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Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc.
38 East Market Street, Rhinebeck, New York 12572 USA -  845-876-2626
Vegetarian - Vegan - Animal Rights - Health - Nutrition - Environment

The mission of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc. is to promote the vegetarian ethic in the Mid-Hudson (New York) region, educate the community and aid anyone in the pursuit of a totally vegetarian (vegan) cruelty-free and healthful lifestyle.

Newsletters - Spring 2008 Issue

President's Message 1

Saturday, March 8, was an evening to stay in, on the couch, wrapped in whatever comfort garment or blanket works on such occasions and listen to the rain come down with a vengeance and to the wind howl. Yet 72 people braved these conditions to attend our celebration of the Great American Meat-Out in Kingston, partake of our seitan and tempeh stew fest and hear Holly Cheever, DVM, speak. Holly, a self-proclaimed all weather driver, had no hesitation in coming down and her presentation was enjoyed by all. Jen Van Alstine had suggested that some MHVS members prepare crock-pots of stew while other members and attendees bring appetizers, salads and desserts. I would like to thank our stew chefs, Jen Van Alstine, Jane Curran, Luella Winne, Judi Gelardi and Rae Schlecht. Luella also made and donated a lovely quilt for our raffle. Other volunteers included, Robin Henderson and Nate Williams, Leif Erich, Connie Young, Jim Van Alstine, Arlen Baden and others.

It was while driving back from the Vegetarian Summerfest Conference in 2001 that Rae told me she was going to nominate me as the next president of MHVS. In the spring of 2002 I began the first of two terms in that office. I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as President of MHVS for the past six years. By the time you are reading this we will have had our Annual Meeting and election of officers. Term limits require a change. As I could not find a suitable steed on which to ride off into the sunset, Jim and I are changing positions. Jim Van Alstine is our new president, while, in a trade, I am now serving as vice president.

Over the years, I have enjoyed working with and benefited from my relationship with MHVS members, especially Judi Gelardi who does so much more than her job of membership chair, Jim and Jen Van Alstine, of course, and Rae Schlecht, who we allowed to step down only if she promised to remain active. Connie Young, Pat Valusek, Andy Grimm, Jean Daniels, Frank and Mary Hoffman, Carol Popp, Luella Winne and Marvin Lang have been there for us in many varied ways. Joan Zacharias has lived in Florida for a few years but continues to support our efforts and was one of our most active members. She is a founder of New Tampa Vegans.

We look forward to many years of growing in strength, numbers and outreach to our Hudson Valley Communities.

Our ongoing events such as the Meat-Out dinner with a featured speaker, Thanksgiving potluck, summer picnic and restaurant outings will continue. We will also continue our outreach such as tabling at health fairs, farmers markets and Earth Day fairs. We will continue supporting the Catskill and Woodstock animal sanctuaries, offering cooking classes and providing speakers at meetings and conferences. We also help people on a one-to-one basis to become vegan.

MHVS has set up an advisory board and established new committees that will strengthen our volunteer efforts. There is a saying from the writings called the Ethics of the Sages: "It is not incumbent on you to finish the task, but neither are you free to desist from it all-together." In other words most members can find a way to become more involved. So instead of sitting on the couch with our newsletter, Vegetarian Viewpoints and thinking, "They are doing a good job," go to your phone or computer and contact us. We always need help with preparing food for events, especially where we are reaching out to the non-vegetarian majority, help with set up and clean up at events, volunteering when we table at health fairs, distribution of literature, computer work and phone calls. Even with a newsletter and e-mail updates, there is nothing like a phone call to keep in touch and get others involved in attending events. You could wait to be called, or please pick up the phone or send an e-mail giving us your ideas about how you can contribute.

I have enjoyed my tenure as president and look forward to working with Jim, our Board of Directors and committee members as we move to make Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society an even more viable part of our community.

Roberta Schiff, President

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