BY ROBERT BOMIA, PRESIDENT
The overall summary of the National Convention in Wichita, Kansas was most likely the Best Convention ever held. Our Federation is so blessed to have so many great members who just pitched in, worked together, and makes it happen. As President, I am so thankful for our great membership, and proud to be part of this wonderful organization. This Convention reminded me of the Good Ole Days.
As a senior member of the Federation, I did not look forward to the 950 mile journey to Wichita, but as it turned out, it was not all that bad. I enjoyed the entire weekend with my Buckeye Buddy from Cleveland, Tom Sabrey. I know I pick on Tom a lot, but it is all in fun, and he is a really nice guy and good friend, and a total pleasure to be around. My van with 130 thousand miles was packed to the hilt with Flemish Giants, English Lops, and Pigs (Cavies).
Karen Clouse’s mother was ill and little did I know that Jack and Hazel Langley would also have to leave the Convention early due to the Hurricane Sandy that devastated the East Coast during the Convention. This left me very worried about the outcome to the week, but all the members made it look so easy. For that, I am very thankful. My friends Kathy Rynard, and Joanne Walker in conjunction with Jack and Hazel Langley took care of our booth, and all the other parts of the Show. Doc Hall volunteered the last week to be the Show Supt., and made all the Room arrangements, and the wonderful Banquet arrangements. Jack and Hazel brought all the Awards. I am so thankful for all these folks have accomplished for the members of the Federation.
We, and I really missed those members that have been having health problems, and could not attend the convention. To name a few John Trone, Emily Carter, Charles Cook, Roger “RED” Dent, Rocky Altic etc. Our prayers are for you to get to feeling better. John Trone is one of my best friends, and he is presently in the hospital. I try to talk to him as much as I can. His wife Barb is an Angel.
It was not a matter of who won, but who had fun. If anyone did not enjoy the comradery of the group, our going out together, and the fun times chatting and the fraternity then they missed something. I had a ball, but to be honest I did miss my wonderful wife Kathy, and my new Dog Lucky. I enjoyed talking with everyone daily in the show room. I think the Judges Tex Thomas and Dr. Chris Hayhow are two of the finest in the ARBA, and we were very fortunate to have them sorting the animals. Both did an outstanding job even though our set up was not as good as it should have been, they both made the best of it. (We did not have any holding pens behind the Judges, and the one table that did was for small breeds and could not be used by our Giants. Hoping the Harrisburg Convention does better. This may have been the only negative at the entire show.)
The show in memory of Bob Bolyard was so good and fitting that Lynn Bolyard won Best Opp Breed with her 6/8 Buck. That was one heck of a Buck. Lynn is such a nice person and loved by all that know her. We all feel so sorry for her loss this year of Bob, and we also miss him a lot. The youth were shown separate from the Open (Different times), allowing the adults to go and support the youth members during judging. I think that Tex Thomas and Dr. Chris Hayhow really enjoyed the fun we had with the Young ones. Also, Winning both Best of Breed, and Best Opp. With really nice Flemish 6/8 Sandy rabbits were Lisa & Emily Quinn. In fact they won so many awards they would require a trailer to take the awards home.
The one thing that I was surprised to receive and will hold dear to my heart was the Jim Ahyou award for the “Most Awesome Flemish Giant” as voted on by those in attendance at the Convention and awarded to Kathy and I for our Sr. Fawn Buck, B015R. This was the first time award that will be an annual award. Jim and I were very close friends and this meant a lot to me and thanks to all that voted for my rabbit for me to win this most important award.
Our Booth was fantastic thanks to all the work of Kathy Rynard, Joanne Walker, Jack and Hazel Langley, Jim Fleming and all others that helped. The Banners made by Jim Fleming touched up our booth with professionalism, and made our Federation money at the auction at the meeting.
Doc Hall put on and outstanding Banquet at the Holiday Ball Room, and the food was scrumptious. Anne Murdock worked the Auction with Bill Mairs (our main man, and auctioneer), Anne also represented the Youth Committee and handed out the youth awards, and also the door prizes (We are so lucky to have her, and Reg made the necklace that sold for lots of cash in the Auction).
