With 2015 firmly underway, I always begin to look ahead to the spring and an end to the dreary doldrums of winter. Considering that I write these columns about a month before they are published, I’m hopeful that we’ve had a mild winter so far, without the regular storms that rolled through last winter. On a personal note, my term as President is halfway done. This month, I’m asking all of you for help. Let me explain.
For many years, we’ve planned out our various activities for the upcoming calendar year. While many activities are educational or oriented towards business development, the most important activities for maintaining our camaraderie are the social events.
In an effort to have all of us think about sunnier and warmer days, I’m asking all of you to consider the Bar Association’s annual picnic. I’m asking for your attention now, months in advance, to make sure we can get suggestions from as many of you as possible. I’ve always enjoyed the picnic immensely. It is an opportunity to mix and mingle in a social setting. We’ve tried a lot of things to keep the picnic interesting and exciting. We’ve tried different locations, like Liberty Lake, the Flying W, and even Campbell’s Field. We’ve tried pairing up with our neighboring bar associations. There have even been pre-picnic bicycle rides. Softball has waned in recent years, but volleyball has gained in popularity. We’ve even tried it as a family event. Perhaps the days of skinny dipping are gone, but the picnic should always be a fun event.
There have always been a few stalwarts who go above and beyond the call of duty. Judges Bookbinder and Harrington have always rallied the attendance. Our Bar Association staff does a great job of keeping costs down, while making sure there is no shortage of food or drink. I can always count on Erwin Apell for a game of horseshoes. Of course, no discussion of the picnic would be complete without recognizing Mark Molz. In recent years, Mark has singlehandedly tried to make the picnic an event worth talking about. He donates not only food, but brings his own crew to cook.
Despite all of these efforts, we often get feedback that the picnic simply isn’t as much fun as it used to be. Our Board of Trustees has had occasional discussions about doing away with the picnic. We never want to fall into the trap of continuing an event just because that’s the way we’ve always done it. This year, I expect that we will have the picnic again.
Now, in the dead of winter I am actively asking all of you for help. As soon as we get this event scheduled, make sure you pencil it on the calendar. I’m asking all of you to let me know what you would like to see change. Is there anything that you’d like to see return? Is there a particular day of the week that is better? As our organization moves forward, we cannot return to the past, but we need to keep things fresh and fun. I’d hate to see this great tradition wither away, so please let me know what you think. While I can’t promise that we’ll implement every suggestion, we want to present an event that is fun for all of our members.
P.S. If anyone has any tales about the picnic that they’d like to share, please send us note. I’m sure we’d all appreciate some tales of days gone by. Please make sure your stories are fit for publication – you know who you are!