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Held at the Comfort Inn in Berlin, VT (Feb. 26th, 2011)

16 members in attendence (because all known attendees were present we actually started the meeting 15 minutes early, at 9:45AM).
1) Report on club finances (John Young):
       - Currently have 37 paid memberships at $15 a year ($555 - last year $440)
        - our club's annual expenses (pay-outs, awards, meetings, etc) is roughly equal to what we are bring in annually, plus we have over $6000 in our club account so we're solvent yet for a few years.
        - we believe that this year the benefactors of the Regatta will donate $1000 to our club since so many of our members volunteer their entire day for this event (which raised over $23,000 for Linking Learning for Life) and they couldn't do it without us.

2) Seed Auction Results (John Young, Terry Keim and Steve Minor):
              - This year we got a late start but still had 29 quality lots, all but three of these have already been paid and sent out.
              - On-line seed auction brought in $2125 ($3050 last year), less expenses for paypal, postage, advertising and bubbles leaves a net profit of $1944.38.   This is less than last year probably for a couple of reasons, we had the auction later than usual and there are so many auctions out there these days.
3) Rejoining the GPC (Kevin Companion)
         - discussion as to whether we maintain our current $300 level, decided that we should.
4) Changing prize money structure (Kevin Companion)
     Much discussion as to whether we should change our payout structure, decided to continue with current structure but extend the pay out places out to 25th for any legitimate pumpkin.

5) Club events for 2011 (Various members)
      - Summer BBQ - the Boyces volunteered their place (or Cadieux's) for the BBQ, tenative date is August 13th.
      - Weigh off at Mazzas - continue our relationship with Mazza, their facilities are perfect for us and they actually donate $400 to our club for us to hold our event there.   Next year they will rope off the pumpkins to keep people from crawling all over them.   Date of weigh-off will be 10/08/11.
      - Regatta, 4th annual to be held 10/09/11 at the Burlington waterfront.  The benefactors of the event may be willing to donate $1000 to our club considering our members donate a lot of time to put on this event, not to mention growing the vessels.   This year we will setup our club table closer within the festivities which should get us more "business".   Also we will solicit the public to bring non-perishable food items to donate to the food shelf.   Also we'll put up a donation bucket next to the "picture pumpkin".   We'll do the "guess the weight" pumpkin again but may be do a 50/50 prize structure instead of giving away the pumpkin.
        - Local fairs and other events.   Steve Minor was selected the volunteer of the Champlain Valley Fair for his many hours of hard work.   He and John handed out over 1500 seed packs.   Dan and Holly also spend every day at the Rutland Fair and spreading the news about growing giant pumpkins.

6) Electing a new President (Kevin Companion)
    Kevin decided after 13 years it was time to step down, so we discussed who/how to choose a new President.   Dan nominated John Young and it was quickly seconded.   No one else expressed any interest in taking over the position so John was elected to what we decided would be a two year term.   Over the next couple years we'll figure out a more efficent means in electing officers.   John would like to set up committees with chairpersons to head the various events.  Ann Squires volunteered to take on more responsibilities, so besides owning the membership she will help John setup new banking accounts and act as Treasurer.  Kerri Young volunteered to take over hats, shirts and such.   Kevin had some of these made and Kerri will order more as the hats sold out already.
7) Distribution of jackets and awards (Kevin Companion)
      Last year we decided to award 1000 pound and higher growers with jackets.  Kevin had them made and passed them out, 1000 lb level to John Young, 1100 lb level to Terry Keim, 1200 lb level to Wilbur Horton, 1200 lb level to Dan and Holly Boyce, 1300 lb level to Mark and Sharon Breznick and 1300 lb level to Kevin Companion.   To receive a jacket member must be in good standing and grow their 1000+ pumpkin while they are a member.
  Kevin also passed out some other club awards, they were:
        Comeback grower of the year went to Harold Young
        Rookie of the year went to Donna Parker
        Most Improved grower of the year went to Terry Keim
        Hard Luck grower of the year went to Eric Hull since a Moose stomped his plant!
        Junior grower of the year went to Craig Stromback
        Best foreign entry went to Mike and Gail Strange
        Grower of the year went to Kevin Companion
Lunch was served followed by a couple "pumpkin" presentations done by Terry Keim.   Meeting adjourned at 1:00PM just because that's when are room rental ended, we could have talked all day :-)  Next time we'll have to allow for more time so that we can actually talk about growing pumpkins :-)

   Also Randy Stromback has been making lifting rings and he donated one to the club, these are really nice, rated for 2600 lbs, that should hold anything we can grow :-)    It was quickly purchased for $150 - thanks Randy!   That was really nice of you, maybe next year we'll include one on our on-line auction.    If you'd like to purchase one, contact us and we'll get you in touch with Randy.
    And Mark Breznick was nice enough to bring mill fabric which he cut up and passed out to anyone who wanted it.   Thanks guys, this is just one of the things that make our club special.

Vermont Giant Pumpkin Growers
The Green Mountian State
Retrofitted in 2011!