Austin Pond Society November Meeting 2016

dsc_4552The Austin Pond Society held their last meeting of the year this past Monday, November 21st at the usual location of the Zilker Botanical Gardens Meeting Room. Close to 50 people were in attendance to help celebrate this final meeting of the year.

The room was set up with round tables each seating 12 people and almost every table was taken. The tables had green tablecloths and in the center of each table was a Poinsettia plant that were later donated to different members. There was also a large scrap book on each table of events of years gone by about the Austin Pond Society from it’s inception in 1992. A very nice touch. Sparkling up on the ceiling and on any member who happened to walk through the beams, a thousand lights shone and twinkled.dsc_4529

The first 30 minutes was for mingling and visiting and eating hors d’oeuvres and consuming adult beverages. People were  checking out the scrapbooks. This being a pot luck, our members never let us down and the desert table was just full of scrumptious goodies, all I’m sure, loaded with calories. Who cares, they tasted great.

The main meat dishes were provided by the Pond Society and consisted of Beef and Ham. The members provided all of the fixin’s. There was not much food left at the end of the meal  as it was all delicious.

Following the meal, Barb Lenhardt introduced Mark Wester who is the representative for the Brown Santa Christmas Gifts for needy families. Brown Santa is the name of the Christmas program put on by the Travis County Sheriff’s Department and is this years cause for the Austin Pond Society members to donate unwrapped toys for the kids. There were two cart loads of donated toys, a wonderful response from the membership.Thanks to all of you for your efforts. You have helped to make it a great Christmas for some needy children.

The Brown Santa is a hard act to follow but the Pond Society was not done yet. Every year we donate a part of the proceeds from the Pond Tour to some needy cause. This year, the cause was closer to home as a check for $5000.00 was donated to Kat Newland who represents the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy (ZBGC)  to help pay for the renovation of the ponds and streams in the Zilker Botanical Garden Center. The existing system is leaking and long overdue for an overhaul.dsc_4545

Following the check and gift presentations the Membership got back to the serious business of having fun. Many of you may have noticed that some of the Members had lost any notion of dress sense that they may ever have had and were adorned in sweaters, ties hats and other garments that under normal circumstances would have belonged to a Fancy Dress Parade. These are, normally, just your average people and here they were dressed in the most outlandish of garments and what was worse, flaunting themselves in front of the entire room of people.

Turns out that they were all participating in the Ugly Sweater Contest which was not just limited to sweaters. Ties, hats, suspenders, skirts and all kinds of odd garments were on display as the membership proudly joined in with the fun.dsc_4547

This was the last event of the evening except for the group shot at the top of the page. This group reverted back to their teenage years and had me take a picture of them acting strange. I couldn’t resist and displayed this one in black and white. Anything to stop those ugly sweaters from blinding my vision.


Following the frivolities, the group quickly pitched in to help with the clean up and to gather up any foodstuffs which may have been left over. I know there wasn’t much.

This meeting concludes the year for the Austin Pond Society as we do not meet next month, December. The next time we get together as a group will be January 16, 2017. We would like to wish all of our friends and members, a Happy Thanksgiving, A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you then.

There are four videos for you to watch.
The first is the wining and dining of the Members,\.

APS Thanksgiving-Christmas Party 2016 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The second is the Brown Santa Program.

Brown Santa from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

The third is Presenting the check to Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy (ZBGC).

ZBGC Check Presentation from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

and Finally, the last is the Ugly Sweater Contest.

Ugly Sweater Contest from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Austin Pond Society Thanksgiving/Christmas Party 2014

APS Christmas Party 2014

Austin Pond Society  Christmas/Thanksgiving  Party 2014

The Austin Pond Society held its Annual Thanksgiving/Christmas party this past Monday at the Zilker Park Botanical Gardens Meeting Room which was attended by more than fifty members and guests, Our new chef, Laura Creaser excelled with an enormous spread added to by the members. There was a huge assortment of food with the main course of Pork and Chicken. The members additions included salads and casseroles and deserts. I had a piece of apple pie that was out of this world. Of course, that was not all that I had as my plate was loaded when I went back to where the cameras were set up to enjoy the food. I resorted to moving the video camera in between mouthfuls.

Following the meal, we had a small piece of business in electing, or in most cases,re-electing the officers for next year and then we turned our attention to a visit by the Austin Police Departments Blue Santa. many of us had brought unwrapped gifts of toys for the needy children which were presented to Blue Santa. He had circulated among us as we were eating spreading the Christmas word and he and several “helpers” all gave a brief outline of the program.

Following his visit, it was time to have fun and play a few games. The group broke out into four teams as it was time to get competitive and play some games that BJ and Sam had come up with. There were three games in all bordering on the ridiculous but it didn’t bother the very eager participants as they joined in with much enthusiasm. We didn’t have any money left over after we gave away the Million Dollar prize last years so this years winners had to settle for bragging rights until next year. We did get a group picture as you can see above.

This meeting is the last for this year as we don’t meet in December. Our next one is January 19, 2015, same place and same time. Hope to see you all there.
On behalf of the Austin Pond Society and for myself personally, I would like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I hope that Santa, the one in the red suit, is kind to you all on Christmas Day and for the upcoming year.

Below are the links to the videos

First up is the Business part of the meeting, mostly Election of Officers to serve on next years Board.

APS Business November 2014 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Next up is Blue Santa speaking to the group about the Blue Santa Program.

Blue Santa from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Finally Fun and Games where the members can make absolute fools of themselves and nobody cares…

Fun and Games from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.

Start of a new season

Looks like the same team...

The little boys are back and say
teach us more on how to play
this game that we think is fun
not just us but everyone
who has ever kicked a ball
they, like the boys, come back for more.

Yesterday, the first training we had
in more than a month, it’s too bad
that our coach had us running laps
which is nothing new but he surprised us all
and with sprints we did run
against the other team and fun
and games was had by all
as one team was better by far
and left the other team behind
left them eating their dust and grime.

The coach promised that even we’ll get
at training on Thursday, for it’s a safe bet
that the team that won on Tuesday will find
that they too will be left behind
and it will be there turn to say
we didn’t run very well today.