Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs (WFSC)
Across the Fence Post Newsletter
1999 President's Message columns

          This page includes President's Message columns from the 1999 issues of Across the Fence Post.

January issue.

WFSC Giving Opportunities

By WFSC Pres. Greg Schmidt

Happy New Year to one and all. The month of January has traditionally been a time to take care of old business and set new goals for the coming year. When you set up your will, did you ever give much thought to the final dispensation of your stamp collection? Have you ever considered the WFSC as a recipient of some of your monetary holdings? If not, then maybe now is the time.

The WFSC's Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) status allows donors to take full advantage of various giving opportunities. Following are several options that exist for making a contribution in support of the WFSC:

Cash Gifts. A gift of cash, in the form of a personal or business/club check, is the most common method for making a contribution in support of the WFSC.

Gifts of Securities (stock, certificates of deposit, etc.). A transfer of securities, equal to their full fair market value, allows donors to make a contribution in support of the WFSC while paying no capital gains tax.

Deferred Gifts (wills, trusts, etc.). Deferred gifts are gifts that are made now and are received by the WFSC in the future.

In-Kind Gifts. In-kind gifts are non-monetary contributions of goods (stamp collections, etc.) or professional services (e.g., speakers, accountants, printing, legal) given in support of the WFSC.

Please contact me if you have any questions about these giving opportunities. My address and phone number are listed on p. 3.

March issue

Call for Nominations

By WFSC Pres. Greg Schmidt

At this year's WISCOPEX, which will be held May 8-9 at the Hart Park Arena in Wauwatosa, you will be given the opportunity to elect or re-elect nine WFSC officers. With this in mind, the following briefly

describes what each position involves and hopefully will motivate you to consider running for one of these offices. (Note that the offices of secretary and treasurer are not a part of this year's elections. Those individuals were elected at WISCOPEX '98 for a two-year term.)

President (two-year term) -

preside at all WFSC and Executive Board meetings, when present

sign all acts or orders necessary to carry out the will of the WFSC and Executive Board

act as the representative of the WFSC at all functions outside the WFSC

appoint various committees spelled out in the WFSC bylaws and annually appoint an auditor to examine the WFSC financial records

announce the names of new Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame inductees and present the annual WFSC Dealer Recognition Award at the WISCOPEX awards banquet

Vice President (two-year term) -

assume the duties of the WFSC president in the event that he or she is absent, incapacitated, suspended or removed from office

perform duties delegated by the president VP Youth Division (one-year term) -

oversee all WFSC matters pertaining to youth activities, including assisting member clubs with youth programs, ideas and advice

act as the WFSC representative for youth activities at functions outside the WFSC Regional VP (six elected to one-year terms) -

contact member clubs within the VP's respective region; visit each club at least once a year, if feasible (clubs in each region are listed in each issue of ATFF)

act as a liaison between member clubs and the Executive Board

solicit nonmember clubs for membership in the WFSC

I hope that you now have a better idea of what these officer duties include. If you or someone you know might be interested in helping your federation by serving in one of these offices, please contact: Vern Witt, Chrmn., WFSC Nominating Committee, 2422 North 9th St., Sheboygan, WI 53083 (920) 458-3767. I know that Vern would be happy to hear from you.

If you feel that you might be able to help the WFSC in any other capacity, please feel free to contact me at any time. Thank you.

April issue

Call for Convention '99

By WFSC Pres. Greg Schmidt

The 1999 Convention and Exhibition of the Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs, WISCOPEX, will be held on May 8-9, at the Hart Park Recreational Building, 72nd and West State Street, Wauwatosa, WI. The show

is hosted by the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society and is chaired by Claude Giralte.


All WFSC member clubs are reminded to send a delegate and/or an alternate to the Annual Business Meeting, which will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 8. Delegates should be prepared to check in at 12:45 p.m. or preregister at the WFSC table with written credentials - a simple statement signed by your club president designating you as the official representative of your home club. Members-at-large are also encouraged to attend, but have no voting privileges.

Annual Business Meeting

The meeting will include officer, commit-tee, and special project reports, plus officer elections and several appointments, this is the time for comments and suggestions that you or your club might have concerning the WFSC and its operations. Delegates also will vote on the nomination of one outstanding Wisconsin philatelist for induction into the Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame.

