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I just wanted to respond to Texas Tina, and anyone else who has felt unappreciated for their donations. I am truly very, very sorry that has happened. We found out that was a problem last year, because we receive a tremendous number of donations (which is wonderful, thanks to the amazing generosity of the GALSl) - but the sheer number of them was in the hundreds, and almost none came with any indication of a value. Without anything to guide us we often had no idea if a donation was something that had taken a great deal of time to make or if it contained components that were of significant value. Because of that some major mistakes were made and feelings were deeply hurt, and I wish we could do it all over and keep that from happening to anyone.

The thing is, the majority of the items are received very close to the date of the events and we are scrambling up to the last minute to sort through everything, determine what is going on which night, printing the silent auction sheets, getting items numbered. If we could be like other charity events where everyone involved is local, we'd have it done in advance, but we actually get many items given to us in Las Vegas. To avoid these mistakes happening again this year we changed the procedure and required that donors complete a donation sheet that gave the details of what was being donated and the value. We also subscribed to charity auction software so all items could be entered as received and their values tracked. We minimized the number of raffle items and and used baskets instead of bags so that all items were visible. But there were still items that got grouped with donations that came from others so we could make the best use of the donations and the space we had.

I hope you and others who have donated special items in the past will reconsider going forward, knowing that things were changed to try to make it work better and avoid those times when something of significant value is not handled fairly. Again, I'm really sorry that the time and work that you put into your donations was not recognized and treated as it should have been, we are trying to do better.

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I've been a proud member of Butlergals for many many years now and have never attended a convention...even after hearing that in some instances Gerry appeared in person. I thought; lucky women! But enjoyed reading about all the Gals who were able to attend and that gave me an uplift on it's own.

I live in Canada and yes the costs mentioned by Gerry's 3 AM Gal was a huge factor for me as well.

The only charities I manage to shell out for lately are "The War Amps of Canada" for personal reasons and of course my subscription to Gals be it ever so humble..

It is difficult for people now a days to travel due to finances right across the Globe.

Vacations are sadly not in our finances for any event outside visiting family (the cost of gas being too high)..

I love Gals and will stay with the board for as long as it is available to us; but alas nothing short of winning a Lottery will make it a reality for me.

Call it a sign of the times but this does not thwart our devotion for Gerry and his work; it is sadly a lack of funds to pursue anything "other" than that which our imaginations can afford us..

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I posted this on Facebook and KB asked that I post it here as well:

A weekend in Vegas or anywhere is going to cost money, no matter what changes we make. We now have some wonderful suggestions, so maybe now we narrow it down to what SPECIFICALLY do YOU want at the con that you would feel is worth the cost of registration, travel & lodging? An option to go to one or both events, a Gerry related special guest, any special guest, no special guest, Gerry related Friday themed event, Katie and Holly performing, less charity focus, same charity focus, more Gerry related auction/raffle items, better mix of Gerry and non-Gerry related auction/raffle items, a Thursday get-to-know-you pizza party, jewelry making, scrapbooking, a trip to the Shade Tree, another option if emotionally you can’t go to TST…etc.

If you’re comfortable doing so, provide the $ amount you would be willing to spend on a convention weekend including registration, travel and lodging. (Leave out raffle and auction expense. It’s an individual choice and NO ONE should feel guilty if they just want to come for the fun and not participate in the raffle or auction)

For the sake of anonymity you could PM your “wish list” to KB, being honest about the scenario that would bring you to Vegas in 2014. Obviously everyone doesn’t get what they wish for, but maybe it gives KB and the others in charge a better picture of our individual choices. Here’s an example:

$1200.00 amount I am willing to spend to go to Vegas. My wish list agenda is:


Pizza party meet & greet in hospitality suite with a Gerry trivia game for small, inexpensive prizes instead of a swag bag.


