a bus trip to Oshkosh to see the train, with a stop at the EAA Museum, too. Looking to this summer's National Topical Stamp Show, the WCPS asked each member to bring a one-page topical exhibit to the April meeting.

Hoping to attract new members, the Lake County Philatelic Society (Gurnee, IL) stepped up its visibility with an exhibit at the Warren-Newport Library, where the group meets. The exhibit featured topical collections of trains and golf, plus Japanese stamps, Swiss first-day covers and tools of the hobby. LCPS also runs a monthly meeting announcement in the local newspaper.

The Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) decided to poll recent new members to find out what attracted them to visit the club. The result was that most saw meeting notices in the newspaper. In March, KMCSC members enjoyed a presentation about elements unseen by the naked eye: hidden images on modern U.S. issues, watermarks and tagging.

A Celebrate the Century stamps trivia contest was held at the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club's (Milwaukee) April meeting.

While some clubs hold monthly full-scale or mini-auctions, others reserve this activity for just once or twice a year. The Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) held its annual spring auction in March.

The Wauwatosa Philatelic Society offered 174 lots at its public auction held this spring. In February, the WPS hosted its 15th annual Stamps for Kids Night at the Wauwatosa Public Library.

Repeating last year's success, the North-woods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) is planning another silent auction in conjunction with its show, which will be held in June. Lot entries are restricted to one per member.

Need setup and teardown help for your show? Try the Central Wisconsin Stamp Club's (Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids) idea of recruiting a local Boy Scout troop to handle the heavy work, with an added benefit of exposing these youngsters to the hobby.

The Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) enticed youth to a recent meeting by showing the APS slide program "The Sun Never Sets on Mickey Mouse: Walt Disney's Worldwide Empire."

When the Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club's holds its annual May banquet, activities include presentation of exhibit awards won at its February show. The KSCC also honors a member of the year and the club’s WFSC Regional VP installs new officers. •


September issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

I did a little math while reading my latest batch of newsletters. Within just the past few months, more than 1,000 stamp packets were distributed to Wisconsin youths. The Central Wisconsin Stamp Club (Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids) gave away a whopping 700-800 at the Wisconsin Rapids Children's Festival. The Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club distributed 506 to attendees at a Youth Power Rally held at Carthage College. Thanks to the North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee, still more packets went to participants at Student Interest Day held at a local school on March 31. That's a lot of stamp collecting promotion, which is bound to reap more than a few future philatelists.

What others are doing

The Wisconsin Postal History Society held its annual meeting at WISCOPEX '99. Results of elections were: Pres. Merwin Leet, VP Jim Maher, Secy. Frank Moertl, Treas. Greg Schmidt, and Director Chris Barney. The May 1999 issue of Badger Postal History, the WPHS's quarterly journal, lists more than 200 Wisconsin sesquicentennial postmarks. For information about WPHS membership, contact: Frank Moertl, N95 W32259 County Line Rd., Hartland, WI 53029.

1999-2000 Northwoods Philatelic Society (Iron Mountain, MI) officers are: Pres. Milt Wirth, VP Chuck Baldridge, Secy. Jim Stearns, and Treas. Mark Pleyte.

The May Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club (West Bend) newsletter illustrates a nice touch for welcoming new members. Each newcomer is introduced with a short biographical sketch, which includes occupation, reason for joining the club, and collecting interests. In April, KMCSC members enjoyed a program on worldwide stamps and how to identify them.

Badger Stamp Club's (Madison) new officers are: Pres. John Pare, VP Bert Hart, Secy. Charles Shoemaker, Treas. Curt Shawkey, and board members Myra Reilly, John Rettig, Dan Undersander, Bob Voss and Karen Weigt.

The Walworth County Stamp Club's (Elkhorn) May meeting featured a program about the "Millionaire Train," which ran from Chicago to Lake Geneva in the 1920s and 1930s,

Lake County Philatelic Society's (Gurnee, IL) re-elected officers are: Pres. Fred Schaeffer, VP Glenn Zinck, Secy. Howard Shauehnessy, and Treas. Walter Veile. The

group's April meeting program focused on a member's extensive cover collection.

