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President's Message: I Invite You To Take The Pledge With Me

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Invite You To Take The Pledge With Me

Fall is finally here! It has been a long hot summer, but a productive one for our chapters. There has been a flurry of activity at our sites - just take a look at the Events site on our website. Among noteworthy events were the antique wedding dress exhibit at the Woodruff-Fontaine House, the Candle-lit Evening in the Garden at the Buchanan Log Home, the Athenaeum Girl's School, the 25th Annual Fall Fest at Belle Meade Plantation and the Civil War Living History Program at Ramsey House. The Hardeman and Rutherford County chapters sponsored numerous events, a summer market was held at Glenmore, and summer tours educated travelers at the Crockett Tavern and Arlington. This activity clearly demonstrates that we are vigorously carrying out our mission. I always keep reminding others when I talk about APTA, that we are doing something very few others are doing in this state. We are operating historic sites to give the public a feel for and a glimpse into Tennessee's past. I want to thank all our members for continuing to support these important efforts.

As I have been saying for several years, many people like to talk about historic preservation, but very few people contribute time, money and their talents to it. The APTA membership has declined for several years as have memberships in several nonprofit organizations. As I go into my second term as APTA president, it is my intention to reverse this trend in APTA. To continue to carry our our mission, we need to constantly recruit members and get these members involved in our organization. My goal is to double our membership statewide over the next four years. I would like for you to consider making this your goal too. In this spirit I urge each APTA member to recruit at least one new member, either as a chapter member or as an APTA associate member, each year for the next four years. I pledge that I will do the same. Once we recruit new members we must get them involved in our programs to keep their interest. I would very much appreciate it if you will join me in this pledge to increase the strength and visibility of APTA.

A final note, and on that I don't want to overlook, is that in order to be a "player" in the preservation field, the APTA has reached out to other historic preservation organizations in Tennessee and outside the state. I urge our members to participate in other historic preservation organizations as well. The exchange of information and the additional knowledge our members will obtain by joining with others will serve to make the APTA stronger. We are very fortunate in that members of our organization operate their own historic sites and programs that compliment APTA sites and programs. I don't want to exclude anyone, but the Victorian Village project in Memphis, Fiddler's Grove in Lebanon and Falls Mill in Belvidere come to mind. I can't stress enough that everyone involved in the preservation of our state's history is a vital asset if we intend to make an impact in the 21st century.