The Alford American Family Association
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AAFA 10th Annual Meeting and Family Reunion

Alford American Family Association, Inc.

1997--October 10-11-12, Pleasanton, CA, at the Holiday Inn

Seanne Carrigan, who lives in Pleasanton, was the hostess. Approximately 120 members and guests representing 33 of our identified branches attended from 18 different states. The official meeting kicked off Friday morning as the Genealogy Workshop got underway. Genealogical topics were presented by some of our own AAFA members: Lynn Shelley, AAFA V.P. and Chair of the Research Committee, Gil Alford, AAFA President, Pam Thompson, editor of AAFA ACTION, and John Smith, Chair of the AAFA Photo Archives.The reception on Friday night was a popular event where attendees spent time catching up with old friends and visiting with some new ones. Following the reception, the outgoing Board members met to discuss business issues and finalize the proposed slate of candidates for the coming year’s Board.

At the Saturday morning business meeting, members elected next year’s Board of Directors, approving the proposed nominees. Three newly-elected members will be joining the Board: Sally Stoewer, Nolan David Alford, and JoLynn Alford Long. Re-elected returning members are Cecil Alford, Gil Alford, Pam Thompson, Max Alford, Janice Smith, Doris Vetri, Lynn Shelley, and Paul Alford. The first official act of the new Board was to elect the AAFA officers for the 1997-98 term. Since the 1996-97 officers agreed to serve for another year, and since they are doing an exemplary job, the board re-elected them: Gil Alford, President; Lynn Shelley, Vice-President; Doris Vetri, Treasurer; and Max Alford, Secretary. Paul Alford, Chair of the Finance Committee, reported that after studying AAFA finances, the Board of Directors found it necessary to increase dues from $16 per year to $20--the first increase in dues since the $1 increase in 1993. Also during the business portion of the meeting, various committee heads reported on the work their committees accomplished during the previous year. When presented at one time, the amount of work being done by AAFA members is truly astounding: John and Janice Smith’s photo archives, Alicia Houston’s census extraction program, Nancy Dietrich’s AAFA library collection, Kim Savage’s AAFA Web page, Janice Smith’s wills and estates records collection program, and everyone’s AAFA ACTION—with Gil Alford and Lynn Shelley keeping it all straight in databases and massive collections of binders!

At the Saturday afternoon Alford Family Forum, Gil presented custom-created family charts for members present at the meeting, showing how we connect with each other—and where the holes are. Gil works on this project for months before the meeting—usually right up to the last minute to accommodate all the late registrants—and it is one of the most popular aspects of the meeting. Many people spent the breaks shopping in the AAFA Store. Operated by Sally Stoewer, her husband Dick, and her sister Jeanne Singleton, the Store provided a huge selection of memorabilia, from the AAFA cookbook and various AAFA-logoed clothing items to impressive framed needlework. On Saturday night, we had our usual buffet dinner followed by awards presentations. We inducted a new member into the Alford Hall of Fame, John M. "Jack" Kinabrew for, among other contributions, taking the initiative to set up the Photo Archives and beginning the collection and preservation of Alford photos.

This year the board wanted to recognize the many members who’ve contributed in meaningful ways by naming them Distinguished Members. Lodwick H. Alford, Chair of the Human Resources Committee, made the presentations. On Sunday morning many people visited the Research Room, filled with shelves and shelves of Gil’s binders (that he and Mary hauled from Missouri). A popular place for attendees to hunt for more ancestors, this room had been open since Friday, but Sunday morning was the first time some attendees had a chance to do serious research. As in years past, we were happy to have attendees at the meeting who are not members. At least 5 non-member attendees decided to join AAFA at the meeting, and about 50 lucky people received gift memberships from meeting attendees. We welcome these new members to AAFA and hope to see them at future meetings!

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