Are you a current member of the AKA? Now, before you answer, think, have you received any email messages from the AKA lately? My latest message went out 2 weeks ago in the cool new format. Did you receive it? If not, either we don’t have your current email, or your membership has lapsed. Take a minute to check it out by dropping me an email, President@aka.kite.org, and I can look it up.
We want YOU as a member. Isn’t it time you joined the world’s largest community of kiters? The American Kitefliers Association has much to offer every person that enjoys kites in any form. We are young and old; rookies and experienced; single liners and multi-lines; straight or GLBT; poor and rich; some build, some purchase; some joined yesterday, others in 1967; some live in the USA, many do not; some compete, others just fly for fun; some organize events, others only fly alone; some teach kites; some sell kites. Whatever your interest, you will find others that share it in the AKA. Our association is about bringing people together. We are a membership organization and depend on our members to make programs happen. Your skills and enthusiasm are needed.
2010 was year for rebuilding in the AKA. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of many, the AKA closed out the year with a nice profit. Although the books have not been totally reconciled, we will end the year at least $5500 to the good. This is a great improvement over the previous few years. Membership numbers stabilized. The updated website and revised Kite Talk forum were implemented.
The convention in Seaside OR was a great success. If ever there was to be a convention supersite, Seaside would be it! Wide beaches, accommodations in every price range, a good selection of restaurants, nice shopping selections, and a beautiful convention center all contribute to the total atmosphere of the week. Attendance exceeded all expectations. Happy faces with huge smiles abounded all week. Local clubs including the Westport Windriders and the NW Sport Kite League generously donated cash and equipment to help out. The convention made a profit and the auction proceeds were greater than our budgeted amount. What a difference a year has made in the attitudes of all our members. The positive force is back!
It is such a relief to begin the year knowing that there is money in the bank to support our programming!
Watch for more new ideas in 2011. At convention, the new line of AKA clothing was introduced. This is a line of sweatshirts, hats, scarves, shirts, jewelry and jackets. All items can be ordered in blue, red, or white in your size (XS to 10XL), with your name embroidered. Purchase thru the website in the AKA Clothing Company. Every item is high quality and custom produced for you.
Delivery is less than 2 weeks. Show your support on the field!
Take some time to explore the updated AKA website. With the addition of the profile section, you can personalize with your pictures; team information; kiting interests, motto and contact information. This is your tool to connect with other members. Take a minute to be sure your email address is correct.
Planning for National Kite Month is already underway. The NKM calendar has been integrated with the main AKA event calendar. This will make it easier to register events and give more visibility to NKM events. Our goal this year is to double the number of events posted last year. Rick Hawkins as chair is bringing a new energy to this position. This is time many clubs do their scheduling for the upcoming year. Be sure to include a few workshops, library displays, and youth group presentations in your planning.
Another fabulous convention is being organized for 2011. It will be held at another super wonderful site, Wildwood NJ. It is served by airports in Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Baltimore or Newark. Reserve the last week in September as vacation time! Convention isn’t just about competition, the workshops, the gathering of friends, the challenges all contribute to the festivities. This is truly the highlight of the year. Make plans to join in.
As Bob Ingraham said, and Corey reminds us, I like to fly kites with my friends.
Whether it is a cold, wintry day out on the lake ice; an indoor fly at the local gym; a kitemaking workshop; a festival with many large kites on the beach; a fighter battle; a sport kite competition; it is all about the joy and satisfaction we gain from the activity. If others can join and share those moments of happiness, we have accomplished a good thing in this world of too much strife. Kites transcend national borders and philosophical differences.
As 2010 draws to a close, I would like to wish each and every one of you a happy, healthy, prosperous new year for 2011 wherever you are and whichever kite you choose to fly.
Time to fly!