Fort Armstrong Gazette

September 2009


President’s Message – Steve Rinck

This issue marks my first contribution to The Fort Armstrong Gazette, by virtue of my election
as President of the Dade Battlefield Society.  I am honored to be a part of such a fine organization with a long record of supporting the State park system and of bringing public attention to an important era in American history.  Other officers elected in June are:

            Vice-President: Dale Beremand           Treasurer:  Jim Velten
            Secretary:          Jessica Hoag

This is a time of economic hardship for many, but  also a time of renewed sense of value, both extrinsic and intrinsic.  The 28th annual battle reenactment in January was attended by almost 5,000 people, double the number of the previous year and definitely the largest group ever!  Such enthusiasm will continue only if more of us become more directly involved.  Increases in visitors and participants necessitate expansions/improvements in parking, seating, sanitation, and other services, as well as the planning that accompanies such change.  Our core leadership group is dedicated but small, and we always welcome comments and ideas.  All members are invited to attend our board meetings held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m.  I am very glad to have become a more active member, and encourage YOU to get a similar lift!

2009 Board Meetings

September 8                            November 10
October 13                              December 8

Loans and ListsSteve Rinck

Your Society sold three of our older uniform jackets at the Dade Swap Meet. We will be selling more in the future to regain storage space and increase operating capital.  As a result, the January, 2010 reenactment will be the last at which uniform supplies will be loaned out free of charge (except to those who provide key roles or special functions).

On a different issue, it has come to our attention that the listed numbers of the annual reenactments are incorrect. Therefore, the following change has been agreed upon by vote of the Board of Directors:
January 2 & 3, 2010 – the 174th Battle Anniversary and the 29th Annual Reenactment.
January 1 & 2, 2011 – the 175th Battle Anniversary and the 30th Annual Reenactment.

Outgoing President Honored – Steve Rinck

From 2003-2009, Jean McNary’s six terms as President were marked by her can-do style that served to maintain the program quality shown by this organization.  On July 14, 2009, the Society presented Jean with a president’s gavel plaque containing an inscription that read, “In
appreciation for your dedication in keeping Florida history alive for everyone.”  All of us are grateful for her inspired service and look forward to benefiting from her contributions for many years to come.  Well done, Jean!
WWII Day, August 1, 2009

WWII Day was a great success thanks to the hard work of Ranger George Webb who coordinates this event.  Over 142 cars came through the gate.  The Sumter County High School NJROTC parked cars and sold lunches.  The day’s attendance was reported to be 426.
If you missed this event, be sure to come next year on the first Saturday in August.  Reenactors represented British pilots, Scottish Highlanders, American soldiers, marines and medical units.  German units were also represented and there was even one French Legionnaire. Some brought their military vehicles. Each veteran was given a small flag pin with a ribbon and thanked for their service to the United States. The Dade Battlefield Society hopes that this event will continue to grow.

2010 Tourist Development Council Grant Awarded

On July 23rd, the Sumter County TDC recommended the Society receive a grant of $15,000 to help fund the advertising for the annual reenactment.  The approval is not final until the County Commissioners vote in October.  This is the 5th year the Society has received this grant.  The Society is very grateful to the TDC board. The Society owes a great debt of gratitude to Jean McNary who has championed this effort each year.

Dade Swap Meet - 2009– John DeLancett, Event Coordinator

The fourth annual Dade Swap Meet, on Saturday, August 15, was well attended and, in fact, the Society had to buy extra tables to accommodate all the vendors. Marie DeLancett was kind enough to volunteer her time to sell hot dogs, drinks, and other items so no one had to go hungry.  Items for sale included books, rifles, pistols, tomahawks, knives, uniforms, clothing, Civil War uniforms, decorative items, bandolier bags, and several other items.  Everyone had a great time and enjoyed not only selling and buying various items, but meeting old friends, discussing history and reenactments, and just plain fellowship. John DeLancett would appreciate input concerning attracting more visitors to this event. The number of registrants increased greatly. The number of visitors, while significantly up, was still not what he would like to see. Any comments or suggestions should be forwarded to John at frentrapr@embarqmail.net. Thanks to all who participated and supported the event.


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