The programs for our monthly AlaBenton meetings for 2014 have all been excellent, and although a family occasion necessitated your editor's absence from the November meeting, all the comments I've heard have been very complimentary. Handwriting from previous generations can be a real challenge, as well as abbreviations, so that's always an excellent subject, especially from someone who understands it, as Veneta McKinney obviously does. A big bonus was the nice list of genealogical resources she included. Bob Davis never disappoints, and his program was not only helpful, but very entertaining.
On Saturday, December 6, we'll have the happy prospect of our Annual Christmas Celebration, along with the election of a slate of officers for 2015. Please join us in thanking our current officers for making 2014 such an enjoyable club year and offer encouragement to the incoming officers for their upcoming year in office. Don't forget to bring something for the Alabama Room to show your gratitude and support for everyone's efforts to keep the Anniston-Calhoun County Public Library and the Alabama Room one of the finest libraries and genealogical research facilities anywhere. But please don't get the idea that your own efforts are not appreciated. We couldn't accomplish anything without your help and support, individually and collectively. An interesting feature of 2014 was the bonus of increased collegiality and interaction between AlaBenton and the of Sons of the American Revolution. Members from both groups took advantage of invitations to visit each other's meetings on occasion, to the enjoyment of all. We believe that this might herald a new spirit of cooperation on shared interests, and are grateful for the opportunity. The generosity of the local chapters of other hereditary groups, the Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, also go a long way toward expanding the research collections so valuable to all of us through their year-end gifts of funds and research materials at the AlaBenton Christmas Party. (See below for further details)
We have many unsung heroes in our group--members who work hard behind the scenes to make everything work smoothly, including the members whose culinary and/or monetary contributions keep the refreshment tables furnished with goodies. Speaking of monetary gifts, if you elect to place a monetary gift by check under the tree, be sure to make the check payable to the Anniston-Calhoun County Public Library and just write "Alabama Room" on the "for" line. It's easier for the library to deposit it that way, but you want to be sure they know it's for the Alabama Room. Please do not make it out to AlaBenton. For the benefit of any who may be new to AlaBenton, it has long been our custom to use our December meeting and our Christmas tree to make gifts to the Alabama Room by way of either wrapped gifts (genealogy-related books, periodicals, CDs, microfilm or office supplies) or cards containing monetary gifts (check are best, made out as described above). If you would like to make a simple, small ornament honoring one of your ancestors, it can be used to decorate the annual Christmas tree and stored for safekeeping in the locked closet at the library. Maybe making one a year would be a nice tradition to begin.
It's hard to believe another year has come and (almost) gone. We can't do anything to slow down the hands of the clock, but we can come together to celebrate the past year and observe the changing of the guard in style. Don't forget--our members are our greatest asset. We thank every one of you who serves the Society, either in a leadersip role or a support role. Please keep up the good work.
Keep supporting your local Society, your local library, and especially the Alabama Room!
Deanna Slappey, Editor
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