At the Sportsmen’s Americana Music Foundation, we’ve built an organization to endure for the long haul.  The idea has never been to pull off a single fundraiser or get through a couple events and call it a day.  We wanted to build something in the Western New York music community that would make a lasting impact. 

We wanted to do it all; educate kids about music, archive our history, produce festivals, concerts, awards shows, help new bands, spread our influence throughout WNY at multiple venues, and at all times recognize the beautiful diversity of music that exists within the label of Americana.

I’m the last original board member left from the beginning of the SAM Foundation in 2014.  So it’s definitely time for me to rotate out of a leadership position.  I’ve resigned from the Board of Directors effective at the end of the December 2022. 

I am still a member of the Foundation, of course, and will be willing to help out as needed.  At least for the time being, I’ll still offer the free tickets to various venues every month in The JAM, and as long as the board will have me, I’d like to continue producing The Last Waltz with Doug Yeomans.  I may even write an article from time to time if I have something to say.  We also encourage all of you to send submissions for The JAM.

Before I go any further, I want to thank the Chairman of the Board Dwane Hall for the opportunity to serve on the SAMF Board of Directors.  I appreciate his confidence that I’d be able to contribute to the Foundation’s mission when he put that first board together in mid-2013, when we started with a fundraiser in Riverside Park on Niagara Street.  Eventually I served as President of SAMF for nearly five eventful years before Jason Hall succeeded me in early 2020.

I’ve worked with a lot of different board members and they have all contributed the best they could to help us reach our goals.  However, there are a few I need to mention specifically, starting with Angela Hastings.  Angela was on the board for several years and she worked with me to put together our initial newsletter, run our membership files and anything else we needed.  She still runs the membership data and the SAMF store on Tuesday nights.  Don Nelson was also on the board for a few years and he single-handedly put together our initial education program that was so successful in reaching hundreds of children.  And Elmer Ploetz has continued his outstanding work as editor of The JAM, even after he left the Board.  We’re always trying to increase readership pf The JAM; any successful organization must be able to communicate effectively with its membership.

We’ve come a long way; at the beginning we had no money to work with and before we paid anything we’d have to make sure there was enough in the checking account.  Now, we have a financial base to make plans for various events and programs.  Covid really put a stop to many of our activities but I’m confident that we’ll get fully back on track in 2023.  The current Board of Directors are a great group of people dedicated to expanding the organization.  There will be new board members added in the near future.  Maybe it’s your turn to step up and help out.

Thank you to our corporate sponsors over the years and, especially, to our members and volunteers.  It was always a key component in our mission for this to be a grassroots organization driven by the membership.  It remains very inexpensive to join SAMF, so make sure you are a current and active member.  There are many benefits of membership, along with just doing the right thing to support the music we all love in a variety of ways.

I’ll see you out there, there’s nothing like a great night of live music!

Bob McLennan
SAM Foundation


Editor’s Note: Thank you for the kind words, Bob. And thanks for all the work, the hours and the inspiration you’ve given the SAM Foundation over the past decade. You’ve made a difference.

Elmer Ploetz
JAM Editor

The Editor

Author The Editor

More posts by The Editor

Leave a Reply