A Big Year for the Little Post That Could

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BlueRidge-1Someone once said “You can’t just stand there if you want something to fly.  You have to run!”  

In that spirit, the SAME Blue Ridge Post ran to great heights in 2014 through building relationships, encouraging scholarship contributions, and supporting our military community.

Back to School. The Blue Ridge Post’s Luncheon Series featured speakers providing information and insight on a number of subjects,  from preserving national landmarks, to an insider’s look at defense budgets, national strategy, military installations, and energy and environmental programs.

Industry Day. The Blue Ridge Post this year helped facilitate a program designed to promote “The Truth About Partnering” to examine the four-point relationship between government, customer, the architect-engineer and the construction contractor, outlining challenges and lessons learned for successful project delivery.   Several of the Post’s members participated in a panel discussion featuring valuable information on lessons learned, success stories and contracting best practices for potential future partnership opportunities.

Annual Scholarship Golf Outing. Always a Post favorite, and this year, the Blue Ridge Post’s annual golf outing benefiting our scholarship program was bigger than ever! The Post raised more than $30,000 for our Education & Mentoring Fund.  With 120 golfers in attendance, lots of volunteers on hand to help and ideal  weather, it was our most successful scholarship fundraising event yet.

Awards and Recognition. In 2013, the Blue Ridge Post established an award to recognize the contributions of long-time members and friends to the organization, for their support and service embodying the mission of SAME.  We are pleased to announce that Roger Thomas was selected as the second Blue Ridge Post Laureate for his 42-year federal career supporting the American military engineering community. Thomas has been on the cutting edge of the nation’s sword through three wars and multiple other contingencies supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. government partners in more than 60 foreign countries.

Committee News. One of our key goals for 2014 was to offer greater opportunities for members to make a significant contribution to committees of their interest.  With this in mind, we have begun recruiting with some outstanding results.

  • Our Education and Mentoring Committee is ripe with talent.  In  very short time, the committee has brought the entire scholarship application process online. This will allow us to reach out to kids where they live—in cyberspace.
  • Our brand new Communications/Media Committee also is busy working on three important goals: 1) the development of a communications plan 2) tackling our website to use it to its fullest potential and 3) establishing a functioning social media presence. Finding the right balance of the best communications/media platforms will go a long way toward helping us reach every member of our constituency, regardless of their demographic footprint.

 

Community Service.  The Blue Ridge Post’s approach to community service can best be described as the ripple effect, or as we like to think of it, small acts that lend to the greater good.

PassthehatWith the simple act of passing the hat at our recent luncheon meeting, in just three minutes, we raised $400 to benefit Operation HomeFront – Holiday Meals for Military.  This grassroots movement began Thanksgiving 2009 as a result of a chance encounter in a supermarket in Utica, N.Y., near Fort Drum. A soldier, his wife and infant child had a handful of grocery items they could not afford, and a good Samaritan paid the $12 for their groceries. The program has nearly doubled every year. In 2014 the program expects to provide more than 7,500 meals to deserving military families at more than 20 locations.   We are proud to be part of this effort.

Special Events. The Blue Ridge Post ended 2014 with a first: our Feliz Navidad Holiday Happening.  We had great attendance at a local Mexican restaurant where everyone had the opportunity to meet, greet, mingle and munch.  The feedback has been so positive we are looking forward to incorporating this type of evening event into our plans on a quarterly basis.

For the SAME Blue Ridge Post, it’s all about finding ways to bring members together.

(Contributed by Rebecca Moser, Blue Ridge Post)