New Chippewa Valley Stamp Club (Eau Claire) officers are: Pres. John Nelson, VP Bernie Beauchane, and Secy.-Treas. Karen Johnson.

To promote October National Stamp Collecting Month, the Wisconsin Valley Philatelic Society (Wausau) will work with the local post office in sponsoring a citywide fourth-grade stamp design contest with the insects and spiders theme. In August, a WVPS member spread the word about the hobby by speaking at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum on the topic of three decades of American life on stamps.

Joe Renkas is the new Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club president. VP Carl Sandine was re-elected to his position. In May, KSCC members viewed the American Philatelic Society slide program "Civil War Federal Patriotics."

The Green Bay Philatelic Society recently re-elected Pres. Peter Adamini, VP Gordy Lindner, Secy. Tom Johnston, and Treas. Ken Coakley.

At its May 27 meeting, Waukesha County Philatelic Society members participated in a show-and-tell about their other hobbies.

The June meeting of the Northwestern Mutual Stamp Club (Milwaukee) featured a member's videotape of the Celebrate the Century train at its Red Wing, MN, stop. The meeting also included a short quiz on vacation spots on U.S. stamps.

Officers steering the Oshkosh Philatelic Society through its 70th year are: Pres. Farid Randhawa, VP Hank Schmidt, Secy. Orion Hintz, and Treas. Paul T. Schroeder.

A Belle City Stamp Club (Racine) member recently enlightened his fellow philatelists with a meeting program titled "A Philatelic Look at the American Revolution."

Janesville Stamp Club officers for the 1999-2000 term are: Pres. Earl Button, VP Mel Stahl, and Secy.-Treas. Dwane Kaplenk.

Each Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) newsletter includes a trivia question for which the answer is published in the following issue. The April question was: When was the last time the postal rate for letters went down? While the expected answer was June 1, 1919, the post-World War I reduction, one NSCC member pointed to January 10, 1999, when the additional-ounce rate dropped from 23-cents to 22-cents •


October issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

Are you taking your hardworking and dedicated members for granted? Some clubs reward such individuals with stamp bucks, which are converted into material items. Others prefer recognition in the form of an award, with the recipient's name being recorded in the club annals for posterity.

As mentioned within "Club News" on page 1, the Kenosha Stamp and Cover Club offers an annual Member of the Year Award plus special awards when deemed appropriate. The Janesville Stamp Club has its own Hall of Fame. Furthermore, eight Milwaukee-area clubs band together annually to host a Distinguish Philatelists Appreciation Dinner for the purpose of recognizing an individual who has repeatedly supported the stamp-collecting hobby.

The Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) reports that it, too, honors its doers with an annual Spark Plug Award, the recipient of which is chosen by the club president. The 1999 award went to Shirley Kloes for her outstanding contributions to the club, which includes her service as editor of The Valley Philatelist, the OPS newsletter.

The OPS Spark Plug Award is in the form of a certificate available from the American Philatelic Society. Clubs are allowed one free APS Chapter Certificate of Award per year.

Although the club must be an APS chapter, the recipient need not hold individual APS membership. To request your free Certificate of Award, contact: Frank Sente, Director of Administration, APS, PO Box 8000, State College, PA 16803.

In 1986, the WFSC instituted a District Representative's Award, a certificate presented to the recipient by a WFSC regional VP, usually at a club meeting and with follow-up recognition in ATFP. The purpose of the award is to honor individuals who excel in local club participation. If your club has a candidate for the award, contact your regional VP for details of the award process.

The WFSC also sponsors the Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame. Nominees for this honor, however, must have contributed to the hobby beyond the local level.

What others are doing

On September 30, exactly 30 years ago, the Waukesha County Philatelic Society held its first organizational meeting. Focusing on 30, the group's September 9 meeting included a 30-stamp activity, for which each member was asked to bring 30 stamps, presumably for some type of exchange.

