President’s Message

With a New Year Comes New Challenges . . .

Any number of articles have been written over the years about the OCWS and the fact that we, amazingly, run on volunteerism. With the exception of office staff, accounting and website administration, every integral position within the organization is managed by volunteers. With a new Board year beginning, also comes new responsibilities for the ensuing year, and there are lots of them. Every year I have been on the Board, which is seven to date, your Board of Directors has discussed and discussed and discussed again how to go about encouraging more volunteers to take integral roles in the organization. The Board runs the business but, sadly, it still seems to fall upon their shoulders to chair major events as well.

It is not necessary to be a Director on the Board in order to help spearhead programs and, unless the next generation of volunteers start undertaking and supporting some of the programming, we just may find ourselves in a position of having to consider letting some things go by the wayside, and that would just be a shame.

Although volunteering is not a requirement of membership, I urge all members who can make the time, even for just one hour at an event you consider attending, to try volunteering. Within our organization, it is as much a social experience as any event you may attend. It is not only the people who undertake major roles, but it is the many volunteers who have but a few days or just a few hours a year that we would not be able to exist without.

I urge, and beseech, all members to take a look at the current List of Responsibilities on the OCWS website under “About – Our Organization.”  It’s mind boggling just how much goes into running the business of the organization, two wine competitions, wine auctions, The Courtyard at the OC Fair, all the while maintaining our level of educational and social programming throughout the year which, again, is done solely by volunteers.

If you see anything of interest to you, please reach out to me or any of the Chairs listed to inquire about helping just a bit.

In closing, I again, as in the past, quote John F. Kennedy when he said: “Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.”  Thank you.

– Fran Gitsham, President