FOMF President’s Message – by Steve Vanier
With the feel of change in the air, I look back on the summer of 2023 as the first time that we had a “normal” summer crush of visitors, bringing with them a busy seasonal tempo and a spirit of excitement we have not had for many years. Hamstrung in one way or the other since 2017 with the Eagle Creek fire and the off-putting years of the COVID Pandemic, we lost ground, but this year, we got some of that back. It feels good.
New recruits Shawn Tolman, Dan and Beth Austin, David Coates, Kate Curry, Georgeie Reynolds and Matt Eaton inject new life into our group, and bring with them the promise of new ideas, new perspectives, and new energy we should all appreciate. Thanks for joining up, and let’s all learn from each other the best way to move forward. Make life an adventure, give new ideas a chance to exist, and we can expand on what we have learned. For those who have given decades to this mission, humility and thankfulness should be the reward for the opportunity to serve. Experience alone does not automatically bestow wisdom.
As summer ends, fall colors, ripening fall fruits, and geese moving south herald the start of another chapter for each of us. For my wife Kathie and me, it’s the start of a new adventure, as “snowbirds” migrating between Nevada and Oregon as the seasons compel us. I will step back from my duties as President and a Board member, but when we return next spring, my greatest desire is to continue as a volunteer; meeting visitors, listening to their stories, learning more about the falls, the gorge, and all the natural wonders.
Soon, our annual meeting will be held, so plan your calendars accordingly. We will again meet at Heidi’s Restaurant in Gresham, at Noon on Monday November 13, 2023 for a luncheon followed by the business part of the meeting, where members or active volunteers in good standing will have an opportunity to vote on the coming year’s budget, and a slate of candidates for our Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors have been my vital support and have guided me, a relative newcomer, through some interesting times. Thanks to each of you: Katie, Flora, Karen, Dave, Russ, Jim and Jerry. Thanks, too, to Ron Goodwin, Billie Anger, Chris Meinicke and to my immediate predecessors Carl and Kathy Collins, who have all contributed to any success I managed to achieve.