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What Is a Chapter "Charter" and Its History?

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Way back in about 2004, then Prime Timers President Pat Karr came-up with a way of recognizing chapters by awarding them a written charter. It was a great idea and a great document. The first ones were very large and signed by each board member. They were hard to frame and difficult and expensive to mail. Eventually, they sort of drifted away.

During Rob Howard's Presidency, we (the board) revived the idea of charters and researched as far back as we could through Woody's records to keep a record of chapters who never received a charter. The document was resized to 10x12", mounted in a sturdy, attractive frame, then signed by our founder, Woody Baldwin, and the current president. Whenever possible, these were presented at chapter visitations. Sadly, these also sort of fell by the wayside.

When our new board was elected in October of 2015, I revived the charter. We've been busy this past year handing out charters during chapter visits by board members. It is heartwarming to see how much these documents are appreciated and treasured. Many chapters keep them on display during meetings and at Pride events. It's wonderful to see how much they mean to all of us. During past months, I presented charters to Atlanta GA, Myrtle Beach SC, Columbia SC, Chattanooga TN, Indianapolis IN, Austin TX, Ft. Lauderdale FL, Palm Beaches FL, and Las Vegas NV, in addition to those presented by board members. I recently flew to Nashville to meet and visit with that chapter and, you guessed it, present their charter to them!

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