In April of 1992 Mike Melvin, Mary Ann Dewitt Roush and Daisy Judy signed the Articles of Organization laying out the by-laws for a new organization that they called Urbana High School Alumni Association. Perpetual Bank injected the needed money into the organization to get it started. In the beginning the organization enjoyed participation from many Urbana High School alumni. Membership expanded quickly and since 1995 when computer records were begun we have had 1,086 different alumni names on our rolls. The current paid membership stands at 302. This is considerably lower than years past. For the past 15 years we have been unable to attract enough people to fulfill the requirements of the bylaws in regard to alumni involvement.
For many years the board has consisted of five alumni and one non-voting member who is not an alumnus. They have distributed the Banner twice a year, collected dues, hosted the halftime refreshments in the weight room at the homecoming game, participated in the homecoming parade, administered and expanded the scholarship fund and initiated and followed through with the Distinguished Alumni Award. They have done this on a $5 per-year dues payment and the generosity of alumni in respect to the scholarships.
We have posted on Facebook and have tried to recruit new people at the homecoming games. Unless we can interest younger alumni in becoming active and taking over some of these duties, this organization is in danger of being dissolved in August of this year.
This is a volunteer organization; there is no remuneration except the satisfaction of a job well done. If the board members cannot find merchants to donate the refreshments for the homecoming halftime they buy what they need themselves, and the same for the candy thrown to the kids at the homecoming parade. In the future that could be a remunerated expense if necessary but the merchants are very willing to help when asked. The job of treasurer is a responsible one and there is an official audit periodically. The Banner has to be written, and formatted on disc twice a year. The database takes a lot of time and some computer expertise entering new addresses, keeping track of deaths, and printing labels for the Banner, but the databases have been designed and need very little tweaking. It may not seem like much is involved but year after year it can become overwhelming for those with family and/or job responsibilities. We need interested young alumni and also those who may have retired but are still young enough to inject their own creative juices into the jobs to take on these responsibilities for a few years and then more interested alumni to relieve them as they move on. We must amend our by-laws to have fewer persons on our board or attract a lot of new people to fill those positions.
If we do not have a healthy response very soon, the Urbana High School Alumni Association will become history on August 31, 2016.
Please email me at email@example.com if you are interested in saving this worthy organization. Thank you very much.
Janet McKnight Yost
UHS class of 1951
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