AM Registration

Craft workshop (jewelry making or scrapbooking with a nominal supply fee if appropriate) or a Gerry movie discussion group (share mementos, special collected items if desired)

Friday evening:

Gerry movie-themed dinner (casual dress or themed costume)

Rising Phoenix Inspirational award presentation

Sam & Lynn Childers special guests

Music: Songbird, Katie & Aaron Hendra Project

Holly comedy routine

Proceeds go to Angels of East Africa


Shade Tree Visit

Tiffany Hendra motivational/style workshop

Saturday evening:

Formal/Semi Formal dinner

Event open to Vegas community (little or no Gerry references)

Two levels of raffle items and ticket price. Mix of Gerry items and non-Gerry items.

Live auction.

Music: Katie & Aaron Hendra Project

Proceeds go to The Shade Tree

Edited by Sara
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Thanks, Susan. I think I was hurt most by a comment made by an attendee about something I made, but that person was not a mod or involved in organizing the charity stuff. I still contribute to the auctions but always try to make it Gerry related or something I got at a previous event. Found non-Gerry items I donated didn't go over too well or haven't in the past.

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Decided to just post this here. Will send KB a PM with my "wish list", but won't be attending unless I can convince my mom to go with me as she's in her mid-80s and her birthday is during that time. But wanted to say I agree with some of the others. The "fun" and Gerryness seems to be missing now from what I could tell from reading what people wrote and watching ustream last year. Even the last year I went the focus seemed to be changing. I think a few have said this, but the group needs to decide if it's a fan covention with the charity stuff secondary to that or a charity convention. I personally don't like that one night is designated for one charity and another night for another charity. I think money should be raised for Rising Phoenix and that organization make the donations. It seemed to me from following topics, Friday was supposed to be a fun Gerry night but was actually more for AOEA. Saturday is for TST. You can still have the charity aspect but don't make it the focus unless you rename the convention and advertise it as other than a fan convention. I miss seeing friends but if I'm going to spend a lot of money, I want to have some fun and that includes volunteering at TST. I don't want a fan convention to be mostly serious unless I can get CPEs for it. I loved watching people get crazy in a nice way at conventions I went to. Doesn't sound like that's happening as much anymore.

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Tina, I know that none of the Admin or Mod team would ever say anything bad about anything made for donations. And honestly, because of how opinionated most of the GALS are on here, it would not surprise me that an opinion of an item they received would be given, good or bad. But don't let one bad comment stop you from doing your thing. Many people appreciate everything they get in the auctions or goodie bags, and while I understand your feelings were hurt (mine would be too), your efforts are anything but unappreciated by the majority of those working to make the con great and those who attend the con.

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As a winner of one of the auction baskets this year I can honestly say that the donations were phenomenal. I was thrilled with everything I saw and was fortunate enough to actually win one. Whether they were made or given I was blown away. So speaking for this GAL alone I say thank you and BRAVA to all those that donated!


Edited by MareksLadyD
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Hi all,

I don't post that much anymore but I keep a lively interest in all things Gerry. As some of you know I live in Australia and I was extremely lucky to come to the first convention. It was a life changer for me in multiple ways. Meeting others who shared my 'passion', women from all over the globe, was fantastic. Like Swannie and Lady Elissa, I still keep in touch with many of the wonderful women I've met here at the site and in person at the convention - even some who, like me, don't post very often. I still try to donate to the site even though it might be small because I love knowing it is here, love the updates and information about all things Gerry.

I've read all the replies so far and there are many great and open comments that I agree with. I have no problem with the charity aspect of the convention. In fact when I ran the 1st Australian convention (under the auspices of another Gerry site) and the three following years, we also had a charity aspect which was relatively successful - although not the main feature of the cons. In Australia, like other places, the attendance fell off. Here it was because there were a few within the Oz fandom who felt the cons were their parties - not for fandom as a whole. It is this that cause us to finally cancel future conventions. I note an earlier poster mentioned this and even though the organisers try very hard to avoid such outcomes, if people know each other and have met before, it does occur. We tried workshops etc at the last convention but it didn't really seem to work here. That is not to say it won't in Vegas - in fact, the workshop in Vegas were one of the fun parts of the con when I attended.

