AHS Region 2/Great Lakes Newsletter
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and setting up the table at 6:00 PM, but everything turned
Rosemary Balazs reports about Chicagoland Activities:
out very well thanks to my sister Elizabeth's help.
Increasing Meeting Attendance
Our club members usually show slides after the election,
We have found a way to bolster membership attendance.
but this year everyone came very early to eat, and we will
It's called  food.  In January, the Board traditionally hosts
probably show the slides at the January meeting when we
a chili bash, and usually over 50 members show even if it's
have the chili bash.
a bad day outside. In April, all the members host a salad
January Chili Bash
luncheon, and we invite other garden club members to hear
a special speaker. At the first of these luncheons we had 57
Beginning the year with the chili has been an excellent way
marvelous salads plus lots of extras.
to start the year off. Each Board member cooks his or her
favorite chili. One year we had 9 different types of chili,
Our worst attended meeting had always been the election
and we even had a white chili with white beans and
and photo contest meeting in October, but it had never
chicken. Lately, one member brings something else such as
been as bad as a year ago when only 20 members showed
hot dogs or barbecue beef just in case there is a non chili
up. Our Membership Chair worked so hard on the photo
eater. As I mentioned before, the members seem to turn out
contest, and it was a big disappointment to have only 2 or 3
in much greater numbers when there is food around, and
members participate. A  Brats  party was suggested, and
most of them are very generous in sharing their cooking
everyone seemed to be in favor or that idea.
expertise and in donating various items.
It was a problem not knowing what the attendance would
Changing Meeting Days and Times
be, but by cooking brats for 50 it came out exactly right.
We had 54 members, but a few are vegetarians and for
Our club also runs unusual dates for meetings. There were
those we had vegetarian brats. Almost all the food disap 
quite a few complaints from our senior members, some of
peared and it was a fun evening. One member even brought
whom helped organize our club over thirty years ago. We
his boombox with  ump pah pah  music.
always had our meetings on the third Friday of the month,
and driving during the winter months when it gets dark by
Membership Book
5 o'clock, was preventing some of them from attending.
I don't know if other groups have a 
Membership Book
 or
Night driving was a real problem for some of them, too.
not, but for the past 3 out of 4 years, we have issued one
We moved the meetings to Sundays during the winter
with a color cover which can be a little pricey. This year we
months (January through April   Standard Time), and then
had a contest to see if the members wanted to continue the
returning to the third Fridays for May, June, and October  
very pretty color covers of someone's garden or to opt for a
Central Daylight Saving Time. It was a little awkward at
well designed black, with shades of grey, cover on colored
first because two other daylily groups have meetings on the
stock, which can be run for 5 cents apiece versus 75 to 89
first and third Sundays, and it was necessary for us to pick
cents for the color cover. I was glad to see the black and
the second Sunday.
white win. What was interesting were the number of
entries. We had over 15 members participate in that contest
In the beginning, many folks would mix up the dates or
alone.
forget. We try to have the newsletter in the members'
hands ten days to two weeks before the next meeting, but it
Photo and Slides Contest
doesn't always work. By the second year, however, the
Our photo contest is for both photos (everything must be
new schedule was easier to follow.
matted as it makes it look much more professional) and
We found that the Sunday afternoon meetings in the winter
slides, and we had 4 categories in each section: Single
time are also good for those who are employed since they
Bloom, Clump, or 2 or more blooms, Landscape. Last year,
don't have to buck the horrible Friday night traffic coming
regional meeting and national convention shots were
across the city after a hard day's work. It's not the most
added. With everything that was going on, I was busy. I
convenient for the family folks who want to have dinner
had eight entries in the slides and photos contest myself,
and visit with children and grandchildren on Sundays, but
plus the book cover, and had to do the shopping and
for the most part it has been quite well received.
cooking for the brats and supper items.  I live ten minutes
away and am retired, so I was elected as chief bottle
Sometimes by sharing the various suggestions between
washer, but it was also the day I have my 5 1/2 hour
the clubs we can help one another with attendance and
ceramics class. It was a very hectic pace getting the 50
participation.
brats cooked in beer and to get them grilled between school
 Spring/Summer 2003  Page
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