On Jan. 18, the Board of Directors of the SAM Foundation held its annual Planning Meeting for 2022. While COVID certainly knocked us for a loop, we have been up and running for a while now. The store is open with Angela Hastings on Tuesday nights, Foundation Night is the first Tuesday (BTW, that means the next one is TONIGHT!), we had the “Last Waltz” in November and the “Queen City Song Swap” in December.

I’m just going to share a brief report with you about some of our thoughts going forward. In 2022 we want to get our education programs back up and running. Jason Hall has started meeting with the Community Music School and Patrick Gormley is reaching out to enlist teachers for the upcoming year.

We’ll be returning to scholarships this year, starting with Mark Filsinger and the Buffalo Jazz Collective this spring. We’ll also be creating a scholarship in the name of local musician Josh Gage, who passed away prior to COVID. Nolan Bruce Allen has also made a significant contribution for a scholarship that we will address.

We’re discussing the direction we want to take with our newspaper, The JAM. We’d like to get it back in print as well as expand it as an online music journal, including listings.

We are looking forward to getting our Music @ The Library series going again as soon as they are ready to start hosting us.

In calendar order, we’re planning on presenting another SzelestFest in March or April. We’re working on a Fest for the summer in Sportsmen’s Park that will be a big deal with an exciting national headliner supported by local bands. The Magic Carpet Ride will be back on or about Labor Day, organized by Dwane Hall and Jeff Griffin.

In the fall, our awards show will return, probably in October. We’re discussing how it will be presented, as we’re considering changing the concept a bit. And after four sold-out performances at Babeville, our most recent corporate sponsor, “The Last Waltz” will be returning on November 18, 2022. This past year we had six cast changes, and over the years we’ve added additional songs, so you never know what we’ll come up with for ’22.

In December, we’d like to host a Christmas party at The Cave and turn it into a toy drive.

The strength of our organization is in the membership, both individual and corporate. Please make sure you renew your membership; better yet save some money and buy a three-year membership for only $75. Visit us at sportsmensamf.org. Watch for the JAM email at the beginning of the month. Consider becoming more active as a volunteer or a Board member; contact Jason Hall if you’re interested. And finally, give us your feedback, however you’d like to do it; email, text, social media, the USPS or speak to a board member on the first Tuesday of the month.

How do the above ideas sound to you? Share your ideas with us. We want to present events that you want to support.

Thanks for reading,

Bob McLennan
Board member

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