Hello ILGS members,

I hope you have been enjoying autumn...gourds'  stellar time of year. We are happy to report that the gourd festival at the Chicago Botanic Garden was a fine success, thanks to some strong sales for many of our vendors and the beautiful weather. We did not renew a contract there for 2016, because of the ILGS leadership issues we have discussed for some time, and also because it is not the easiest location for many of you to reach.  Those who attended enjoyed a fun dinner celebration in honor of the festival and all the years we have enjoyed being there.

We also held our members' meeting to discuss the important ILGS topics.
1. Disbanding ILGS
2. Communication among Illinois gourders in the future
3. ILGS funds

There was robust discussion with the following outcomes.

First, the decision was made to disband ILGS due to lack of leadership volunteers (Officers).

"Dormancy" (being inactive while retaining funds until some date when new volunteers may want to revive the society) was proposed but would require research with AGS, including their position with the IRS on having inactive groups. This would take research that would require volunteers.

At the meeting, 9 of 10 members present voted to disband and 1 voted to abstain.

Secondly, regarding communications, Lyn Rehm (rehmje@valkyrie.net), who currently maintains our site, can continue to update the Illinois site with information regarding gourd activities going on in Illinois. Bonnie Cox (ilmidwife@comcast.net) volunteered to be the point person to funnel this information to Lyn. We thought the site updates via Bonnie and Lyn would be a rather simple and workable communication venue. MANY thanks to them both for offering this, so please feed updates to Bonnie about upcoming events and opportunities!

Third, regarding our funds, we recognized that we must deal with any remaining State and IRS fees. We were also able to refund our vendors some of their fees. This made our final CBG event even more of a celebration. Last, we will be turning over all remaining ILGS money to AGS which is a constitutional requirement. Plus, we all agreed that the AGS magazine is such a great resource that we are happy to support it with our final reserves.

There was unanimous agreement on these financial decisions.

So, in sum, it is sad to say that we will disband once taxes and any required formalities are complete. It has been a pleasure meeting and working with many of you. I hope you continue enthusiastic gourd activities across the state, and have fun thinking of creative ways to have get togethers and festivals. Keep Bonnie updated about such things so she can have Lyn update the Illinois site. Hopefully many of us will continue to cross creative paths with gourds in the days ahead!

Sincerely, and with best wishes,