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Two New Members Join the Council for the August Town Meeting

Two New Members Join the Council for the August Town Meeting

August 2014 Town Meeting

It was in the light of a glorious late summer evening that Council members arrived at the Venture Center for their appointed gathering. And, it was likely this unusually pleasant weather which was partly to blame for the late arrival of so many of the members.

The Camp Venture Council of Advocates met on August 18, 2014 in the Coleman/Gromack Auditorium of the Venture Center. Present were the Jen A, the President and Meagen, the Vice President. Sarah Lukens, acted as the group’s facilitator and agency Executive Director, Dan Lukens was there to answer questions and take notes.

The hall was mostly still empty by 6:45 PM, the appointed start time for the meeting. And so, the opening was delayed until 7:00 but by 7:10 more than 90 voting members of the Council were in attendance and a spirited discussion ensued. The tardiness, it would seem, was not not due to a lack of enthusiasm on the part of Council members.

Jen made the call to order but deferred her time and opened the regular session of the Town Meeting.

Tom B. was the first speaker and he introduced himself with some authority as a resident of the Kathleen Lukens Center apartment complex and a long-time employee of Macy’s. Tom explained that his supervisor had moved on to a new store. He indicated that he very much missed his old boss but spoke well of his new one.

Tom also announced that he would be going on a cruise with his family to Bermuda. This news especially inspired the applause of the room.

Fred, unaccustomed to speaking at the meeting was, nonetheless, encouraged to say a few words which he did offer on behalf of his friends at Thomas House and his staff. A warm ovation followed Fred’s words.

“Good afternoon everybody!” Jennel said in a booming voice to raise the dead. “I am so happy. I went out with my mother. We saw a movie together and then went out to eat,”  she announced with an apparent mix of pride and affection.

The group clapped for Jennel.

Jeff was no less enthusiastic as he described a similar outing with his family. “I am getting along and showing respect for everyone,” he said.

David L. said that there would be no more signs and that this would be his last load. He also said with lament that the pool at his house was broken.

Marie announced that she had been honored at the bowling awards event and that she had received a large trophy.

Peter S, said that he had just gotten back from vacation. “We went swimming. We got souvenirs and it was great. I called my sister and told her all about it” he said.

Pradeep introduced himself as a new resident at the Kathleen Lukens Center apartment complex. He mentioned that the Town Meeting had been originally scheduled for August 11, but had been rescheduled to the 18th because of a conflict with an event at Camp Kanawaki. “I had just been on vacation with my family too” he said. He also said that he enjoyed the Boulders game.

Susie T said that she too had just returned from a wonderful vacation. She also said that she had been working on losing a few pounds which was working and she proudly showed of her slimmer profile to the applause of the group.

Rudy was the next speaker and at this point Dan Lukens joined him at the lectern.

“Ladies and gentlemen I would like to announce two new members the group, Pradeep whom who has already spoken and Rudy. Rudy is new but he is actually an old friend that I met many years ago when I was a staff at Venture Inn,” Lukens said. “Rudy’s back and so join me in welcoming Rudy and Pradeep.”

The room responded with a rousing ovation.

Patrick offered an update on his life at Thomas House, his family and offered warm regards to all.

Kathleen said that she was grateful for her friend and housemate Marie. “The Boulders game was great. I really had fun,” she said. Kathleen also said that her brother had called and said that she always liked hearing from him.

Denis, said that he really missed his sister Beth since she moved.

Theresa said that she was looking forward to performing in the talent show and was pleased that her father was coming to the performance.

Theresa’s mention of the talent show prompted Sarah, as per the group’s bylaws, to interject to announce that the talent show would be at 6:30Pm on September 19, in the same auditorium.

Kevin announced: “I’m back!” He said that he had been away with family but was glad to see everyone again.

Merlin announced that he would be playing guitar and performing with the Rockademy Band.

Peter C. said that he was looking forward to seeing his brother.

John F. announced proudly that he had moved to Venture East before moving on the important business of reporting on the progress of the Yankees. “The Yankees won, 4 to 2,” he said with great enthusiasm and to the applause of the room.

Bernadette offered a litany of her many successes from her job at Target to her upcoming performance in the talent show, “I like my new room,” she said referring to the new addition at Engel House. “I love my job. I saw may family. I had a great vacation and I am helping out my staff at the house,” she said.

Dan Lukens stepped up next to Bernadette to add: “This lady is my hero. She is doing it all.” And, again, the room rose in applause.

Susie, said she missed her mother.

Dana offed words of appreciation for Sarah L. and Dana D.

Eileen stepped to the lectern but used her time mostly to pose for the camera. She did acknowledge Julie L, however. “Cheese,” she said as Julie clicked the shutter.

Billy shared with the group that the day before he had visited family in the Bronx and had a wonderful time.

Quentin used his time to offer a prayer which was much appreciated by the group.

KellyAnn said that she had had a good day.

Tammy had lots of hugs for all as she was all smiles as she took her turn at the microphone. “I love my job at Target,” she said. Tammy also spoke with some concern about her friend Joyce who had been ill and asked the group to pray for her.

Lewis said that he enjoyed the Boulder?s game and said that he thought that Sarah Lukens, who sang the national anthem, had done a beautiful job.

Lewis also said that he had gone to Atlantic City. “I am grateful that when we expressed our concern and interest in this trip that we were heard,” Lewis said and that point was emphasized by the applause that rose up with his statement.

Jack said that he was glad to help out with tasks around his house and appreciated doing things for himself.

“I am going to the dude ranch on vacation,” Roger announced. An avid rider, Roger also said that there would be an opportunity to ride in a horse-drawn wagon as well.

Jeff used his time to express his affection for Gina and to say that now that she had moved, that she was missed.

Emerson was pleased to show off his new sneakers. He said that he was working hard and that he liked his job at the Venture workshop.

Nellie said that she was on TV when news 12 did a story on the Workshop.

Richard used his time to make a play for Marie.

James said that he had a great time at the Boulders game.

Jean said that she too had a wonderful time at the Boulders game on the Camp Venture game night.

Kara announced that Rudy had joined the Lauber House family and she offered a song in his honor.

Angel stepped to the lectern and as Dan Lukens was busy writing and not paying attention she tapped him on the shoulder. “I am going home in September for my mom’s birthday,” she said with joy in her voice. “We had such a great time at the Boulders game. I was on vacation and I spent time with my family,” she said.

The group applauded warmly for Angel.

“Saturday we went to the IHop in the Palisades Mall for pancakes,” Lisa said. “It was great.”

Lilian was the last speaker and she used her time to offer a song and a very beautiful song it was.

Jen closed the regular session of the Town Meeting at around 7:55 PM and took a moment for some personal notes. She talked about time with her family at Myrtle Beech, the Boulders game and a pancake breakfast that she and her house had won at the Boulders game before offering the floor to her VP.

Meg showed off her new quaff. “Look at my hair,” she said to the applause of the room. “The Boulders Game was great and Sarah?s singing was amazing.”

The Town Meeting closed at about 8:10 PM.

It was a great night and life was good. The group left the assembly and the din of warm conversation was carried from the hall, out the door and into this beautiful August evening. It was time to go but on a night like this there was no hurry. It was perfect, a day to remember and a time to savor in the life of this ever-faithful family of friends.

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