Location: American Legion Post #1450, Halfmoon, NY

 Meeting Date: March 17, 2004

The March meeting for the 2004 USSVI Convention Committee was called to order at 7:10 by Chairman Gasser.  There were 19 members present. 

Chairman Gasser reminded everyone that we still need help in all areas.

He stated he would like to see an increased amount of publicity in the following areas:

National – Base newspapers, VFW and American Legion publications, and civilian newspapers in areas of high concentration of Submarine Veterans.

Locally – he would like to see more opportunities to keep the local community motivated and excited about the upcoming Convention.  Also, keeping the local Civic Organizations briefed on what areas of co-operation we would like from them. Many of these Organizations do not meet over the summer season so we must keep them informed in the next few months.

A local monthly newspaper called Poor Richard’s would like to do a series of stories on the upcoming Convention and Submarines and Submariners in general. If you have an idea for a story, send it to Bob Ondek for review. These articles will appear in the August and September issues of this paper.

George Gasser reported the raffles are going well. There are three raffles we are offering:

First – an executive suite at the Prime Hotel for up to 5 days.

Second – A cash raffle that will be split 50% to Albany-Saratoga Base and 5 prizes consisting of 25%, 10%, 5%, 5%, and 5%.  For this raffle you need NOT be present to win.

Third – A raffle for a cash prize of $500.00 and a number of actual prizes. For this raffle you must be present to win as we don’t want the expense of forwarding prizes to winners. Thus far we have had some prizes donated and some prizes promised but we may have to buy some prizes. Fred Carlson is looking into the possibility of having some Airline tickets donated.

Next, we would like to have a new page added to the web site. This page would be “Things to Do.”  There would be a section of things to do within ½ hour, 1 hour, 2 hours, and finally, things to do all along the shuttle line. We need someone to put this information together so we can send this to the web master.

The Shuttle Buses are still an area of great concern. Saratoga County still chooses not to consider this request a benefit for all the citizens. We disagree but we are saddled with their decision. The busses will cost us $7000 - $8000. We are still attempting to get the county to change their minds.

The Ball Corporation has offered to donate 2000 beer can size/style banks. These banks will have the design of our choice on them. They also are willing to entertain the possibility of making a monetary donation.

The following organizations have agreed to assist with the Convention in the following areas:

Lions – Shuttle bus logistics. They will man the busses and major hotels and keep in phone contact to keep things running smoothly.
Rotary – will man the help desks in 2 or 3 of the major hotels.
Elks – will organize and co-ordinate the logistics of the Parade.
J. C,’s – will co-ordinate and staff the Welcome Party.

In the Convention welcome packets we would like to include some 2 for 1 restaurant certificates. The Clipper Magazine offers them in their monthly magazine. Paul Hartnagel will check with them to see if we can possible get Clipper to do a concentration of Saratoga restaurants for the September issue and get enough copies for each registrant.  

We want to provide some type of poster for businesses that support us and for buses to identify them as Convention Shuttles or Trip Buses. Paul Hartnagel will work on that.

George Gasser reported that the Saratoga County tourism Bureau held a luncheon in early March and there are many people and organizations that are willing to help us with the convention.

We will have a number of 6 to 15 passenger vans operating during the convention so we will need volunteer drivers for them. Perhaps this could be something that one of the Civic Organizations will take over.

We have several speakers lined up. It was decided that the Base will pay up to $1000.00 in total expenses that can include up to 3 nights lodging.

The Golf section of the Web page needs to be cleaned up a little and the information needs to be clarified. This issue will be forwarded to the Web Master.

Our Base has been asked by the Saratoga County Tourism Bureau to assist them in promoting Saratoga as a viable site for the 2007 U.S. Navy “Spook Group” Convention.  This may be difficult this year as the Spook Group Convention is being held at the same time the USSVI Convention is being held. We will do whatever we can.

 We still need help in all areas of fundraising, please volunteer to help in any way you can. Thanks.

The members were polled to see it there was anything else to discuss.  Being nothing further, the meeting was adjourned.

Submitted by:
Jim Irwin, Secretary
Albany-Saratoga Base
Pride Runs Deep