Altamont

Pat and I were walking along one of the trails when I was startled by a bright flash and said, “Was that lightning?” Before Pat could answer there was aloud clap of thunder and a loud rumble. We both laughed and said in unison, “Yes! That was definitely lightning!”

Fortunately we did not have to run for cover because we were already under cover. We were in Texas at the Gaylord Texan, the Official Hotel of the Dallas Cowboys, for our 100th Anniversary Meeting of the Daughters of the Nile. The Gaylord Texan features over 400,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, most of it under cover. Its amenities made it a wonderful place to relax, do business and enjoy our friends all at the same time.

When making plans with our friends,we found that the check-in lobby was a great place to meet. Beside the large stone fireplace, there was an oversized ottoman covered with cowhide. It was comfortably placed in the room across from the desk. A grand piano also lured many people who liked to show their talent while waiting for friends to show up.

Gaylord Texan’s breathtaking atrium presents a wondrous setting brimming with authentic Texas style and hospitality. We were able to enjoy a scenic stroll along the river walk without regard for the weather outdoors. One of their signature atriums celebrates the best of the great state of Texas by immersing us in the sights and sounds of the Lone Star State. It even features a replica of the Alamo facade in the Lone Star atrium.

While strolling undercove, we passed  an Italian Restaurant where you could  get a fresh taste of coastal Italian cooking in the festive courtyard setting of Zeppole. The restaurant was surrounded by sparkling lights and along with good company, you could enjoy traditional Italian cuisine and seafood made from their chefs’ original recipes.

The indoor 20-meter lap pool provided the perfect place to get a great workout. The sparkling blue of the outdoor pool with streams of glistening water cascading from above reflected the region's traditional Southwestern decor. The outdoor pool was the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely swim, bask in the warm Texas sun or enjoy a cool beverage.

Due to time constraints (we were there for a conference) we did not get a chance to enjoy the pools until late evening when all of our work was done. The Paradise Springs Lagoon is a 6,000-square-foot family lagoon, featuring a 27-foot-tall winding water slide, two horseshoe-shaped hot pools, and a dedicated toddler pool. Paradise Springs was open late so we could cool off and enjoy a swim before dropping off to sleep at the end of the day.  If we were not committed to the business at hand, we would have enjoyed  spending  more time enjoying the 10-acre resort pool complex,with its 42-foot zip-line, 600-foot lazy river, walk-in beach and two horseshoe hot pools!

Everything's bigger in Texas, and it would be difficult to find anything in the Lone Star State as grand and inviting as the Gaylord’s signature ballroom. Featuring 49,025 square feet of space plus a theatrical stage, four dressing rooms and two green rooms, the Texas Ballroom made it easy to wow our attendees. This resort was a perfect choice to do business and to celebrate our 100th year.

Daughters of the Nile have been providing monetary and other support to Shriners Hospitals for Children for over 90 years. This remarkable network of pediatric specialty hospitals provides care for orthopedic problems, spinal cord injuries, acute burns, and cleft lip and palate for children, regardless of their ability to pay. These 22 hospitals across the United States and Canada have already received over $51 million from our members. Over $1.5 million is given annually to this great philanthropy.

Our Supreme Queen for 2013 – 2014 has already begun her 'Love For The Children” Tour which is a 112 stop, multi-state tour across North America promoting the Daughters of the Nile, Daughters of the Nile Foundation, and Shriners Hospitals for Children. The purpose of the tour is to inform the public about who we are and to raise funds to help more children.

This year’s meeting hosted over 1,289 delegates from 139 subordinate Temples across the United States and Canada. Almost every state was represented including delegates from Hawaii. All of the Canadian Provinces were also represented. Many men joined their wives at the conference and enjoyed the men’s program that provided activities while the women conducted their business.

Daughters of the Nile is open to women 18 years or older, related by birth or marriage to a Shriner, Master Mason or a Daughter of the Nile, or is a majority member in good standing of a Masonic-related organization for girls. Many of the men who attend have formed and joined a group called "Gentlemen of the Creek". (Perhaps a little tongue in cheek).This year the men, once again, passed the hat and collected more than $5,000 to present to the Daughters of the Nile in their efforts to help the children. "Helping Children – that’s what it is all about!”

Some of the other statistics that we found to be wonderful were: the Saturday Night Social raised over $40,000; the newly formed Endowment Fund has raised over $237,978; members have logged in more than 21,129 volunteer hours at the hospitals; made 1,150 quilts and 4,620 lap robes have been made  for the children.  Other donations included 1,100 books and 4,218 toys  and over 25,000 lbs. of tabs have been collected to purchase prosthetic equipment. The count was not given for the games, electronics, puzzles, magazines, batteries, playing cards, pillow cases and other items that have been collected and given to the children at the hospitals.

This is a wonderful philanthropy, and we are proud to be a small part of helping the children whenever we can. We have just celebrated the 4th of July and we all know that the 4th is a very special day to all Americans. I thought it would be appropriate to include this prayer which was Washington’s Prayer for the United States of America. George Washington was a Mason and as a Masons he believed in a Supreme Being, in Prayer and America. This is his prayer:

“Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou will keep the United States in Thy

holy protection; that Thou will incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of

subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for

one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large.

        And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to

love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind

which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a

humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.

Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Tabs

Yes, this Correspondent is still collecting tabs  These tabs are turned into the Shriners hospitals,  sold by weight, and themoney is used by the hospitals in purchasing  prosthetics needed for the children.

Thank you to all of my neighbors,  friends and strangers  who have delivered buckets of tabs to me.

Interested?  Just tear the tab off the soda or beer can (you can still get your 5 cents back when you turn in the can) .Put all of your tabs, in a jar, coffee can,  plastic bag or container and deliver them to my back door - 143 Main Street, Altamont. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated.

Summer reading

Parents are reminded to visit the Guilderland Summer Reading Home Page to find the suggested titles by grade level.

Concert

The next concert sponsored by the Altamont Library to be held in Orsini Park will be on Tuesday, July 16th at 7:00 p,m.   The McPhee, a fantastic family show, will be featured.  In the event of inclement weather the concert will be held in the village community room.

Food pantry

The Food Pantry, housed at St. Lucy/St.Bernadette's  Parish Center is in need of shampoo and tooth paste.  Any and all donation can be left in the basket in the Gathering space of the church.  All donations are greatly appreciated.

Anniversaries

Happy Anniversary wishes are extended to Kristen and Colin Gallup celebrating their special day on July 15th.  also to Donna and Jim Richmond on July 16th; Bev and Dan Jensen on July 18th. 

Birthdays

Happy Birthday  wishes are extended to the following:

        Jocelyn Chamorro on July 12th;

        Mike Phelps on July  13th;

       Alice Fuina, Ray Weiler, Jr. and Maggie Williams on July 14th;

        Betty Ann Best and Marcy Hornberg on July 15th;

        Elizabeth Addyman, Rick Grant and Jennifer Kelly on July 16th;

        Jackie Genovese and Scott Miller on July 17th;

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