WFSC table.

Bring your club publicity fliers (club meeting information, show fliers, etc.). Place them on the WFSC table for distribution to all show visitors. While at the table, offer to relieve the staff now and then or to help out in some other manner.


The bourse offers something for everyone. The United Nations Postal Administration plans on having a booth at this year's show, and the IJ.S. Postal Service will have all the recent issues on hand. Stamp and cover dealers will have a wide and varied stock of material for all budgets. Remember to patronize the 15 dealers at this year's show as they are the backbone of each and every stamp show. A WFSC Dealer Recognition Award will be presented at the awards banquet on Saturday night.

Bill Robinson will hold an auction on Sunday afternoon.


Youth will have a special table with stamps and activities oriented towards youth interests.


WISCOPEX features many interesting and diverse exhibits in adult open, youth, and single-frame classes. In addition, the Best of Show exhibits from various WFSC clubs will be competing for the Champion of Champions title. Judges are Jack Green, James Hale and Vern Witt. Exhibit entry forms are due by April 15.

New WISCOPEX Club Award

Of special interest at this year's show is the introduction of the WISCOPEX Club Award. The purpose of the award is to encourage WFSC clubs to promote exhibiting. A certificate will be awarded to the WFSC club earning the most points for exhibits at WISCOPEX. In the event of a tie, a certificate will be issued to each winning club. Points are earned as follows and apply to all exhibit classes, including open, youth, single-frame and display class:

Champion of Champions winner - 5 pts.; Best of Show - 4 pts.; any lst place - 3 pts.; any 2nd place - 2 pts.; any 3rd place - 1 pt.

New WFSC Special Topical Award

Also of interest this year is the initial offering of the WFSC Special Topical Award. The purpose of this award is to encourage topical and thematic exhibits at WISCOPEX. A plaque will be awarded to one topical or thematic exhibitor, adult or youth, who demonstrates the best use of philatelic material to tell a story. First place and display class exhibits are not eligible.

Finally, I look forward to seeing all of you and hope that you and your families have an enjoyable stay in Wauwatosa.

July/August issue

Our 1999 Convention/ Exhibition

By WFSC Pres. Gre4 Schmidt

WISCOPEX '99, the 68th convention and exhibition of the Wisconsin Federation of Stamp Clubs, was held May 8-9 in Wauwatosa, WI. Many thanks to the Wauwatosa Philatelic Society for hosting this year's event and to all who helped to make it a success. This includes exhibitors, judges (Jack Green, James Hale and Vern Witt), dealers, and visitors to the show.

Thank you to the 25 delegates/alternates who took time out from the show to attend the Annual Business Meeting and to all officers who accepted nominations for terms beginning January 1, 2000. Reports by current officers and committees can be found on pp. 5-7.

The meeting included special recognition of Dan Hammell, who was inducted into the Wisconsin Philatelic Hall of Fame; Charles Baldridge, recipient of the 1999 WFSC Dealer Recognition Award; and Vern Witt, who received a President's Award for handling Nominating Committee duties for the past two years.

Sincere congratulations are due to all recipients of this year's exhibit-related awards. Of particular mention are: Charles Shoemaker, Champion of Champions; Claude Giralte, Best of Show; Lisa Giss, Youth Grand; Sara Henak, who received the WFSC's first Special Topical Award; and the Badger Stamp Club which won our WISCOPEX Club Award. More exhibit winnings are listed on p. 7.

Future convention hosts are:

2000 - Badger Stamp Club (Madison)

2001 - Sheboygan Stamp Club and Manitowoc Philatelic Society

As we generally schedule five years in advance, we need host clubs for conventions 2002 through 2004. Your club does not have to wait until the next Annual Business Meeting for approval to host a convention. Just submit a proposal to the WFSC Central Office and the Executive Board will handle the rest.

Best wishes to you and your families for a great summer.

October issue

Birth of a Stamp Collector Part 1

By WFSC Pres. Greg Schmidt

This journey begins some 35 years ago when I received a Christmas gift from my grandmother, Leona Schmidt. It was a beginner stamp album, hinges and stamps. For some reason, my grandmother saw some potential for an 11-year-old to pursue stamp collecting for many years to come. As fate would have it, though, she passed away a short three months later and never had the chance to see what she had started.

