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Report: Big Country Chapter in Abilene, Texas

Friday, April 23, 2004   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Rocco, Big Country AITP Chapter President
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In the Big Country Chapter, a president's job really begins the year before he or she becomes president. The president-elect is responsible for making sure the following year's budget is met. Well guess what? Our chapter earned well more than $24,000 just since last October! We teamed up with our local United Way in a computer donation initiative. When United Way receives donated computers, they, in turn, call us and we pick-up, test, repair, overhaul each computer. When we pick them up, United Way informs us of how many they would like back to meet their needs. With the help of our three local student chapters, we examine each system and clean and reformat the hard drives. After the computers are overhauled we deliver what is requested back to United Way so that they can support other Non-Profits. United Way supports our organization by allowing us to keep and resale whatever is left. This allows us to send our members and students to conferences, meetings, to award our students with annual scholarships. United Way wins by not having to move, store, repair or reselling these used systems.

A president's other task is to work with the board of directors to determine how monies will be spent. On February 10, your board did just that. Here is the breakdown: $5,500 will be set aside to enable attendance at the AITP National Convention in Omaha; $1,000 to enable attendance at the 18th annual Glenda Anderson Programming Contest and Symposium on February 27-28 at Tarleton State University; $2,000 to enable attendance at the Region-3 Conference also held at Tarleton State University on October 7-9. These monies will allow the board to send students and professional members to each of these conferences and represent the Big Country Chapter.

We have also set aside money for education and a business appreciation luncheon to honor all those businesses that help us. Further, $500 will be donated to United Way. We also plan to set money aside for savings and for sponsorship of an upcoming community competition that will have cash awards. Most of all, we have alotted $3,500 for our 2004 Student Scholarships, which will be awarded at our Christmas party in 2004.

Last November, we hosted a Microsoft luncheon under the direction of Lou Voit and with the help of Program Chairman Mike McDonald. The 183 in attendance enjoyed the one-hour program and lunch. Attendees received complimentary software packages from Microsoft. It was such a success that everyone who attended the November luncheon returned in January to hear Kevin Jetton speak and initiate our 2004 board members.

We have another good program coming in March: the NASA Glenn Mobile Research Center is coming to Abilene and will stay an entire week to provide a program to our local community. NASA is bringing a 53-foot trailer that can host up to 14 students for a 1 ½-hour mission. One or two students are assigned to each workstation, and they complete their task during the allotted time using software, task cards, Flight/Astronaut logs and other courseware. During the class period, students at each workstation are invited to fly a short mission in a flight simulator that incorporates navigation and pilot-copilot coordination activities. Stephen Koons, Frank Witcher and David Wyatt will be our guest speakers at our afternoon luncheon at Texas Tech University on March 25, from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. The AITP Big Country Chapter will host two VIP open houses on March 23, from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 6-7 p.m., and will host an open house for the public from 4-5 p.m.

As you can see, by setting up our budget we have also set up our schedule for 2004. This has provided our board with a sense of direction and purpose. Members have stepped up to the plate and have ensured that 2004 will be a super year for the AITP Big Country Chapter.


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