I have to say before I go further, I DO NOT think that GALS con organisers, mods and admins think that the con is their party. I truly believe they love sharing everything Gerry with all who attend.

But for me, although I still love Gerry and would love to come to another convention, my life has moved on. I'm now a grandmother and retired. I'm not as financial as when I was working and so a trip to the US has become more difficult - although I tried to get it together for this year and, like others, failed.

Finally, when we had the first con, I felt like we were not only there to celebrate Gerry but, being his fans, we could help him and his career with our support. His career has taken off and I'm not sure that, beside going to his movies and buying the DVD's when they are released, we can do much more to help. Maybe that is a bit pessimistic of me and if so, I'm apologise.

I would absolutely love to come to another convention and I still have pride of place in my home of the signed Gerry photo I won at the silent auction. For me the con was to meet others with the same 'addiction'. I'm not cured and hope never to be cured of that addiction.

I was a bit surprised when I watched the video that there were not more fans there. I'm saddened by it too.

So, although this is probably not all too helpful, I felt I had to put in my tuppence worth.

Hugs to you all


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I’ve never attended a GALS con, yet, though I have been tempted. One of my main reasons was the cost.

So here’s my suggestion, for what it is worth,. Perhaps consider doing something different like combining Gerry’s Birthday bash with the con, extending the invitation to the other Gerry sites, allowing them representation and having it in mid November around his birthday and doing it on a cruise ship!

I’ve taken many, many cruises and I think they are the best way to travel and see the world! That’s the beauty of it! You book the convention on a cruise ship and do a different itinerary each year and maybe from a different departure port that might be closer for someone who might not otherwise be able to get there. There are cruises that leave from not only Florida ports but New York City, Charleston, NC, Galveston, Houston, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Seattle, just to name a few.

Ships are great for accommodating groups. They’ve got rooms you can reserve for the auctions, workshops etc., and the dining rooms can accommodate as many as you need every night, same tables, same time, same wait staff and those people are always fun to get to know from other countries, and I just think you get more bang for your buck with a cruise! They’ll even decorate for you and provide the booze set up (extra cost of course). Not to mention visiting several ports of call in exotic destinations that some might not ever get a chance to see otherwise! All your meals and live entertainment are included in the fare, as well as your accommodations and some are as low as around $300 per person for a four to five night stay, if you book it right, so how can you go wrong?

For those who love to gamble, all cruise ships have casinos. Most have cinemas, libraries and computer rooms in addition to the live theatrical performances every night (that are free). And during the days at sea, I’m sure any cruise line would be more than willing to accommodate the GALS group to use the theater or other areas, poolside, conference rooms, for raffles or guest speakers, etc. and provide the speakers sometimes. They usually have a huge lounge area on the top of the ship with great views, a bar and stage that's could be made available with a reservation. One of the beautiful things of that is that folks who aren’t a Gerry fan and just guests on the cruise, might feel free to attend or drop in on one of these occasions and might become a Gerry fan or make a donation to the cause!

There’s pools and hot tubs, saunas and massages, salons and work out rooms, free food and ice cream and the run of the ship. I’m sure any of you who have ever cruised know what I’m talking about. Some have surfing and wall climbing, mini golf and volley ball and an outdoor cinema poolside. Or you can just hang out with a book or sleep or eat. There's even some shopping and of course plenty of that in ports of call.

I don’t allow the recent problems that some cruise ships have had deter me in the least bit. Things like that happening just make the lines more careful of not allowing them to happen again. The odds are still in your favor that nothing will happen, just like when you fly so it shouldn’t stop you from going.

I know being out in the middle of the ocean on a moving city isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, however, maybe giving it a shot one time might convince those doubting otherwise.

I know it’s difficult for some to get to Vegas, or anywhere at times, and find the money especially then have to get a room and pay for meals and other entertainment, etc. and then there’s the registration fee on top of that. A cruise ship fare covers all the delicious gourmet meals and entertainment every night so that's not an issue. The only add on would be what extras for GALS events and charity, etc and registration fee and that could be added in to the ship fare. Excursions at ports and such could be at the discretion of each attendee, of course. You can just get off the ship and shop or walk around in most ports for free.