The September 23 meeting featured a 30-lot mini-auction, a 30th anniversary cake and ice cream. But that's not all! WCPS members also received a 30-question stamp trivia quiz, the winner of which received a $30 prize. The club additionally sponsored a 30th anniversary dinner at a local restaurant and opened a time capsule sealed on its 25th anniversary.

Gee, just think - for the next 10 years this club can be doing all kinds of 30-somethings! •


December issue

By WFSC Secy. Karen Weigt

I hear it all too often: can't attract any new blood, membership is shrinking, poor meeting attendance, just a handful of old folks left and they're dropping off, too.

These are real problems and probably the result of a downward spiral that began some time ago. Once that spiral gets to a certain point it is, indeed, extremely difficult to reverse. But, with a positive attitude, it's not impossible. (Bear in mind that all clubs originated from a handful of collectors. They certainly can grow and prosper again.)

Let's do some brainstorming, though, to try to determine just what started the decline.

• Did you throw away your bylaws?

• Did you drop your educational programs?

• Were newcomers not properly welcomed?

• Were your business meetings too long?

• Did the club develop backbiting and cliques?

• Did you lose your sense of purpose and settle into complacency?

• Did you let down on your publicity? It could have been any of the above and more. All, however, stem from one major lacking, and that is STRUCTURE. The result is chaos. I'll bet your club was very structured during its heyday, and this is the reason I strongly advocate a good set of bylaws and standing rules - the basis of your structure.

To regain that structure, you might try going back to some founding principles and essentially reorganize. Begin by holding a pep rally - that is, brainstorm these questions: What's the purpose of your club? What are its goals? Refrain from addressing the how-to at this point, and no negative baggage allowed!

Now it's time to develop some organizational structure by establishing your bylaws. While you're at it, begin on a set of standing rules that spell out your club policies.

More on this next time.

What others are doing

The Kettle Moraine Coin and Stamp Club's (West Bend) has recently gone back to the basics. Its September meeting focused on hinges and mounts, types of albums, storing collections, and soaking stamps off paper. In October, the membership heard about stamp varieties and how to use a perforation gauge. The November meeting featured ask-the-expert and stump-the-expert sessions. Basics continue for the January meeting with a discussion of ultraviolet lamps and watermark detecting.

1999-2000 Outagamie Philatelic Society (Appleton) officers are: Pres. Don Wydeven, VP Nancy Spencer, Secy. Dorothy Rowe and Treas. Verna Shackleton.

It's usually difficult to get a trading activity going. The Wauwatosa Philatelic Society promotes it by periodically purchasing a huge mixture. It is divided into brown paper lunch bags with a value of at least $1 per bag. Club members pay $1 and choose a bag without peeking at the contents. The trade session begins when bags are opened.

Members of the Central Wisconsin Stamp Club (Stevens Point and Wisconsin Rapids) judged contest entries submitted by students of the two elementary schools located in Rudolph, WI. The stamp design contest was held in conjunction with the Deer stamp issued in Rudolph on October 20.

CWSC 1999-2000 officers are: Pres. Dave Carney, VP (Stevens Point) Carl Farnsworth, VP (Wisconsin Rapids) Doug Berryman, Secy. Tom Sanford, and Treas. Pat Brookman.

On October 18, the Oshkosh Philatelic Society hosted a gathering of four clubs located in the northeastern Wisconsin area. Participants met for a catered dinner at the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh. They then enjoyed a tour of the historic site. Will a northeastern stamp clubs dinner become an annual event?

October Stamp Collecting Month brought out the postmasters. The Lake County Philatelic Society's (Gurnee, IL) local postmaster fielded questions and comments from the group's October meeting attendees. The Three Lakes Postmaster spoke at the Northwoods Stamp and Coin Club (Rhinelander) meeting.

North Shore Philatelic Society of Milwaukee members were advised that providing SASEs for receipt of the newsletter is a good means of attaining canceled stamps of the many new issues. It also saves the club some money.


Latest update: June 12, 2005 

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_co-op_1999.shtml