I have good news! Our new website is being seen by more members and Elvis impersonators than ever before. I think the reason is either because the editors of the website have added my monthly message or because they made the print bigger. So, if you ever miss my very informative President’s Message by email, you can log on and read my manifesto (for those of you from Northampton, manifesto means “a written statement declaring publicly the views of the writer”). I know my letters are slightly biased but always accurate (well, mostly accurate within a reasonable measure of doubt. Okay – sometimes I make stuff up). Anyway, the website is a great place to find out all the terrific things happening at the wonderful Columbian Home.

It’s already September, folks, so take advantage of the remaining summer sunshine so come to the Columbian Home for drinks and dinner on the patio deck, which is NOW OPEN! By the way, thank you to our great President Emeritus Mike Garger’s son, Mike Garger, for painting all of our deck chairs. (Mike promised me if I used the word “great” to describe him that he would buy me a dish of ice cream.)

Anyway, as your President, I want to be the first to inform you that your membership dues are going to increase next year. I know, I know, and I feel your pain. This may prove very traumatic for some of you since dues haven’t been raised in 17 years, and, as you know, nothing else has increased in price since 2005. To soften the blow, the Board of Directors and I have pledged not to take a salary for the next 20 years. And I will personally donate the huge salary I received this year to defray the cost of feeding the giraffes on the front lawn. So, you’re asking, what will the dues increase be? Five dollars per year, across all membership categories. To offset this enormous increase, I have arranged a special payment plan with the Bank of Monopoly. And I want you to know that, as President, I have your best interest at heart at all times, but especially between 3:00 and 3:05 AM. I fought to keep the increase in dues low, even though some Board Members wanted to raise the price well beyond $5.00 – some wanted $5.25 or even $5.50 a year! However, I fought to keep it at $5.00 and was victorious. No adulation is needed because many of you know how shy I am (for those of you from Hellertown, adulation means “extreme adoration.”)

I would like to clarify some of the things I wrote in this President’s Message. First of all, the Board of Directors does not get paid. It is a job they do because they want to make the Columbian Home the best place in the Lehigh Valley. They are people whom I greatly admire and appreciate. Also, Mike Garger never said he would buy me a dish of ice cream, and we do not have giraffes on the lawn. Remember, I make some of this stuff up.

Have a great rest of the summer and remember that I keep you all in my prayers.

Joe Mascari, President