I would be more than happy to help research, organize and arrange if needed if this would be something you might want to entertain in the future.

No, I don’t work for the cruise lines but they should be paying me!


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Delene have you been following the NKOTB yearly fan cruises lol. They're a great success. Some of the band do appear which maybe makes it successful. You do make some good points.

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Delene have you been following the NKOTB yearly fan cruises lol. They're a great success. Some of the band do appear which maybe makes it successful. You do make some good points.

Thanks, Moira. I had to "google" NKOTB. So I guess my answer is, no, I have not been following them, however, I've heard of other bands doing the same thing. Holland America did "DWTS" recently with several of the pros.



Edited by GBPhanatic
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Delene, that's an interesting idea, but I hope if GALS decides to do a cruise it isn't on Carnival Cruise Lines. I'm not too fond of the idea of dysentery, running aground, shipwrecks and engine room fires. :catfight: Just sayin'.... :lol:

Edited by Lady Elissa
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Delene, that's an interesting idea, but I hope if GALS decides to do a cruise it isn't on Carnival Cruise Lines. I'm not too fond of the idea of dysentery, running aground, shipwrecks and engine room fires. :catfight: Just sayin'.... :lol:

Oh where's your sense of adventure? Your plane could crash before you get to port and that's not just an inconvenience, that's dead! :rotflmao:


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I don't think a November convention would work. Moms would have problems because school is in session and the holidays are very close and everyone is super busy. That's also the time if year I have zero extra money! The weather in Vegas would be better, though!

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I don't think a November convention would work. Moms would have problems because school is in session and the holidays are very close and everyone is super busy. That's also the time if year I have zero extra money! The weather in Vegas would be better, though!

I have the same problem with November as you do, Suzie! Busy holiday season and no cash. :unsure:

November also would clash with other long standing events; The Phantom Pheast and The Phantom Redeux.

See above for reason I've never been able to attend these events, either. Every year, I say "maybe next year." :crybaby:

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As the person with primary responsibility for Phantom Pheast I would not be able to help with or attend a convention in November - it has worked so far because my responsibilities were split about 5 months apart. Phantom Pheast and the Phantom Redux pre-exist the conventions, and as long as Martha wants to keep the Redux going I'm committed to the Phantom Pheast that precedes it.

I love cruises, I've been on more than a dozen myself, and they are especially great for the fact that the meals and entertainment are all-inclusive. However, I'm not sure how we would get all of our "stuff" there - it takes 2 full carloads to get all the raffle and auction items to Las Vegas. I would certainly consider going on a cruise like that, just not sure about actually organizing one - I am pretty sure the ones we hear about are usually done by professionals connected with whatever the draw might be (Top Chef, Danicing with the Stars, NKOTB, etc) and they have access to the media outlets to advertise them widely.

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I love cruises, I've been on more than a dozen myself, and they are especially great for the fact that the meals and entertainment are all-inclusive. However, I'm not sure how we would get all of our "stuff" there - it takes 2 full carloads to get all the raffle and auction items to Las Vegas. I would certainly consider going on a cruise like that, just not sure about actually organizing one - I am pretty sure the ones we hear about are usually done by professionals connected with whatever the draw might be (Top Chef, Danicing with the Stars, NKOTB, etc) and they have access to the media outlets to advertise them widely.

I appreciate what you're saying about bringing all the items to the con. It seems to me the only way a cruise would work, as far as the fund-raising is concerned, is by not actually having the items there, but by having a picture or description of the item as Moira mentioned somewhere in this discussion here or on facebook. But then you have the problem and expense of mailing the items to the winners. As much fun as cruises can be, I don't think that's the answer. Just my opinion.

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Given the dwindling numbers of attendees in recent years, with associated costs being the deciding factor for most, I don't see how a cruise could work, regardless of time of year. 100's of people would need to commit to going before it was booked and it would probably cost at least as much as a weekend in Vegas.

