October 20  - Annual Meeting and 15th Anniversary Celebration

There was a lot going on at the meeting and months of preparation behind the scenes. The October meeting would include our Crystal Anniversary Celebration. Treats were set out, the challenge pieces were put on display, and the seed bead mixes and samples were ready to be sold.


The evening began with the usual updates on past and future activities. President, Kathy Willmering presided over the evenings events with a big smile – even after the microphone battery died. Allyn Steffan updated members on the organizations financial status

and Julie Miller, shared some of the Society’s history for the more than 150 people who turned out to celebrate. The first meeting of what would become the Loose Bead Society was held on October 18, 1999. There were eight original members. Three of them are still active and were at the October meeting: (l to r) Susan Grimyser, Sharon McCauley, and Tracy Kotecki.

Over the years the list of yearly events and activities grew and changed but some things remain the same: dues began at $25 and are now one dollar less, the meetings were held at the New Berlin Public Library where they continue today, a newsletter and website began in 2000 and with the possibility of a new newsletter editor, they both continue today.

Some other noteworthy dates:
2001 – Bylaws, the first booth at the Bead and Button Show, discounts at local bead stores
2004 – First Challenge, organized by Kalmbach Publishing; the first retreat at Lake Geneva
2005 – first private shopping event
2006 – first vendor presentation after the B&B Show (Swarovski Crystals representative)
2009 – first Bead-In
2010 – first rummage sale, Loominosity
2011 – new logo, Jewelry at the Domes
2013 – lending library

The annual meeting always includes voting for soon to be vacated Board positions. This year those positions included President-elect, Program Chair and Secretary. The only contested position was for Program Chair with Cindy Collins and Suzanne Stimac competing for the honor. Each candidate was given the floor to share her vision of the office and any plans for or experience she brought to the position. This year’s winners were: (l to r) Katy Hess, President-elect; Cindy Collins, Program Chair; Becky Prusak, Secretary

Before, during, and after the formal presentations, a special drawing for sets of crystals was held. Judy Menting won the final set.

Voting for the Challenge also took place.

With 27 entries, members had to make difficult choices. Every category included a wide variety of media and techniques and the level of talent and creativity was inspirational.

The winners were announced by the end of the meeting: 

 (l to r above) Bonnie DeSautelle (Palette 1), Kate VanEyck (Palette 2), Toni Fohey (Palette 3), and Carol Haiar (Palette 4)

To commemorate the anniversary, a surprise project bag, embossed with the LBS logo was given to every member.

It was an eventful night but with the Society in strong financial shape and with membership continuing to grow, things look good for more celebrations to come.

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