During the next four years, I would shovel snow off driveways, cut lawns and do any other odd jobs for money spent at the local stamp shops in Appleton, WI. This was the era of the musty, dimly lit stamp shops in the older downtown buildings. Many an hour was spent going through countless stock books searching to fill the numerous holes in that beginner album.

A call went out to all the relatives to save stamps from their mail, as well as going

through family correspondence, which yielded several finds. Other finds were made by sifting through the old orange bags of stamps available through stamp and hobby shops.

Another common avenue of acquiring stamps was through advertisements in magazines and newspapers, which included the names of such companies as Jamestown, H.E. Harris, Whiton Pane, and others. Many of these companies offered hundreds of stamps for mere pennies, while others offered approvals of specific countries or topics.

As the years went by, other interests began to take over my pursuit of the hobby. High school came along, which included sports, Boys Brigade (similar to Scouting) and social activities. Then along came college and technical schooling for plumbing.

Suddenly it was the late 1970s and the stamp bug bit again. Now it was time to plug the holes in the collection that had been on hold since high school. I wound up repeating the process I had started some 16 years before. This included calling on the old stamp shops, which to my surprise had closed their doors over the years. Thus started the search for different avenues to acquire stamps. I joined the local stamp club and attended the first of many stamp shows.

My goal was to acquire a complete collection of United States stamps from 1925 to 1980, including all airmail issues. That is, except for the coveted C3a, the Inverted Jenny. Once that task was accomplished, it was time to start a new collecting interest, which I'll discuss next month.


November issue

Birth of a Stamp Collector Part 2

By WFSC Pres. Greg Schmidt

The previous installment left off with my concluding one collecting area and looking toward a new specialty. While attending a stamp bourse in Madison during the early 1980s I came across an interesting selection of covers. After purchasing those covers and putting them away for three years, it was time to investigate their backgrounds. This is what led me to purchase a catalog from the American Air Mail Society. It was the catalog that perked my interest in covers pertaining to the Pan American Airways and its development of Pacific Ocean airmail service.

I joined the AAMS in December 1983. ; Shortly afterwards I received several letters from members who had my same collecting interest. This in turn lead to acquiring covers to fill in the holes, just like the holes in my stamp album of years ago. Those letters from fellow members also initiated correspondence, which has lasted to this day. My direction in philately, however, really changed a few years later during one of my chance trips to a stamp show in Chicago.

While at the show, I was approached to assume the duties of the AAMS Publications Sales Manager. After seeing first hand what the job entailed, I accepted the offer and to this day continue to handle sales of AAMS publications. This small step would find me in other official AAMS positions throughout the years, including the 1996-97 term of presidency.

During the same time period, I also became involved with the WFSC, first as a regional VP in the late 1980s. Further involvement culminated with another presidency, but in this case, for two terms. My association with both organizations has given me a chance to help shape their directions for the future. I encourage others to grasp the opportunity to do the same.

The final chapter deals with the exhibiting aspect of my collecting. This phase started quite innocently in 1981 while at a local stamp club show. My interest flourished after deciding that an exhibit of trans-Pacific airmail would be my objective. I have worked and reworked that exhibit over the past 14 years. 1 feel that it will continue to evolve as I have - never ready to rest on past accomplishments.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my philatelic journey with you. I hope that yours takes you to the same fulfillment that mine has.

December issue


By WFSC Pres. Greg Schmidt

It is with mixed feelings that I write this final chapter to my presidency. The past two years have offered me a second chance to have hopefully made a positive impact on the WFSC. On the other hand, I feel that it is time to step down and hand over the reins to someone else.

As I have mentioned before, the WFSC has been fortunate over the years to be blessed with numerous individuals who give so freely of their time and talents. All one needs to do is look at any issue of ATFP to get a glimpse of who these people are and the types of services they are providing.

In closing, I ask that you give your new president, Paul T. Schroeder, the same courtesy and support that you have offered me during my terms of office. Thank you and all the best to each of you for the future.


Latest update: June 13, 2005 

URL:   http://www.WFSCstamps.org/wfsc_atfp_atfp_president_1999.shtml