Can it be summer already? Everyone seems to be full of vacation plans. Not me, I am sticking close to home this summer. It is concert season for me. Long Beach offers a lot of wonderful free concerts in various parks. I also have tickets to Peter Frampton, Cheap Trick, Heart, the Steve Miller Band and the B-52s. Back in the day that they were big rock stars, I couldn't afford many concert tickets. Now that they, like me, are older, I have moved from the nosebleed section to where I can actually see them. This has been one of the benefits of aging. Better concert seats!
Sticking close to home means actually working in a paid (I hope) job in real estate while keeping busy with FAUSA. Summer may be relaxing to a lot of people, but we have our Highlights Magazine to put together, as well as planning for our Getaway and Annual Meeting in the fall. Before you take off for family visits and exotic destinations, make sure to put the October 1-4 Getaway into your calendar and take advantage of the early bird registration discount. Do you have a friend that you are trying to interest in FAUSA? Maybe they want to join us on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls at our Getaway location Niagara-on-the-Lake. Those who register early are also eligible for a special prize that will be awarded in a raffle to one of you early birds!
Philanthropy is also on our minds. Our Philanthropy Chair, Sue Ripps, is actively seeking some fun prizes and B&Bs that can be put forward for the live auction at the Getaway. Do you have frequent flyer miles or hotel points that you could donate for a prize or maybe points at a timeshare? Do you live in an interesting location where you could host someone as a B&B prize? Please contact Sue at Philanthropy@fausa.org.
It is also time to put forward your nominees for the FAUSA Annual Grant. Think of the local charities that you support in your own community and put one forward to receive the $2,000 Grant. The application process has been simplified and streamlined. The grant applicants are proposed by and voted on by FAUSA members. It is a great opportunity to support a cause that you feel passionately about.
The big news is that we have launched our web site with a complete facelift, new content, forms that are prefilled, a directory that you can make changes to by yourself, a blog and printable gift certificates. It is very high tech! The new fausa.org site is like trading in your old car for a new one with fancy bells and whistles (half of which you don't know how to use). The site looks better and should be more user friendly and convenient for you. Please visit it and let us know if you run into any broken links or other problems. If anything isn't right, we need to fix it. I'm sending a thousand thanks to our member and web master, Debbie Hastings, for her dedication and time spent in creating something very special for us, as well as her partner at DesignMe Creative, Colleen.
I am closing on kind of a funny note. I met up with my friend, FAUSA First VP Ellie Badanes and her husband for dinner at the Westin Hotel near LAX before they flew off to a wonderful summer vacation. I told her that I would help with the newsletter this month while she was gone. Then, as I was looking through the FAUSA Bylaws and Administrative Guidelines, I discovered that the newsletters are actually the responsibility of the President and not Communications. Yikes! So nice of me to offer to help, eh? So, welcome to my first attempt at the newsletter. There won't be one in July but we will send email blasts as things come up and we will keep you posted on the web site because... I really want you to see the new web site!
Have a Great Healthy and Rainbow-filled Summer. How could I not mention to two SCOTUS decisions that came about this week?
Michigan Visit to Corman Farm
It was a perfect spring day to visit Cornman Farm. Upon our arrival, we were warmly greeted with a refreshing glass of mimosa (so fun - as it was only 10:00 a.m.!) Our tour guide extraordinaire, Managing Partner, Chef and Englishman Kieron Hales was enthusiastic and informative about all aspects of Cornman Farm. He was also very entertaining with tales of his family and home in England. He walked us around the grounds, the herb gardens and through the historic, painstakingly restored pre-Civil War barn - originally built in 1837 - a great spot for dancing, music, cocktails and dinners. He then took us through the goat barn, where mother goats and their babies are housed and cared for. He explained the process of how they milk each mother goat and the steps they take to ensure all equipment is meticulously cleaned and sanitized afterward.
The big white farmhouse was originally built in 1834 and is an ideal place for showers, wedding rehearsal dinners, cocktail hours and cooking demonstrations. Lunch was served family style in one of the charming rooms in the farmhouse. Menu items were prepared with love by Chef Keiron and inspired by his homeland of England, all "fresh from the garden." Desserts were a delight as well - clotted cream. strawberry jam and scones served in beautiful English fine bone china teacups that belonged to Chef Keiron's mother and two types of chocolate fondants. And of course, there was plenty of quality tea (and coffee) for us to enjoy!