June 2006 Presidentís Report

By Ira Pollack

††††††††††† This month I would like to take the time to once again thank our volunteers for their service to the Museum. We have had a busy season to date preparing for The Little Engine That Could. I am very proud and grateful for the outpouring of help in the yard that has come from volunteers to prepare our facility, and particularly the passenger equipment that will be used for this event. This has been a massive project to paint and clean these four cars to make them ready for the public. I must comment that there has also been a regular crew of people working on this grand project over the last several weeks, almost like a production line in progress. I really can't speak enough for their dedication to this event and to the Museum's growth. Possibly by the time that you read this edition of the newsletter The Little Engine That Could event will be over and have become DRM history.

††††††††††† In order to grow as an organization we must continue to try new ideas and new directions to travel in. We will find that certain things work and others don't but we must always try to explore these new avenues. One of my main goals has been to attract new and different people to our Museum and slowly, a little at a time, this has worked. We have all realized finally that we are in the entertainment industry and must act accordingly to our visitors. This has definitely paid off for us over the last several years. Through the ups and downs of the economy we must be there operating and remaining vibrant, active, alive and, most importantly, still growing and moving forward.

††††††††††† I like to step back from time to time to look at our Museum as a newcomer, as if I've never been here before. When I do I am always amazed at what I see. I'm always impressed at walking through the building with its variety of color, exhibits, artifacts, and activities. Our gift shop always seems to attract me with something new that I must have. The layouts in the back are always growing, bigger and better. On walking into the yard, once again I'm impressed. Look at what we've done, this really does look good. We have taken on a very professional look to our operation, both inside and out. I'm not just saying that folks, I mean that, truly. Our Museum must continue to grow though. We cannot rest on our achievements; we must continue to move forward.

††††††††††† I must tell you we still have important voids to fill within our ranks to keep us from stagnating. We are still in need of someone to come forward and pursue the advertising and marketing of our product on a regular basis. This is very important for our continued growth and exposure so that the public will know who we are and what we have to offer. Advertising is one of our most important tools that we must use continually.

††††††††††† The Museum is still in dire need of a full-time Operations Director. This person would conduct a training program for new train crew members, schedule our operations and ensure continued train operations throughout our season. Geoff Knees has graciously helped out as an interim train scheduler. My thanks to him.

††††††††††† Finally a person is needed to head the Volunteer Committee. This too is very important to our continued growth. This way the new members within the Museum who would volunteer for our many different projects and departments would know who to contact and when that work might be going on.

††††††††††† Actually all of the above are important positions for our continued growth. Please come forward and help us continue the momentum.

††††††††††† In closing, our Museum has grown immensely over the years. We have turned into professionals, surprisingly, sometimes even in spite of ourselves. It's sometimes encouraging to me to talk to people from other organizations like ours from time to time. We share our successes, problems, and solutions. Recently we even have found ourselves in the position of role model for other train organizations. Always remember who we are, what we've done over these past years and also always be proud of who we are.