26th Annual ITPA Assembly (2016)
ITPA celebrated its 26th Annual Assembly in the Land of the Delta Blues. Events were held at the Crowne Plaza East, Memphis, TN. The dates were April 22-25th. Attendance numbers varied due to late arrivals for the Hall Of Fame Luncheon.
During Saturday’s business meeting, Leon’s charity was revealed. Hunters Helping Kids is a non-profit organization with a local chapter near Rock Hill, SC that is led predominantly by current and former law enforcement personnel. It is a program similar to the Boy/Girl Scout organizations. It works with kids to teach them life skills thru outdoor activities such as camping, fishing and hunting. Leon also introduced his Mascot, Mr. Big Muhn-kee and his brothers. Mr. Big was seated near the audio visual table for most of the event. He is a big fellow with big hopes and plenty of energy. Size did not stop the “abduction crew” allowing him to start his journey. It was obvious that it took a team to take the big fellow. Door Prize events included picking from a “Barrel of Monkeys” and playing BINGO. The Hospitality Room was transformed into the Jungle Room by Paige and Jim Venzciel.
Donations were made to a local representative for the Alzheimer’s Organization and the Wounded Warrior Group located in Hinesville, GA. Alissa Moss accepted the donation for the Hinesville based group and will provide photos when the donation is made.
Saturday provided attendees with some free time to explore the Memphis area. Sponsored events included tours of the City by bus and visiting Graceland- the home of Elvis Presley. Sunday Service was led by Harold Hayes who delivered a great message about “Service to others”. A duet was sung by Janet Cashwell and Harold. The Hall of Fame lunch was held, awards were presented for the 2015 accomplishments. Leon presented Cindy Downing with the “Excellence in Pioneering” award for her selfless giving and continued hard work. One of Hall of Fame inductees (Mr. Barnes and his family) attended Cindy’s presentation since they belonged to the same Club.
Sunday was a truly busy day with the largest effort exerted on eating great food. The schedule was very full but truly was a Blessing. The evening concluded with a three entrée dinner and a live band. The new slate of Officers was inducted by Ann Beck and the year of having fun began. The 1-900 Band had everyone out of the seats and on the dance floor. That was definitely the way to kick off having fun and remembering the motto for this year. Pioneers Don’t Monkey Around!
The Final Memphis Assembly Business was concluded with a Committee Chairs Meeting on Monday morning. Farewells were shared by the Committee with wishes of safe travel and hopes that this year will be a Blessing to all.
Remember this—YOU will only get out of this Organization what you put into it. So get involved. Have fun! Invite one to Join us and last but not least Remember this motto when participating in any event- PIONEERS DON'T MONKEY AROUND!