10th Mountain Division Descendants, Inc.

 

President's Message
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10th Mountain Division Descendants, Inc.

 President’s Message

Summer 2017

 

10th Mountain Division Descendants Inc. (TMDD) continues to work to fulfill our mission of preserving the legacy of the 10th Mountain Division and to give support to the veterans, wives and widows of the Division.  Some of the current TMDD highlights include:

Membership:  Membership renewals as well as first-time memberships to date for 2017 total almost 800 at last count, on par with last year.  Increasing membership across all chapters remains our highest priority as we work to attract 2nd and 3rd generation descendants, as well as those of the 10th Light veterans. We continue to ask for everyone’s help building our numbers by signing up a family member or two so we can reach or better yet surpass the 1,000-member goal we’ve set again for this year. Memberships are our only real source of revenue, revenue that is needed to continue the programs and outreach that we do to meet the mission.  As always, we should also all thank Don Perkins and Wil Niebles for their hard work processing the renewal mailing and subsequent membership applications so quickly and professionally throughout the year.

Annual Board of Directors Meeting:  The 2017 TMDD BoD meeting will be held on 21 July, at the Denver Public Library.  We will be reviewing many important topics at this meeting to include:  possible changes to streamline and modernize our membership processes; changes to our financial processes aimed at strengthening the TMDD financial position; looking at our chapter structure to address the issues of leadership voids in the smaller chapters; and others.  Look for more information soon stemming from the wide variety of topics that will be discussed at the meeting.

Scholarship: As reported earlier, last year’s Finn-Thornton Scholarship of $2,500 was awarded to Charles Thomas, grandson of Sam and Ann Thomas (87-I). We have continued to receive donations from several chapters and individuals. Taken together with our Association’s annual budgeted amounts, the fund totals over $7,000 prior to making this year’s award.  As part of our efforts to substantially beef up the fund, we included an insert in the membership packet providing background on this scholarship, and included a donation line on the membership application. These actions generated additional donations to this important scholarship fund.  Those interested in donating to this fund can do so by sending their donation to Don Perkins our Treasurer, noting that the amount is for the Finn-Thornton Scholarship.  In addition, please encourage students to visit the Descendant web page for information and an application.  After all, the goal is to support 10th Mountain Descendants in their academic pursuits.

Quartermaster:   Melanie Loveland of the Rocky Mountain Chapter is off to a great start as our new QM.  She has put together a brochure of available items that was also included in the membership mailing. The brochure is available on our TMDD website as well.  Melanie provided items for sale on the recent return trip to Italy as well.  Please visit the TMDD web page or contact Melanie directly to purchase items from the QM.  In addition, 10th Mountain items remain available through the “Off the Beatin’ Path” gift shop at Ft Drum, and can be viewed via a link provided on the National Association website (http://10thmtndivassoc.org).

 

Finance:  TMDD will continue to provide financial support when possible to projects that further our goal of preserving and spreading the word about the Division’s history. The most substantial example of this so far was our contribution of $2,500 last year to the Honor the Mountain Memorial recently dedicated in Watertown, NY (http://www.honorthemountain.com/).  10th Mountain Division Descendants, Inc. is listed on the Donor Plaque as a result. We would like to take things up a notch or two with a project to honor the 10th Mountain legacy that will be supported by a dedicated a fund-raising effort.   If you have ideas for such a project that you would like to see your Association support, please contact your Chapter Director or myself any time.

Italy 2017 and 2020:  Ninety descendants and friends recently completed a return to Italy trip from 9-18 June.  The trip focused entirely on the Hill Towns combat route, the exception being our traditional visit to the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial where we conducted a very moving ceremony and visit to each 10th Mountain soldier.  Our goal was to visit battle sites related to the February-April 1945 operations in more detail than in the past, as well as get off the big buses to see some of the more out of the way but nevertheless important sites in the area.  With the help of our many friends in Italy we were able to do so and visited sites such as Torre Iussi, and M. Croce in Tole.  We also had a group of hardy descendants who climbed Riva Ridge, eventually joining the group in Trignano for a visit to the museum and festa in the square. Of course, we enjoyed the incredible hospitality of our hosts and friends in the villages along the way as always.

It’s not too early to begin thinking about 2020!  That will be the 75th anniversary of victory and the end of WWII in Europe and we anticipate it will be well-celebrated, something we want to be a part of.  This trip will go back to the more traditional version that will include the complete combat route to Lake Garda, along with more sightseeing opportunities.

Social Media:  Our TMDD Instagram page has continued to be quite successful with almost 700 followers so far. For all you Instagram users, it can be followed at "10thmtndivisiondescendants". This provides yet another avenue for sharing pictures among the members, and wave the 10th Mountain flag.  It continues to attract many modern 10th Mountain serving soldiers and veterans as well as ski industry organizations and personalities.  If you have pictures you'd like to have posted (past trips to Italy, reunions, "throwbacks", for example), please forward them to "adriancoffey@10thmtndivdesc.org".  Members also continue to visit and post on the 10th Mountain Descendants and Friends Facebook page.  This continues to provide a venue for sharing pictures, stories, asking questions, making connections, etc.  I’m amazed at how much 10th Mountain history is surfaced and discussed on this page, so please visit and contribute often. 

How You Can Help:  Attend Chapter and National Meetings: At the most basic level, we can all simply attend the chapter or national meetings and other gatherings (Ski-Ins, Memorial Day at Camp Hale, National Reunion, Italy trips, etc.) to support those members who give their time and effort to organize these events.

Volunteer: Volunteer to organize activities or suggest ideas to your chapter Directors or the Association Board.  We also continue to look for expertise in some key areas such as membership, education, and social networking to name a few.

Please visit the Descendant web page (
http://10thmountaindivisiondescendants.org) often for information on activities and initiatives, and don’t hesitate to call on any of us with your ideas and suggestions.

As always … When your chapter hosts an event please attend if possible. It’s the best way I know of to show our respect for our 10th Mountain veterans and all they’ve done.

Steve Coffey

 



Steve Coffey

 
President,
10th Mountain Division Descendants, Inc
 
1630 York Mills Lane
Reston, VA  20194
scoffey@10thmtndivdesc.org
Father:  Albert Coffey, Jr.,  87-F

 

 

 

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