AAFA Vice President Lynn Shelley, who lives in Springfield, was the
hostess. For the first time, we had a "greeter" at the hotel,
JoLynn Long, on Thursday to welcome the approximately 110 attendees
representing 31of our identified branches from 14 different states.
The official meeting kicked off Friday morning as the Genealogy Workshop
got underway with Alicia Houston, Lynn Shelley, and Gil Alford presenting
topics dealing with researching genealogy and local history where
you live, the Family History Centers, census records, etc. Peggy Taylor
and Betty Braden, owners of Dogwood Printing, the company that prints
AAFA ACTION, gave a presentation on publishing not only your family
history but other genealogical books as well. Over 90 people attended
the reception on Friday night, where we renewed old acquaintances
and made some new ones.
At the Saturday morning business meeting, members elected next year's
Board of Directors. Five newly-elected members will be joining the
Board: Jimmie Alford, Cecil Alford, Robin Sterling, Gil Alford, and
Lodwick Alford. Re-elected returning members are Pam Thompson, Max
Alford, Janice Smith, Doris Vetri, Lynn Shelley, and Paul Alford.
This was the first Board elected under the new by-laws which were
adopted in early 1996 by the membership. Following the election of
the new Board, it elected AAFA officers for the 1996-97 term. Officers
elected were: Gil Alford, President; Lynn Shelley, Vice-President;
Doris Vetri, Treasurer; and Max Alford, Secretary. The states for
the 1999 and 2000 meetings were selected by attending members. Texas,
which has more members than any other state, was approved for 1999.
We will start the new century in the state where the first meeting
was held: Georgia in 2000. The Saturday afternoon Alford Family Forum
was, as usual, the event that had the largest attendance with the
exception of the Saturday night buffet. After dinner, there was an
awards program for photos shown at the meeting, three members were
inducted into the Alford Hall of Fame, and a plaque was presented
to outgoing President, Ben Alford, recognizing the outstanding job
that he has done as our President. Entertainment was provided by Posey
Alford, who gave a short, very humorous talk on "Stress,"
providing an upbeat ending to the Saturday night buffet. Throughout
the meeting, the AAFA Store was open for business, operated by Sally
Stoewer (ably assisted by her husband, Dick, and her sister, Jeanne
Singleton). New items this year were ball point pens emblazoned with
the AAFA name and the first AAFA cookbook. There were also the old
familiar items such as T-shirts, golf shirts, pins, framed Alford
mementos, caps, coffee cups, etc. The Sunday morning meeting in the
research room gave people the first real chance to just visit with
one another. Some people took the opportunity to do some research
in one of the many volumes that Gil and Mary Alford hauled to the
meeting from AAFA headquarters. After the meeting, some members extended
their stay in Missouri and visited Branson and other surrounding attractions.