Charles Dicken's opens his classic novel A Tale of Two Cities with the following: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."
That aptly described the late eighteenth century against the background of the French Revolution. It also somewhat describes the year 2020!
The year 2020 has certainly not been kind to the world. From a deadly pandemic and global movements for racial justice; from wildfires and tornados to hurricanes and Murder Hornets. And we won't go into politics except to note a very contentious American election. Working from home, travel and events cancelled, missing our families and doll friends, and millions out of work. And sadly, we lost many members of our UFDC family. In summary, it's been a year unlike any other – in many ways the worst of times.
Looking back at my President's Message in the winter 2020 edition of DOLL NEWS – which seems a great deal longer than just a year ago - we had so many plans for this year. With the cancellation of our convention in Dallas the Executive Committee adopted a new mantra: Improvise, adapt, and overcome. Our first task was to bring some of the educational events, the fun, and the excitement that would have happened in Dallas to the world via the internet at our OnTime OnLine Doll Celebration! event. We got so much positive feedback from our first attempt that on Saturday, February 13, 2021, Celebrate Our Love of Dolls will be presented for your enjoyment.
We all miss our doll events and meeting in person. I want to thank the Regional Directors who are taking advantage of the Zoom licenses supplied to them – and inviting the Executive Committee to their regional Zoom Meetings! We have actually been able to see members who we normally only see at Convention. And faces of those who can't attend convention. Please continue to invite us! I also want to congratulate the many clubs that have taken the plunge and are using their regional Zoom to connect during this "no meeting" period. This has allowed club business to be conducted, programs to be enjoyed and, most importantly, members to see and hear each other in a safe environment.
I have great hopes for UFDC for 2021 and beyond. Despite all the hardships of 2020, responding to the +1 Challenge, 144 of our UFDC members have brought in 183 new members between March and September. During this same period 226 people joined UFDC which means that 80-percent of the new members were brought in by current members who were willing to go the extra mile to bring new members into the UFDC family. See the article and the list of those meeting (and exceeding!) the +1 Challenge in this issue of DOLL NEWS. And of course we are gearing up for our 2021 National Convention in Baltimore. It will be so wonderful to be able to meet up again face to face – what a celebration that will be!My family and I have been blessed to not being touched by Covid-19. However, I did have two surgeries this fall. And while I was recovering from the first surgery, my husband had to have surgery as well. I must give a big shout out to my fellow officers and our wonderful Headquarters staff who filled in for me so well. Mere words cannot express my appreciation.
The year 2020 brought many changes for us – many trials and tribulations – disappointments and heartaches. I hope that you have been sustained by your doll friendships and your enjoyment of our mutual doll hobby. What the future holds for us in 2021 is anyone's guess. Have faith – the best is yet to come!
Until next time,