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2018 Griffon Association Summary

Your Association is very happy with yet another successful year. However, despite the fact that I hate to keep repeating myself, I must say that in another five (5) years, as our membership continues to age in order for the Association to continue our good works over the long term, the Association needs more help from both retirees and current Soldiers in the form of active memberships.  To get back up in the 300+ members we had 10 years ago, we initiated some plans in the last couple of years to positively affect that, which have brought some small results but still not at the level we need.  We have kept pace with our membership gains and losses but not gained much overall.  As of the last membership roster I saw, we have 136 life members and 54 yearly members, plus two honorary members for a total of 192 as of June, 2018, an increase of 2 since 2017.  I ask each of you who must have several friends who are eligible for membership, to contact them, encourage them to join and send them a copy of the membership application, which accompanies this Summary or they can join on the website, www.108thgriffonassoc.com.   Annual membership is only $10, which is a small sum for anyone, and the organization needs the support to keep up its good works. You can also become a life member for only $108.00.  Thanks for the help in this vital area.

In 2018, we again lived up to our motto of “Be a Patriot, Help a Soldier” with the donations we made and scholarships we gave.  Helping Soldiers and Families in need and Veterans who have served in the past is really an ongoing service that started when we all first swore our oath.  Membership and participation in the Association is an easy and good way to give back even if you live a long way from Charlotte.

As a result of our 8th Annual Soldiers and Families golf tournament in 2018, we raised $12,824.49 benefiting Soldiers and families, which along with monies left over from 2017, allowed us to provide $7,000 in scholarship grants to our eight extremely well qualified applicants.  We also donated $4,750.00 in support of several worthwhile organizations assisting Soldiers and Veterans including Purple Heart Homes, the Charlotte USO, Veterans Restoration Quarters, Statesville American Legion Post 65 and the Freedom and Hope Foundation as well as having some seed money for 2019.  Fortunately, we received no requests from injured or deployed soldiers or families this year, but had funds available to fund help if needed.    

As I said in 2018, we received seven (7) scholarship applications.  This was down in numbers somewhat from 2017, but the quality of the applicants was still extremely high.  It was so good in fact that the scholarship committee (Lin Ingram, Chaplain Brian Donley and Bob Gwaltney) again had a hard time deciding among them on an order of merit list but recommended we try to give something to all and even increase our amounts if we could.  We were able to increase our grant amounts due to the reduction in the number of applicants, and we were able to give something to everyone. We ended up dividing the applicants into 2 groups with the top three (3) receiving $1,000.00 each, and the next 5 receiving $800.00 each for a total of $7,000.00, which was in line with what we have distributed over the last few years.  Again, we were very pleased that we received applications from and picked winners across the Training Command as well as Griffon Association family members.

In May 2018, around 20 Griffon Association members and guests attended the annual picnic held at Latta Plantation near Charlotte. The group also enjoyed a huge Barbeque lunch with all the trimmings as well as attending a WWII reenactment around the old historic Latta Plantation house.  The get together was very enjoyable and all had a great time.  We encourage you to attend and enjoy yourselves.

We scheduled our 2018 Soldiers’ and Families’ golf tournament for September 24th at Pine Island Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, the same course that has hosted us since the beginning.  With the help of solicitations by employees of Knight Communications, publisher of The Griffon, and after months of work by members of the Board and other Association members, who obtained sponsors, donors and golfers, volunteers from the Association joined together to host 60 + golfers. The number of golfers did not meet our expectations and was down from 2017, but the weather cooperated, all had a wonderful time and we got some great news coverage in the Fall issue of the Griffon. The 208th Army Band provided military music during registration and played the National Anthem and the Army Song as the Colors were presented by the Statesville High School Junior ROTC Color Guard.  HELP US OUT BY GETTING THE WORD OUT TO YOUR GOLFING FRIENDS TO COME PLAY A GREAT COURSE AND HELP SOLDIERS IN THE PROCESS IN 2019.

As happens every year of the tournament, golfers were treated to a box lunch, dinner after the round and numerous opportunities on the course to win prizes provided by sponsors to include closest to the pin on par 3s, longest drive for men and women, winning a 2 year car lease and a trip to the Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland, for a hole in one on two of the par 3s, winning a sleeve of three golf balls with the Griffon logo for a $5 donation and hitting the green on a par three as well as prizes at the end for two net flights for 1st, 2nd and last place. Golfers opened their wallets again to buy mulligans and red tees, participated in a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction, which contributed not only to the fun but the fund for Soldiers and Families.

As I said earlier, all this hard work, fun and generosity resulted in $12,824.49, net being raised by the Association for support of Soldiers and Families from across the 108th Training Command spectrum, including Soldiers and Families from the 95th, 98th and 104th subordinate Divisions.  This was about $2,000.00 more than raised in 2017. The Association is very pleased to be able to provide needed resources for Soldiers and Families trying to take advantage of educational opportunities,  funds for Families under financial stress as a result of a Soldier’s deployment, funds for financial assistance to Soldiers who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty, support for Family Support activities such as funds for Care Packages and phone cards to deployed Soldiers and support for other charitable organizations who support Soldiers and Veterans.

Looking forward to 2018, Griffon Association Scholarship applications are due by April 1, 2019.  A copy of the application is included with this article. A copy of the application along with the address to mail it and accompanying documents is also on our website, www.108thgriffonassoc.com.  We hope to continue the level of scholarship giving as in the past.

Your board met recently and scheduled the spring picnic for October 2019.  The exact date should be determined shortly.  We will have the picnic at Latta Plantation in Charlotte, NC, which will be having some other activities we hopefully can participate in.  In addition to a good meal and reacquainting with old friends, we hope to have a presentation from the Training Command G-3.  Please place the event on your calendar and make plans to attend with family and bring a new member too.  We will get out more information on the picnic to the membership shortly.  We are trying a fall event since it seems there are a lot of conflicts for folks in the spring and we hope to increase participation. PLEASE COME OUT AND SUPPORT THE ASSOCIATION AND REAQUAINT WITH OLD FRIENDS.

Our Ninth Annual Golf Tournament will take place on the 30th of September, 2019.  For you golfers, who have not been able to attend in the past, please plan to bring a team this year and we always need some help from non-golfers for registration etc.  For those of you who participated in 2018, we thank you and look forward to seeing you again in 2019.

Lastly, we added a couple of events to the schedule in 2013.  On occasion since then, members of the Association have attended as guests at the Carolinas Freedom Foundation’s Freedom Breakfast in Charlotte in conjunction with Veterans’ Day. We did not march in the Charlotte Veterans’ Day parade this past year, but hope to have a contingent involved this year – let me know if you are interested in either event.  As an extra benefit, you will get to see (COL-Retired) Tom Phlegar lead the parade with his leggings and tri-corner hat, while playing his drums with the Revolutionary War color guard.  Those two events take place in 2019, on the 7th (Breakfast) and 9th (Parade) of November and we hope to have increased participation among our members in the Charlotte area.

As I started this summary, I will also again end on an appeal for your help in getting more members signed up among your friends and acquaintances.  Thanks for everyone’s continuing support. Hooah!!

Charles E. McCartney, Jr.
MG, USA, Retired
President, 108th Griffon Association 

 

Click here for a PDF of the Griffon Association Scholarship application.

Click here for a PDF of the Membership agreement.