VFP meeting, May 31, 2018, Augusta

Meeting called to order by Doug at 7PM

Attending: Doug Rawlings, Dan Ellis, Richard Clement, Rita Clement, Bob Lezer, Clarence Smith, Suzanne Hedrick, Peter Woodruff, Regis Tremblay, Peggy Akers, Mike King, Vicki Saint Amand, Robin Spencer, Peter Morgan, John Morris

Opening inspiration: Suzanne read a passage from “1914, The World’s Greatest War” and Doug read one of the 82 letters he received from this year’s collection of Letters to the Wall.

Peggy was recognized as the Unsung Hero of the month for her many years of service

April secretary’s report accepted as read

Treasurer’s report: balance as of 5/31/2018 is $2,474.09

Membership report: 104 total, 62 paid up

Letter received from The Betsy Ann Ross House of Hope for our $200 donation to support homeless female veterans and their children

Memorial Day Action reports:

Brunswick parade-Richard: VFP and Peaceworks marched together, approximately 15 strong

DC-Doug: delivered 82 Letters to the Wall. Bell Tower a big hit with visitors.

Boston-Peter Morgan: Smedley Brigade coordinated with Poor People’s Campaign to highlight military spending and cost of current wars. VFP set up 30 tents and spent the night on Boston Common. Tents subsequently donated to Boston area homeless

Regis reported on his Russian trip. He met with many Russian peace activists and attended the March for the WW2 Immortal Regiment. His new film “Who Are These Russians?” will feature interviews with activists and the first two can be viewed on his website. He will be returning to Russia in September. He also traveled to northern Russia to meet with a veterans’ peace group and raised the possibility of a partnership with our chapter of VFP

Discussion was held as to possible participation in the nationwide Poor People’s Campaign. Nothing definite at this time but will be discussed further at the next meeting

Suzanne reported on her contact with a Somali family in Lewiston and will see if there is anything we can do to benefit them

Richard attended the annual meeting of MaineShare. They will be disbursing funds in July to member organizations

Smitty will be in DC June 22-24 to take part in the veterans Honor Flight and will report to us on his return

Discussion was held on a possible retreat in October. Possible sites include Peaks, Cliff and Chebeague Islands but no decision at this time

The Brunswick Peace Fair will be on August 4th from 10am to 3pm. total cost for booth will be $100

The My Lai exhibit will be in Portland on Sept. 13-14. Six or seven people will be needed for set up and take down. More details later

VFP national convention will be held in St. Paul MN on Aug. 22-26. This year’s theme is “Reclaim Armistice Day”. Program book ad is due by July 20th. Please think about ideas for our chapter ad.

Meeting adjourned at 9PM. Next meeting in Portland on June 28. It was decided to skip the July meeting.