Posted by Bill Carter on Jun 29 2011 at 05:00PM PDT
It is again a pleasure to address the membership of the Alumni Association. We are headlong into tournament time and after working our obligatory number of regular season games we are congratulated with more intense games, every day or night, sometimes two and three with the joy of stands full of parents who have already check flight schedules to Williamsport. Through it all we remain professional, respectful and keep our eye on the ultimate goal.....the kids having fun o a level playing field.
I am completing my third term (six years) as President of this fine organization which was born around a small round table at the Western Region Headquarters when one of our own suggested that maybe there was something more we could do for volunteer umpires within the Western Region. Who knew what it would become. With your support, donations, membership and hard work we have turned this Association into a group of more than 100 strong. We have met our goal on a yearly basis of making volunteer umpiring within the Western Region special. Just look around at all the improvements and changes that have come solely due to the efforts of this organization and its membership. But, what I am most proud of personally is that as of 2011 the Association has provided Cy Livoti Scholarships to 49 young volunteer umpires to the Junior Umpire School to the tune of $14,000. These are young men and women who are the future umpires and leaders of our Little League Program. Graduates have become UICs, League Presidents, Board members, volunteer umpires and some have moved onto the professional ranks of our avocation. To say it has been a success would not be sufficient accolades. As a byproduct the Junior School continues to also train young instructors who can then go back to their local leagues and train others and expand our numbers for the future.
With all these positive aspects of our Association it is time for me to step aside and allow new ideas, new members to get involved and fresh leadership. This is a voting year and our Board will be elected during our annual Association meeting which will take place immediately after our Alumni Breakfast. Your participation in the meeting and your attendance at the breakfast is an important part of this Association. The breakfast is a time to meet old friends, tell stories about the past and share a nice breakfast together. The meeting is a time where you can get involved. We need new ideas, we need fresh perspectives. If we stand still we get stale. Moving forward is the only option. If you are interested in one of the Board positions (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Member at Large) please come to the meeting and get involved in the voting process.
It has been a true highlight of my Little League involvement to see the genesis of this Association, watch it grow, flourish and continue to promote our motto of "For Umpires, By Umpires." A special thank you must go to the Western Region staff past and present for all of their support and assistance as well as the Western Regional UICs who have all supported our efforts.
I thank you all for your support and your participation and look forward to seeing you all in August.
Mark Bernstein


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