Question of the Week
I have been a member of my parent club for 30 years. I have served on the board as president, secretary and treasurer. I am a breed mentor. I have served as show chair several times, and am an active committee member and chair. I support my club through entries at our specialties and supported-entry shows as well as by donating to the trophy/show fund and purchasing specialty merchandise.
St. Stephens Church, Virginia
Yes, I am a member of my parent club and on the board. I think it is very important for people to be members and take an active part in their club.
Maria M. Sacco
I have been involved with both of my parent breed clubs. I have been a member of the Parson Russell Terrier Association of America since 1987/1988. I think I am their "oldest" continuous current member. I served in all officer capacities both pre- and post-AKC recognition, as the first AKC delegate, on many committees and chaired numerous events, conformation and earthdog. I now support the club with my modest donations to the organization.
I am currently the AKC delegate to the United States Lakeland Terrier Club, am on the HECS Delegate Committee and serve as recording secretary. I have been a board member for eight years. I also am the specialty coordinator for our designated specialties for Montgomery week, oversee a supported entry for Lakelands with the Garden State All Terrier Club show, and this year I am the test chairman for the "National Earthdog Test" held the day after Montgomery. I take pride in getting things done that benefit our members and their dogs. It is my way to give back to a sport that has given so much to me.
Five of us helped develop our Treeing Walker Coonhound parent club. I have been active, held the only parent-club specialty. Sadly, no others are being held. There may be a specialty later this year, so there is hope.
It's the same old story — no one wants to do the work.
Dr. Vandra L. Huber
I think it is inherent that individuals and judges give back to their breeds, and one of the best ways is through involvement with national and regional breed clubs. I am president of the Washington State Scottish Terrier Club and on the Junior Showmanship Committee of the Scottish Terrier Club of America. I also write articles and develop seminars on various topics. One area of concern I do have is that volunteering is decreasing for a couple of reasons. First, the same people are always asked, and there is often no attempt to engage newcomers or encourage their involvement other than a general email. Second, there is a tendency to treat those volunteers in clubs with less respect than they often deserve.
Lake Tapps, Washington
I try to volunteer as much as I can. I am the committee chair for the American Whippet Club’s Juniors program. We had our initial seminar last year in Virginia Beach with 12 juniors, and this year in Topeka with 17. I also volunteer to quickly assist in setting up the Top 20 room and anything else.
Yes, I am an American Lhasa Apso Club parent club member, and have been for the past 44 years. Anyone who is interested in promoting and preserving their breed should be a parent-club member. I participate in all aspects and the vast majority of club activities. In addition to other positions, I served four years as corresponding secretary and for the last 14 years, chair of the breed-standard committee. I am currently serving my third elected term as parent-club president. All of us working together must do everything we can to ensure that our breed remain a recognizable presence not only in the dog show world but with the members of the public.
Yes, very involved in the Wirehaired Vizsla Club of America. I was involved in its infancy and have been on the board for 15 years. I have been past president and secretary, and on the board. I now serve on the show and historian committees.
Not much anymore. I started out as area editor for the newsletter for a few years. I was a member of the board for another few years, JEC chair for the "hands on" while it was active, and progressed to chair for all judges education, adding up to about 10 years. I am a lifetime member and kind of believe it is time for younger members to contribute their new ideas to AMCA so the club doesn't stagnate.
Edison, New Jersey
I have been involved with my parent club, the Collie Club of America, for many years. I had served as district director for New Jersey for 19 years, health committee member, and presently chair of national show rules and an approved mentor. I feel it is important to give back to your breed, and working with the national club and local breed club is so important.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
I have been the national show chair for the American Whippet Club since 1993.
Our national is held over eight days in various parts of the country depending on who is willing to step up and host it. This year, in April, is the biggest national we've ever had: 970 dogs with 1,244 entries. It will be held in a hotel in Topeka.
It is preceded by two days of lure coursing and agility, and consists of obedience, rally, conformation, breeder sweepstakes, veteran sweepstakes, Top 20, educational seminars, judges seminars with hands on, Junior Showmanship seminar and competition.
I'm very proud of our club and the participation of so many volunteers.
We usually rank, in numbers, among the top 10 nationals each year.
Very involved. I am a parent-club-approved mentor. Which appreciates me for their national show, also I ring steward for my parent club. I enjoy the huge entry from our country as well the foreign countries. I look forward every year to participate at our national.
Asheville, North Carolina
I have two breeds, one of them brand new to me, so my membership in that club is pending. I've been a member of my other club since before I got my first dog of that breed, and while I don't participate in all the club's activities, I am active on committees and publications. It's hard for me to imagine wanting to be a member of an organization without doing something within it.
I am a member of my parent club and have been for approaching 20 years … I attend nationals when it is workable with weather, school for grandkids/juniors, have puppies for futurity, dogs in the Top 20, like the judge, etc … I attend regional events when they are nearby (but sadly most things are not). I have sponsored trophies, my granddaughter has written and gifted junior programs (which were declined), and truly have volunteered for many, many positions. But with my breed club, there is really just a small hand-chosen in crowd of people allowed to help … A blocked and locked door does not let many people through, sooo when breed clubs make more seats at the table, more people (myself and others) will sit with them and be able to help …
In my experience, it is far easier and much more appreciated to help local clubs.
Brookville, New York
Of course I’m a member of my breed club. First, I was a member of the Norwich Terrier Club back in the ’70s and that club evolved into the Norwich and Norfolk Terrier Club and finally in 2009 we became two clubs: The Norwich Terrier Club of America and The Norfolk Terrier Club. I’ve retained membership in both. With each of the above clubs I’ve served in numerous capacities. I offered my thoughts to each as I was always on the board. I became the president of the Norwich and Norfolk Terrier Club and served up to and through division of the club into two, then becoming the president of The Norfolk Terrier Club. When serving a club one must always think of the breed first. It was in this thinking that I started to put together a yearly club annual. A hiatus for a few years put the annual on the back burner, but we’re back on track now having just completed the most recent annual. The annual serves a purpose of introducing members to both the history of the Norfolk and those people who came before us. It is chock filled with interviews of club member, judges, new members and of course an ongoing list of awards. I have a team, an editor and an advertising chair. We work well together. Clubs need to be all inclusive; gather the younger members to take part in club activities. Many won’t step forward, therefore it’s up to us, the older generation, to reach out to them. Not all members show dogs, nor do they breed. Encouragement is the key word. At shows such at Montgomery weekend, it’s important to socialize with those whom we really never met but there they sit with a Norfolk pup on their lap. This breed has offered me more than I could have ever expected.
Janice M. Leonard
Last year, I was honored to be recognized as one of the American Shetland Sheepdog Association’s 50-year members. When I was a bit younger, I was very involved in all activities of our organization: 26 years as an officer or board member, seven of them as president; 13 years as futurity chair; two times as symposium chair; five years as judges education; one-time local national chair; national judge in 2006; symposium speaker several times, and
currently the Gazette columnist.
I have tried to be available when needed, but am glad that now I am just able to relax and enjoy the national when I can get there. It has been a big part of my life in dogs.
Martinsburg, West Virginia
Yes! I believe active parent-club members whose common interest is breed promotion and education keep a breed healthy and encourage newer fanciers to carry on. As a Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club of America member since 1996, I’m a past and current board member, past legislative chair, past judges-education chair, past show chair for the national specialty, current peer-education chair and was the first specialty class sponsor chair (after initiating the concept). I’m a believer that every member should volunteer in some way, big or small.