I think Cat hit a lot of nails on the head with her comments. A lot of people's lives are very different now from when both the Con and their involvement in G-World began. I know I'm still hopelessly addicted to the man, but for me, GALS is not so much about supporting him and his career, but the fact that it's associated with the friends I've made here. Sure we all use other forms of social media to communicate with each other every day, but I like knowing GALS is here.

I've been to the Con twice and had a blast both when the focus was all G, all the time, and when it was "split" into the two "themes". Having said that, while the charity aspect is great, and I have absolutely no problem with money from auctions, silent or otherwise, going to help a cause we've all deemed worthy, I do think that the focus of the convention should remain GALS and our shared love of G. Personally, I don't need a weekend in Vegas to spark my charitable impulses and there are no shortages of ways and places to give. What I'll take away from my two Vegas experiences will be that they are a worthwhile investment of time and money in MYSELF.

RPCF is a wonderful idea. While I understand that it sprang from the Convention and the desire of those involved to help others in a larger and more meaningful way, in order for it to grow (and be taken seriously) it must be severed from GALS completely. It's my opinion that the biggest reason that the Saturday night gala did not attract more attention, despite opening it up to the Vegas community at large, was due to the association with a fan convention. Whether we like it or not, most of the world just doesn't get "us" and will never understand that {insert perceived description of fans or fandom here} can also be serious-minded and goal-oriented. The origins of RPCF will always be in GALS, but it needs to move away and develop its own identity and brand.

Once the Con has been clearly defined, the focus can then turn to ways to attract more of the nearly 10,000 GALS members to attend. No matter what the new direction is going to be, everything costs money and the Mods/Admins who already donate more time to this than most of us will ever realize, should NOT be shouldering the expenses that the registration fees from dwindling attendance do not cover. Despite the fact that fewer and fewer GALS are going each year, they've never skimped on the Con itself and it was as lavish last year as it was the 1st time I went, five years before. Part of the solution could be to get more of the rank and file involved, whether it's simply voting on the theme or helping to raise money for decorations etc. (I love idea that Landa posited for fundraisers on a local level held throughout the year.) We're all intelligent, creative individuals. Let's put that intelligence and creativity to work. Rather than sitting back and waiting to be entertained by someone else's efforts, let's get more people invested so that they believe it is truly THEIR event.

I've said some of this on the FB thread, and I had no idea I'd go on this long when I started this post. Of course all of the above is JMHO. Thanks to the MODS/ADMINS for everything they've done to this point and thanks all, for reading.

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I was there the 1st cpl cons and loved it. I think Vegas is a good choice as it has a lot of things there to do no matter what.

For me, not attending more often has been $$, not working, helping daughter, health, the expense to go ( it all adds up, cant save what I don't have :( ) and several things happening around the same time. I wish the registration fees to come could extend alttlle more to pay, I'm afraid to buy so far ahead and then something might happen that I am not able to go and lose my $.

I loved it when it was about getting to meet the other GALS/PALS and was Gerry themed, as it's because of Gerry that I met you all as this site was created. I don't really know much of the charity aspect there and how it has affected the con. I think helping out the charities is important, but would love if I was able to go again for it to have something about Gerry.

I'm not sure this even helps, but wanted to share, as I would love to make it again. My daughter keeps asking to go to Vegas, maybe we can and I can just go to the con. :)

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This is a long one. :cunning:

Thank you all so much for joining in and for my fellow mods and planners for explaining things ASAP.

I guess I should have said when I opened this topic for us to assume two facts, for now...

1) Vegas is the location

2) Friday & Saturday are the "Official" days ( any entertainment, gathering, hanging out, loosely organized fun time, before or after, will be the responsibility of the individual attendees - As always the hospitality suite or some venue would be available Thursday night for early arrivals etc.)

and we work to improve from that stand point.

