Challenges and Celebrations

Monday morning, sunlight lighting up the underbellies of the clouds and my mind lets out a big ahhhh… Last week was the drop kick into reality. While I was off clamoring, hiking and biking the back country of Moab, the State and Fed corporate reporting rules for the 99s chapters changed. What’s now required is for each chapter to be responsible for filing a number of forms annually. Prior to this decree our legal support in the Southwest Section did all the work as an ‘umbrella’ organization. I guess as a way to shake out the bushes for some spare change the Attorney General is going after every lemonade stand in the state.

The forms in and by themselves are not that difficult. The challenge was recreating our history; charter, bylaws, amendments, articles of incorporation and financial reports for the last 8 years. Way back, when I took over the chair, Cathy Morshead dropped off two large boxes of ‘stuff’. She said “Here’s the Marin 99s history. Keep it in your hanger now”. So that’s where it has set, growing fuzzy with time and out of the path of my mind. I never felt a need to poke in those boxes until last week.

There were stacks of correspondence from 1973 on, news articles and a wonderful glimpse of what it took to get our chapter out of the dream mode and off the ground. The recurring comment I kept reading was “where is the charter?”, “Can’t find the charter!”” Has anyone seen the charter?” Somehow this very important article disappeared.

Here’s the problem, I need the charter, there is no faking it. The state wants a copy, The Feds want a copy and SWS wants a copy. In the meantime a poison pen letter from the Attorney General arrived stating if I did not provide all evidence they were demanding by the end of the month I would be fined $800. Yee gods, send me back to Moab!

After 8 hours of digging through those boxes, considering a run for the border, a shiny, gold foil-like stamp surfaced. Shazamm! The Charter! (stand up and cheer) It’s a lovely piece of paper with the seal of California, signed by March Fong Eu, the Secretary of State, dated July 9, 1976. The Charter was wedged between two newspaper articles and some old napkins and almost impossible to see. That sent me immediately searching for the champagne.

There was then another 10 hours of finding, copying, grinding, formatting our corporate history. Forty two pages; (X3) copies for the State, SWS and us. No more ink in the printer, the rollers are starting to creak. At least now it’s all together in one binder and won’t be much more than simple online filings in the future. The web sites are on my list of EPA hazard sites. What a painful, excruciating effort it was to make my way through them. I still have to file one last form with the feds. At least that is not due until Dec. Enough whining!!!

Like I said, time for celebration which ended up coming with our sister pilots from Nepal. Kitty, who has supported and promoted the ‘Charter’ of the Nepal 99s hosted Monica and Sabrina from Katmandu, Nepal. They were both in the film that Kitty and Bob made about women pilots in Nepal. They have come over to fly with Kitty to Oklahoma City for the International Meeting of the 99s.

99s from Nepal, Santa Rosa and Marin

99s from Nepal, Santa Rosa and Marin

The Nepal chapter is doing so much to promote young women in all aspects of career opportunities. Recently they sponsored a basketball tournament to make money for girls in remote areas. Monica and Sabrina’s energy is joyful and infectious. You can’t help but stand up and cheer when you hear all that they are doing.

Kitty had invited members from the Santa Rosa and Bay Cities chapters along with Barbara O and me. What a great evening it was. Considering they were packing up and flying out the next day was a huge effort on Kitty’s part. Many thanks to all Kitty has done for women pilots worldwide.

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