Sunday, November 8, 2009

11/3 Business Meeting Recap

Meeting date: 11/3/2009

In attendance: Heather G., Adam, Tamara, Valerie, Kindrick, & Marie

Topic 1: November Event

It was decided that our Thanksgiving potluck will be held on Sunday, November 22nd at 1:00 at the HAF Community Center (subject to confirmation of facility availability).

We're going to ask people to RSVP for this event and let us know what they are going to bring, so that we can be sure that we have all the usual Thanksgiving categories covered. For those who are able, it would be great if you could maybe bring two items instead of one - people tend to pig out on Thanksgiving - maybe a main dish plus dessert or two sides, etc.

After the meal, attendees are invited to participate in a project to benefit the Sequoia Humane Society. We'll be making ornaments featuring adoptable animals, which will be sold by the SHS as a holiday fundraiser.

We also thought it would be nice to come up with some kind of an idea for an 'icebreaker' activity; something that would encourage people to mingle with others beyond their immediate table-mates.

Action items:
  • Reserve space at HAF (responsible: Tamara)
  • Compile list of RSVPs and dishes being brought and post to larger list 2x/week now until event (responsible: Heather G.)
  • Get materials and instructions from SHS for ornament-making (responsible: Tamara)
  • Design and print flyers (responsible: Tamara)
  • Distribute flyers (need help from others with this one; please let me know if you can help)
  • Write press release (responsible: Tamara)
  • Distribute press release (responsible: Heather {I'm assuming - is this okay, Heather?})
  • Come up with an idea for an 'icebreaker' game or activity (I'm putting this to the group - any ideas? Valerie volunteered her husband if we need an MC-type person for anything...)
  • Coordinate a kids' activity to be done while the adults are working on the ornaments (volunteer needed)
To recap, the things we need help with right now are distributing flyers, thinking of a good icebreaker activity, and putting together an activity to occupy the kids after the meal. We also need everyone to RSVP and let us know what they plan to bring.

Thanks to my week-long illness, we're really down to the wire on this - the event is just two weeks from today, which doesn't give us a lot of time to work on publicity. I'll get the flyer and press release done tomorrow and we'll need to really move quickly after that.

This seems like an event with the potential to bring some new faces to the group, so if anyone has ideas for getting more publicity than we usually do, let me know. I was thinking that we might want to follow up the press release distribution with some phone calls to see if we can get more coverage than just the usual community calendar inclusions.

Topic 2: December Event

We didn't go into a lot of detail for the December event, but our plan is to do some kind of a cookie exchange, possibly taking the finished cookie plates to a local rest home or something rather than just taking them home to our own families. (I didn't take the greatest notes on this portion of our discussion so if I'm forgetting something, please chime in, fellow attendees.)

Action items:
  • Contact local rest homes to see if they accept baked goods (responsible: Heather)

Topic 3: Overall Direction for the Humboldt Vegetarian Society

We talked about our individual motivations for becoming part of the group, and what aspects each of us likes about the existing format, and what we'd each like to see added or changed. We did some brainstorming and came up with lots of ideas for possible new directions, but also discussed our desire to not take on more than we can really handle at such an early stage of the group's development.

The potential areas of focus for the group can be broken down into three categories - social (i.e. just meeting and spending time with other vegans and vegetarians), advocacy/outreach/education, and volunteering. I'll list all of our brainstormed ideas by category -

  • continued potlucks/gatherings
  • possibly offer some kind of incentives for new members (giveaways, coupons, etc.)
  • Survey local restaurants and publish an online directory of what vegan/vegetarian options are available at local restaurants
  • Recruit speakers for future events
  • Host vegan cooking demos/classes
  • Network with other groups who may have similar interests/objectives (HSU's AWARE group, Seventh Day Adventist churches, etc.)
  • Tabling at local events
  • Distributing leaflets at CR and/or HSU
  • I don't think we actually talked much about this topic at the meeting, but it would include things like our November event activity, where we take on activities that give back to the community in some way.
We discussed the idea of putting together a survey that would get sent out in January (and possibly annually thereafter) to the entire membership, asking for your input about the directions you'd like to see the group take in the upcoming year.

I think that's it. If there's anything I've forgotten, please feel free to chime in, Heather, Adam, Valerie, Kindrick, or Marie!

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