Our final GM of the year ended as well as it began. What a year this has been! So many of you have come up to the board members to thank us for Mixing It Up with all the new meeting venues, the exciting speakers, the fun slide shows, the raffle prizes, more wonderful vendors at the Best of Britain room, and many more kind comments.
We learned today that our GM attendance rate soared from an average of 65 last year to an average of 100 attendees, so a very big Thank You to our members for showing up in such enthusiastic numbers.
Because of this our VP of Membership / VP Volunteers and Nominations, Jen Fraser and our VP of Programs, Sunita Shroff, wanted to show you how much we appreciate you all at this year's Appreciation Luncheon. I think we all felt the love. Please give a big AWBS round of appreciation to our lovely member Kiran Ram for donating her delicious and healthy meals, we all piled our plates high, to Marco for his special gift of flowing scarves to all attending members, we're summer-lovely now, to our photographer for the GM, Naomi Lloyd who so graciously came to photograph this final GM and to Fleur of Virginia Water for providing such lovely flowers!
Another big thank you to Sunita Shroff for arranging the perfect speaker: Comedian, writer and women-ista Kathy Lette set the perfect rowdy and celebratory tone!! Not surprisingly she sold out all the books she brought.
This GM is not all smiles, however. We bid a sad farewell to four of this year's board who are stepping down: Rita Bantz has been our very diligent treasurer for three years and kept us always resourceful, Alicia Essex has been a generous VP of Philanthropy, going above and beyond the call of duty by generously donating her own lovely handpainted British themed cabinets as auction items to raise even more funds for our charity slate. Fortunately Alicia will continue with us next year by heading the Craft Fayre Nov. 5th, Irene Moore has been a lovely FIWAL representative, key in getting us more involved with other London clubs. But the sadest farewell goes to Michelle Olson, our VP of IT and Craft Fayre Head for two years, who leaves our shores for Boston. Michelle spent countless hours continuing to bring our website into the 21st Century! We will sincerely miss her.
Last but not least, I can't help pinching myself every time I see your dedicated Board all pitch in setting up, manning the sign in table, clearing trash, folding table clothes, lugging tables up and down staircases, in the kitchen cleaning dishes, and in general taking care of the last detail. AWBS are all big hearted, kind and generous women!! Everywhere else it takes a village...here it just takes AWBS members! We hope to see you at our Hat & Handbags luncheon, or some of our summer luncheons or TGIFs.
Many, many thanks to all for such an amazing year,
Kristi Thompson, AWBS President 2015-2017