I said last week I would have a breakdown of expenses. As I've thought about this, I am NOT going to give a blow by blow (insert giggles). I will share the biggies, the high points, including my own small in comparison out of pocket, but am not willing to subject my fellow mods/admins/planners to judgments or ridicule over personal financial choices to make these conventions happen FOR GALS.

If you have been following on FB some of this is not going to be new info.

At EVERY hotel, when using the banquet facilities there is a minimum catering charge MGM‘s was $10,000 with a 21% gratuity. This is NOT unique to MGM and in fact they were quite generous with us on extra meeting/storage room space WITH keys, menu selection and discounts to RPCF as a charitable organization. Hospitality suites....OFTEN mentioned in our discussions as meeting space and activity space....run anywhere from $500 - $1500/night, even with discounts for group/convention. Decoration rental typically averages $1500, this includes backdrops, linens, photo op stations and LABOR. Since I took over decor, my personal expenses for creating non rented items had been anywhere from $300-$500/year. This does not include the cookies or other pressies attendees have found at their seats over the years.

The movie theater was a fun treat, but again VERY EXPENSIVE and generously donated by ONE person when the agreement for the theater to host the movie and sell box office tickets fell through. This was done FOR GALS to have a special Gerry movie treat at no added expense.

We have ALWAYS paid the room and banquet meals for our special guests...again usually ONE or two organizers donating these expenses to keep attendee cost as low as possible. Occasionally we have been required/requested to covered travel, and a small per day expense allowance.

EVERY year, EVERY hotel, EVERY facility requires a deposit. Because GALS, GCF, and RPCF has given such a large percentage (over 90%) directly to the charities ONE or two organizers have put the deposit on a personal credit card. We have never held back enough for operating costs, postage, and certainly not enough to support the next convention. PLEASE do not come in here telling us how that is not the way to run a charity….it was deemed more important for the funds raised to go to the charities as long as we the organizers could cover the initial costs and sometimes the entire cost of some parts of the convention.

I cannot say what the personal investments have been for those who did workshops ie: scrap booking, or Wee men goodies, or even the Gutter Gab handbook or baking supplies or personal expense for putting together, hauling, and mailing prizes. I won’t ask. Those, like all of it were gifts of love to GALS, to this FANmily and to the charities we support.

We have known for several years that 60 attendees at $275 - $265 with PayPal fees , was the “break even” point ($15,900) because so much was covered by planners.

So, breaking this down…. ESTIMATED Figures and Fees for an average convention.

$10,000 Catering, excluding gratuity - banquet rooms are provided at no charge IF we use venue catering.
$ 300 Bar minimum
$ 1,500 Hospitality Suite (low range estimate)
$ 1,500 Deco/linens (mid range estimate)
$ 100 Hospitality nibblies (low end estimate)
$ 250 Awards
$ 1,800 sound, projector, dance floor, mic - WITHOUT a performer
$ 3,500 movie theater experience - theater rental, transportation, shipment of film
$18,950 TOTAL

This total is for a bare bones convention. Special guests can mean travel, guests (companions, managers, PAs) expenses and meals. Chris Mann reduced his fee for us . AHP performed FREE in 2012 and for minimal travel and technical assistance this year.

This year we had 32 attendees at $275/$265 = $8,480

I hope you call can see we have not been frivolous or extravagant with YOUR registration fees.

Please consider, as ideas are tossed around. IF we move everything to hospitality suites….the need for a bigger more expensive space will be necessary. IF we move to a restaurant for a nice Saturday night dinner….we are looking a minimum of $75/head in Las Vegas for 40 guests without alcoholic beverages, which would be in addition to registration fees.

If you would like to help with 2013 expenses, Authors Against Abuse has extended their campaign through September. 50% of all sales of the Weldon Series and Trevelyan books will be contributed to RPCF. If you aren’t in a position to purchase, SHARE on social media, help us create the BUZZ. Great stories and cause.


GALS have always amazed me in their ability to rally on social media and get the word out. Do it now. Commit to rallying in the coming months as we try to make a 2014 Convention a reality.


post vetted by RPCF directors and convention volunteers

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