Elaine Berger, President
I hope all of you have had a chance to go out and enjoy the spring flowers everywhere you look. Fiesta Island, Torrey Pines Reserve, The Japanese Friendship Garden and Shelter Island for beautiful cherry blossoms as well as the flower fields in Carlsbad are just some of the outstanding locations to stop and appreciate the beauty of the season. Anywhere you drive in San Diego county you will see hillsides covered in a profusion of colors. Flower season is brief, so don’t wait too long to get out there and enjoy. April also marks my first anniversary as the president of Walkabout. It has definitely been an interesting year as I learned many facts about leading a non profit organization. I don’t think we have had any major disasters and I thank my fellow board members for their support and mentoring. As I start a second year I can see several areas of concern. First and foremost, Walkabout is nothing without walks and walk leaders. Unfortunately there have been few new walks or walk leaders in the last couple of years. We now have about half as many monthly walks as we did when I joined Walkabout. We greatly appreciate those walk leaders who do weekly walks, but just as important are those who lead walks once or twice a month. We especially need walks on Wednesday and Friday mornings. If you need ideas for a walk, I have a book of the 50 best short hikes in San Diego. Don’t hesitate to contact me (president@walkabout int.org) or any board member with ideas. We can also walk in collaboration with other walking groups in San Diego if you know of one that has a great walk.
BOARD CONSIDERS WALKABOUT’S FUTURE
At its annual planning retreat held mid-April the Walkabout board voted to make several important changes in an effort to bolster lagging membership numbers, fewer walks and leaders and serious lack of volunteer support.
Current subscription levels are now only slightly above 300, the lowest in years. Office hours have been reduced in the past couple of years to three half days per week, down from five, and at the last walk leaders’ luncheon a month ago fewer than 20 showed up—one third of attendance at similar luncheons in the past.
The board has voted unanimously that if volunteers do not come forward immediately to staff the office at Liberty Station, the office will be open only by appointment during the work week, with office hours offered on Fridays. For the past few years board members have not only staffed the office, but also have run the programs, led walks, planned and executed trips and accomplished the myriad other tasks required by a nonprofit organization.
In addition the board voted to hire a part time non employee contractor to promote the organization, develop strategies to retain, reestablish and increase membership, recruit and arrange training for new walk leaders, identify and recruit new board members and evaluate the viability of our organization’s future. The board is seeking an energetic and creative person to accomplish these tasks over a one-year period, after which the board can evaluate Walkabout’s future. The compensation will be paid from Walkabout’s savings in an effort to keep our small organization viable. In the event that a nonprofit organization dissolves, all the assets of that organization are transferred to another nonprofit, so the board felt that a concerted effort should be mounted now to strengthen our organization.
In other matters considered by the board, the remaining trips for this year to Boise, Idaho and a visit to New Orleans and cruise to the western Caribbean were discussed, and 2020 possible trips to Maine (summer), San Francisco, Scotland & Ireland (spring), San Juan Islands (fall), Southern swing (Savannah & Charleston), and Santa Fe and Taos, NM.
Board members will offer monthly activities over the next several months, to include summer movie nights/picnics at Liberty Station, a safety seminar on walking, and potluck luncheons in our Green room. All current officers were reelected for the next year, and the volunteer extraordinaire award will be presented at a future organization event, with the annual meeting and auction scheduled for Saturday, October 26.
FORMAN FORUM ACCEPTING MEMORIAL GIFTS
With the recent passing of our founder Larry Forman, many have contacted our office to make a contribution to Walkabout in Larry’s memory. The board has established a fund to receive these gifts. Any contributions made should be earmarked “Forman Forum,” and such gifts will be used to bring a well-known speaker to San Diego to share walking stories with our membership and the public later this year. All donors will be acknowledged in our program unless you wish anonymity. Walkabout International is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization, and all gifts are tax deductible.
Stan to lead Boise and Trailing of the Sheep Festival October 7 to 14, 2019
This trip is presently filled and we are accepting names on a STAND BY LIST in case anyone has to drop out. Pleases call the office at 619.231.7463
Join us for an 8-day, 7-night Coach tour of Idaho highlights, from the state capitol in Boise to the wonderful Trailing of the Sheep Festival in Ketchum. On Monday we fly nonstop to Boise and will start with 3 days with walks along the Boise river and tours of the beautiful State Capitol. We will stay at the Marriott Springhill Suites as we have in times past. https://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-photos/boidt-springhill-suites-boise-parkcenter/ On Thurs we take a coach trip through the Sawtooth mountains to Ketchum where we will be staying at the Limelight Hotel, https://www.limelighthotels.com/ketchum. We will spend 4 days and enjoy the Trailing of the Sheep Festival http://www.trailingofthesheep.org/ and watch hundreds of sheep parade through town. On the last Monday, we will again coach back to Boise with spectacular views and then have a nonstop flight home. Breakfasts in our hotels and one or two evening banquets is included in the cost. Other features will be announced in S D Feets, Web Site and WalkaBlasts as they are known. Other attractions will be announced as they develop.
Walter K entertains our 2015 group; they are in the mirror and are really watching him.
Since the trip is still seven months away, the cost of the trip is still evolving; however, until April 5 the cost is $1,219 per person, double occupancy. The cost for single occupancy is $1,789. If 3 travelers wish to share a double queen bedroom the cost for each will be $839. The minimum number of travelers may be 20. The maximum number will be determined by hotel room availability and air travel factors. The deposit is $719 and is refundable until April 5, at that time it will be NONREFUNDABLE. Travelers are always encouraged to take trip insurance to cover unanticipated cancellations. Please send your deposits of $719 to the WI office now and mark for “BOISE 2019”. If you have paid your deposit of $419 Please send an additional $300 which is refundable until April 5.
There will not be any mailed information so one person in each traveling group needs to have an email address. I need to know each traveler’s full name as on your identification and birth date.
2650 Truxtun Rd, Suite 110
San Diego, CA 92106
Please call Stan Follis at 619.222.3447