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I've been reading the recent series on membership/renewal notices with some interest.
Just having completed a term on the AKA BOT, I have made some observations and developed some (sometimes rather strong) opinions, expressed herewith:
1. In any organization, a small core of individuals does most of the work.
This goes for AKA as a whole, and for the BOT as well.
The entire membership owes a debt of gratitude to those folks who offer to take on a task, then stick with it - folks like Dick Martino, Barry Cooper, the membership chairmen (now Gary Bartell etc.), Brent Kelly, and so forth. These people, and the members of the BOT and the folks that chair the various AKA committees, and others, do a lot of unseen work to make this organization more viable and better for the rest of us.
The idea of saying thanks, publicly and privately, is a very good one and we should pursue it as individuals.
2. There will always be members (of any organization) who do no more than receive the publications and pay their dues.
3. There will always be members who do nothing more than bewail the poor way the organization is being run, while contributing nothing to the solutions of those problems.
AKA doesn't seem to be too unusual in any of the above.
My suggestions are, therefore:
Breed your fish. Don't just KEEP 'em, BREED 'em. Then distribute them within the hobby. Extras can go to the LFS.
Participate in your club, at both the local and national levels. Let your concerns be known to your BOT representatives so they can speak on your behalf. That's what they're there for! The AKA is YOUR organization - let your voice be heard
Volunteer to help out.
You might be one of the many people "keeping" a rare species under the species maintenance effort.
You might help assemble Beginners Packets.
You might lick stamps.
At local meetings, you might keep the sign-in sheet, or distribute literature, or ...
You might write articles for JAKA, or shorter ones for your local club newsletter or the BNL. Share your expertise; you probably have learned something that someone else doesn't know.
At shows, offer your services; you can bet that someone will gladly put you to work, and be grateful for the help! You'll enjoy the experience, too, and you'll meet a lot of really knowledgeable, killi-crazy folks.
Like anything else, the more you give to this hobby, the more you'll get back, in friends, in experience, in respect, in good fish.
Soapbox put away, rant mode off.
Keep breedin' those killies -
Greater Cincinnati Killifish Association
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