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Michael Stone

Michael Stone

Helping Hands

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The group was called "Helping Hands". After trying to get an assistance program of this kind going in our Sarasota chapter way back when, I named it 'Helping Hands' based on the handshake logo of Prime Timers Sarasota and Prime Timers Worldwide! It was decided that at first the group of volunteer members would shop, furnish rides, and help with household chores for those who were incapacitated or possibly needing help with their partners.

Again I find myself in Southern California visiting my mother in a skilled nursing facility. Again I am forced to confront the question of "is a long, long life of value when there is nothing left to enjoy?" It has been two years since having to move her here; she is now legally (and entirely) blind, deaf in one ear and has about 10% hearing in the other.

It all starts with the individual and the vision he has of something he feels he needs to get accomplished. It's only when that vision is fed by the support he gets from people who are able to align themselves with its purpose that it begins to grow. Lastly, only when that vision becomes much greater than the individual, can it become a force for change in the world.

Late in April, I was asked to step in and conduct the monthly Prime Timers Sarasota meeting. This article is based on my notes and presentation and although directed at the one specific chapter, it applies to all. First off, let me say that this article was written after the fact.

Each year when we send out our reminders of annual chapter dues, we ask that you send us a CIS. (Chapter Information Sheet). The Worldwide Secretary and board keeps a database of information for each chapter. As soon as we receive this, we post the updated results. We realize that this often arrives at the start of the year when new boards are newly elected and, quite often, never gets completed or sent-in.

This year, I celebrate my 15th year on the Board of Prime Timers Worldwide. It is the first time in two years that I am not in the position of being one of the officers on the board. I love it! I can now stretch and sit back and observe from a safe distance all there is to see. What I see is a clear picture of how we operate as an organization and what it is we still need to do to continue to grow.

Since first boarding her on December 1, 2012, outside of Rome, I've always looked back on the Celebrity Silhouette as a dear old friend. The ship was nearly new and our group numbered near 100, coming from all over the globe. We spent sixteen days aboard the ship, ending in Ft. Lauderdale. The consensus was in: everyone loved nearly everything about the ship and the Prime Timers they met...

I celebrate with all of us for the gift we have been given: our new Board of Directors. I watched the new board 'mesh' in their first meetings in Chicago in October. I listened on the recent board conference call meeting. This new board is fired up and full of energy, ideas and the ability to make things happen. These are all "my boys" and I am so proud of them. They are what is happening!

When you work with an organization of volunteers, you never know what you'll get. Volunteers work at their own direction and without the lure of a salary. Results can sometimes be disappointing. We're coming to the close of our board's two-year term. Many of us were strangers when we came together two years ago in October in Las Vegas. Along the way, we've lost some members and gained some members.

As the biennial Prime Timers Worldwide Convention approaches, the Board of Directors and I want to encourage your chapter to participate in-person. The host chapter, Chicago Prime Timers, has put together a great program including the Keynote Address, Workshops, Buffet, Halloween Masquerade Ball, Gala Banquet on the closing night, Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan (optional), and the Hospitality Room. There will the Business Meeting of the chapter representatives and the Board as well as board meetings to conduct during the formal part of the convention, but there will be time available to see and enjoy Chicago.

Information on the program, registration, and hotel is available at the special convention website, www.chicagoprimetimers.org/convention

Or, just go to the PTWW website at www.primetimersww.com then click on the links to the convention website.

The convention is just a bit more than two months away. You are encouraged to publicize the event to your chapter members at meetings, in your newsletter, and any other creative ways that you use. Some chapters are planning to use a portion of the funds received by the chapter as a beneficiary of the Woody Baldwin Estate to help fund participation by a representative from your chapter. The Chapter President is the logical representative, but another officer or chapter member can be given the proxy for your chapter to vote on important items at the Business Meeting.

I look forward to seeing you in Chicago.


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