Youth Recognition awards were presented by Anne Murdock to Inga Dolinski, Michigan, Kirsten Gosslee, Ocala, Fla., and Lisa Quinn, Hays, Kansas. They are all very deserving members of our Federation. Lisa Quinn in memory of Bob Bolyard made and presented a beautiful quilt to Lynn Bolyard. The Federation also presented Lynn with a Plague in memory of Bob Bolyard for all the contributions he has made to the Federation over the years.
At the meeting Robert Bomia presented John Davis, Kansas City, MO with the Honor Roll. John is a special friend, and was into Flemish Giants long before I thought of them. He goes back a long way, and was also a good friend to our legends Herb Bashore, and John Coon. I loved his Marine Corp Hat that he had on having spent some time in the Corps myself. Jack Langley, Chairperson for this valued award was called out to deal with the Hurricane damage on the East Coast from Sandy.
Doc Hall, Master Breeder Chairperson, had his committee award Rocky Altic, Pleasant Hope, MO. With the Master Breeders Award in 2012. Rocky was not at the Convention do to ongoing health problems. Rocky has been raising Flemish Giants since he was a young one, and we are all wishing the best to him and his wife on their ongoing health issues. Our prayers are with him and his family. I am sure he enjoyed this award.
Our Federation is blessed to have Scott Wenzel, a computer /internet expert and Jim Fleming, a design professional in our club and willing to help. We will see what improvements we can make in the upcoming future to put the newsletter on the internet to save the club money, and to also have Jim continue to help us with banners and design improvements as required. Thank both of you for stepping forward to help the members.
At our meeting Auction we did get $1900. Bill Mairs and Annie Murdock did a wonderful job of getting our members to contribute with Bill being our Federation Auctioneer. Thanks to all those that contributed items to raffle. Jim Fleming, the outstanding Flemish Giant Banners, Kathy Rynard/Joanne Walker for the best wine in California, Bill Mairs for his yearly British Columbia Salmon, and Reg Murdock for the home made necklace. I think Bonnie Varner got half of the loot. Thank you Bonnie for your helping the club, and to all those I mentioned, and including Doc Hall who kept bidding.
As President, I was so proud of all of you and will thank a few of you personally, but if I missed you I am very grateful for me and the General membership for all your help in putting on the best Convention ever.
Writers: Valere Delair, Kathy Rynard, Joanne Walker, Annie Murdock
Booth: Kathy Rynard, Joanne Walker, Jack and Hazel Langley, Jim Fleming, Deb Brink, Anne Murdock, and all others that helped. It was a beautiful booth. It got my number one award
Carriers: Although everyone helped special thanks to Valere Jeanquart, and Bonnie Varner for the great work. Bonnie almost got ate alive by a Flemish that bit her….
Auction: Bill Mairs, Anne Murdock, Jim Fleming, Doc Hall, Kathy Rynard, Joanne Walker, Reg Murdock etc. Thank you very much.
My last thank you to Kathy Rynard and Joanne Walker for looking out for me for the entire weekend. I am now known as a Semi Truck. We all had a great time, it was so good to spend the week with all those that were at the Convention, and if you missed this one, it was the Best Ever. We look forward to seeing everyone in Harrisburg, Pa next year. Lets all strive to make that one even Better. May God bless you and watch over you and your families. Our prayers and thoughts go out to all those that were devastated by the Hurricane Sandy and we are wanting you to get your life’s back to normal soon.
The Trip home was very hard, but having Tom Sabrey for Company helped some…… When he was not sleeping…. I was very humble to have gotten Best of Breed with my Jr. Doe, “ LADY”, and best Display with so many wonderful rabbits being shown. I think we had like close to 300 in the open and 70 in the youth. I know that Valare Jeanquart was promised the first rabbit from me next year. I was overly impressed with the Quality of the Flemish Giants at the Show. It was a shoot out, and we all parted our way home as Friends. That is Priceless.
For the Membership,
Bob Bomia, President, NFFGRB
2012 ARBA National Convention ~ Wichita, KS