Opinion & Editorial

An open letter: It’s time for new blood to pump up the Grove

To the Board of Directors and Coordinators: 

Please accept my formal letter of resignation from the Bohemia Mining Days Board of Directors as well as from the Bohemia Mining Heritage Association Board of Directors. It was effective as of Wednesday, Nov. 3.

I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to fellow board members for their support for my two year period as president. I thank the coordinators that, along with the board, created a successful 2021 abbreviated BMD celebration, bringing three new attractions to the event under very trying times, namely, the pandemic.

Each and every board member and coordinator, along with our wonderful sponsors, and those who made the event successful with their attendance, can take great pride in the fact we leave to the 2022 committee a bank account of $15,000. In a normal year, the budget is around $50,000-$60,000 for a full-blown event.

The reason for my leaving: I have found that question needs to be answered in our beautiful little community of Cottage Grove. I list the reasons to eliminate any gossip or rumor mills that may occur.

The simple facts are: 

Most if not all BMD meetings are held in the evening. With daylight ending at 4:30 pm, I find it difficult to make evening meetings. This is all brought about by age. Winter, and ice, will be coming. It is not logical or practical to get out in the dark in icy conditions at an advanced age. 

The modern way of communication is through texting and e-mail. Those who know me and have worked with me in the community know I am a hands on, boots on the ground, type of leader. A great deal of my enjoyment, in taking on these tasks, whether it be efforts to save the Dr. Pierce Barn, or others, has been the face to face communication with the community members. In other words, texting and e-mail is a foreign language to a person who enjoys personal communication with his fellow human being.

I believe it is time for new ideas and a different approach to the business design for our wonderful festival, BMD. There are, in the wings, individuals who will fill that new business model. I ask that each person reading this give the new leaders support. 

For those reading this in the community, I want to thank each and every person who has supported – financially and physically – the many events that I have been involved with, starting back in 1979.

I became a board member of the Chamber in 1978, assumed the duties of BMD president 1979-80 through ’84, followed by the president of the Chamber 1983, president of community chest 1989, United Way fundraising president in the early ’80s. The hospital and fire boards followed, plus many other committees and boards in the meantime. When my term of office for the fire board was up, along with my term of office for the hospital board, I thought I was retired. But then I became involved with the Chamber in 2010 when I was asked to come back as a board member to set up board committees. Then the beautiful project of the carousel was presented. With the rebuild of the carousel project finished, and the carousel operating, I once again retired. 

Then, BMD and the pandemic came along, and I once again heeded the request to come back as a board member of BMD.

With that, I once again give my deepest thanks to the supporters of BMD, the participants, and those I worked with in the community for all these many happy years.

Thanks to all those who have supported my efforts.

As a final thought, I would like to suggest to those of us who are Chamber members, or members of groups such as LIONS, Rotary, Prospectors, Kiwanis, that we support Cindy Weeldreyer for First Citizen through the Chamber. And through the service clubs, we nominate and support Cindy for Volunteer Service Award for her service to the community.

She has spent years volunteering for BMD, as well as working for other organizations, such as Beds for Freezing Nights, doing many graveyard shifts to help her fellow man. Through the Chamber Tourism Committee, Cindy and I formed Around the Grove, a community-based organization out of which grew the Around the Grove newsletter, which Cindy writes, and is read by well over 400 community members, as well as viewed on channel 47.5 on South Lane Translators. These are just three of the many things Cindy has done for Cottage Grove. Many of you remember her service to Lane County, sitting on the Board of Commissioners for 8 years and administrative assistant to Marie Frazier for 2 years. Truly service above self.



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