Ray Hari

Lifeblood of our club

Ray Hari

October 2019

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The lifeblood of any wood turning club are the volunteers. Without volunteers all the club activities come to a screeching halt. We have been blessed with our share of volunteers over the years who have built this club to what it is today. It is their hard work and dedication that we enjoy today every month when we come to meet. For that we are all very thankful to every one of them. This month I want to concentrate on three such volunteers who have taken on an ominous task spending days and nights to take our club to a higher plane next year.


During one of our turn-n-learn sessions in August I had a casual conversation with Jerry Galli, and he mentioned the website of Gold country. That discussion along with the many problems we’ve had with our yahoo group over the years prompted me to talk about it to the board and some other members about reviving our website. In my mind I had some reservations about getting it done since it involved finding people to do it and spending a lot of time evaluating and developing something new.


I have known Joe Martinka for over a couple of years now. My initial introduction to him was when I first volunteered to help with the pen turning class in the school. Though he initially appeared to be a serious guy I soon realized he has a softer, caring as well as somewhat of a playful and goofier side in him. But the side of him that I admire the most is his innate thirst to help others especially the kids and who ever surrounds him. He has been instrumental in reviving the school workshop, rearranging and organizing the wood pile and fixing every machinery that breaks down.  He spent days and weeks putting together a revised teaching curriculum for the pen turning class and taught the kids not only how to turn pens but make little tops and advanced concepts in spindle turning. He was very meticulous in teaching the kids the proper body posture and handling of the gouges for spindle turning. He often spent money from his own pocket to go and buy stuff like storage shelves to keep all volunteer stuff tidy and organized. He has been our treasurer for over a year and a half now and knows firsthand the sacrifice in time and effort it takes to keep all the club finance activities in top shape. Joe took upon himself the challenge to test out the Wild Apricot site builder for creating a new website for our club. He has not only been living and breathing the task of evaluating the site builder but also formed a team to help with the development of a beta site. I want to say that what he has undertaken to do is a tremendous job that is very time consuming for him and his team mates. I want to take this time to thank and appreciate Joe for all the things he has done as well as continues to do for the club.


The other 2 people I want to highlight and thank are Pete Zavala and David Yaggi. We have known Pete for a long time now. He is instrumental in maintaining and making changes to our website. When Joe asked during our last meeting for some volunteers to help with the development of the beta site both Pete and David threw in their names in the hat. They both have spent valuable hours along with Joe in developing the beta site.


Thanks also goes to the many beta testers who are involved in testing and suggesting improvements to the beta site. I know that if we end up adopting the new changes, as I said before it will truly elevate our club to a higher plane in terms of communication and ease of management of our club going into 2020. I want to leave the description of what is happening with the beta site and a more detailed writeup of the effort going into it for a later time.


When we see Joe, Pete and David next time let us all take a minute to thank them personally for the effort they are putting in for the betterment of the club.



~ Hari ~

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