2016 Annual Banquet and General Membership Meeting
Red Lodge, Montana
August 13th, 2016
The Highpointers Club 30th Annual General Membership Meeting was conducted during the Montana 2017 Convention Banquet at the Red Lodge Fairgrounds in Red Lodge, Montana.
The evening began with a group photo taken by Alan Ritter. A social hour was followed by a call to order at 7:08 PM by Master of Ceremony Don Holmes who welcomed the 287 members and several guests in attendance. Rudy Vedovell led the Pledge of Allegiance and provided an invocation. This was followed by a buffet-style banquet dinner during which Host John Mitchler read off random names drawn to claim door prizes donated by local small businesses and elegant music on viola was provided by Sophia Sun of New York.
Don introduced Host John Mitchler who then introduced the head table which included President Tim Webb and a panel of U.S. Forest Service staff and mountaineering guides: Jason Dittmer, Kenny Gasch, Ken Coffin, Justin Hawkins, Mike LaFrentz, Austin Hart and Charlie Manfredi. Other introductions included the Crew, past convention Hosts, 50-state Completers, those that summited Granite Peak (the Montana High Point) during the week and Kathleen Richard-Groninger who recently became the oldest female to complete the 50 state High Points.
Farthest to travel to the convention- brother and sister Sjaak and Lidy Van Schie of The Netherlands.
Most family members in attendance- Vandersluis and Sun/Brock families.
Oldest in attendance- Rudy Vedovell (89 yo).
Youngest in attendance- Skyler Nance (6 yo).
Most conventions attended- Penn Watson (28 of 30).
President Tim Webb had some general remarks for the Membership.
Mick Dunn presented an update of the Massachusetts 2017 convention.
Host John Mitchler had some general remarks for the Membership.
The panel of U.S. Forest Service staff and mountaineering guides at the head table had remarks and provided a Question and Answer forum for the Membership.
Don conducted the selection of the 2018 convention site. Dennis Dean and Alan Ritter nominated Arkansas with an animated presentation by Dennis Dean. This went unchallenged and Arkansas was selected by the Membership. Dennis Dean and Alan Ritter will host Arkansas 2018. The dates proposed are June 28th to July 1st.
John Birrer received an “EMC” plaque for completing his quest to visit every county in the United States.
Mick Dunn and Nancy Houdeshell each received plaques for completing the 48-state High Points.
After introducing the Scholarship committee Bomber Brown announced the winner of the inaugural Jack Parsell Highpointers Club Scholarship which went to Natalie Ake from Wisconsin.
Don announced Paul Zumwalt Awards to the following:
Christina Estrada, Valerie Gomez and Jennette Lee (newsletter printers at Alphagraphics)
Connie, Julie and Kristen (newsletter mailing team at the U.S. Post Office in Golden, Colorado)
Jason Dittmer, Kenny Gasch and Phil Powers (Jackson Hole Mountain Guides)
Devyn Struder (manager of the Mountaineering Museum in Golden, Colorado)
Jayme Severyn (Lead Ranger at Custer State Park in South Dakota)
Monty Jo and Vicki Roberts (owners of Black Mesa B&B in Kenton, Oklahoma)
Don announced Frank Ashley Awards to the following:
Sheri Brisbois Kelly (convention treasurer)
Glen and Jill Klawonn (ranch owners of Panorama Point, the Nebraska High Point)
Don presented the Vin Hoeman Award to Bomber and Nena Brown, of Alabama, for their volunteer work with Highpointers Mercantile.
Don presented the Jack Longacre Award to George Vandersluis for longstanding service to the Highpointers Club.
The meeting concluded with the passing of the Highpointers Club Pennant from John Mitchler (MT16) to Mick Dunn (MA17).