POAM 2021 Events Update from President Tignanelli
Convention Update, Phase III! (July 2021)
Happy to report that the Wednesday seminar at Grand Rapids has come together. Beginning at 1 p.m., we will have about 45 minutes with Matt Sowash, Dennis McGrann, and Ken Grabowski to update us on legislative matters evolving out of Washington, DC, and Lansing. Shortly afterward, Tim Brown, my good friend, and 9/11 survivor will update us as we approach the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Tim not only survived the day but has played a significant role in the years following. His work, which continues to this day, has included efforts on behalf of those who were killed, those who survived, their families, and those who continue to suffer and/or die due to exposures that occurred that day and in the days that followed.
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Immediately following Tim’s presentation, Dr. Ken Wolf will tell us of his efforts in the critical incident management that he played in the period which followed and tie those experiences into those critical incidents he continues to respond to on behalf of our members and their families. This will help those present to see the importance of POAM’s leadership in the creation of and development of Frontline Strong.
Check-in will begin at 12:30 p.m, and we will start promptly at 1 p.m. Refreshments will be available in an adjacent area during the presentations. I believe this will be a very memorable day. The seminar takes place in the Ambassador Ballroom (which will be split in half). While there is room for plenty of tables, I think you may want to register your attending members as soon as you are able.
Convention Update, Phase II! (June 2021)
By now the leadership of our locals should have received an announcement and schedule for the 2021 POAM Convention at the Amway Grand in Grand Rapids. YES! You’re reading this correctly – the convention is officially on the calendar!
I hear the comments from some that “It’s always been in May,” “It’ll be harder for people to come the week before Labor Day.” Listen, I get it. It’s a change from what we did for forty or so years. Hello! What of the past 15 months looks like any other 15 months of the past forty years? Who could have predicted that March 16, 2020, which was supposed to last fourteen days, would last more than a year?
Here’s what I know for sure. Our members kept working through it. Kids home from school; virtual graduations; weddings postponed; offices and courts closed; inability to visit ill friends or family in the hospital or their home; mandated masks; vaccinations; you name it. Our members answered the calls and need a night with old and new friends!
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While it will be in September, the good news is the agenda and schedule will be the ones you have become familiar with. The Amway staff advises they are ready and waiting for the POAM! A very important seminar on September 1 will focus on critical incident response, politics (of course), and a presentation memorializing the events of September 11, 2001, now nearing its twentieth anniversary. That evening, we will have our traditional and very popular “poker run,” which generally garners about 200 participants (so sign up early)!
Thursday, September 2nd will be our business meeting. This is the reason we get together each year. The Metro Detroit Police and Fire Pipes and Drum Corp will lead an honor guard into the hall and the invocation and performance of our National Anthem will set the stage for recognition of the heroic acts of many of our members. We have some significant events to present and will also be inviting those we recognized in our “roadshows” last fall.
Of course, Thursday night, the ties come off, the volume gets turned up, and we celebrate each other. Karaoke, comedy show, raffles of prizes, and the annual 50/50 drawing. Plenty to eat, and it is followed by relaxation in the hospitality suite. Those who care to partake in a round of golf will meet Friday morning.
It’s time to return to our form of “normalcy.” Watch POAM.net, the POAM app, and your mailbox for the registration process. Contact the Amway Grand today!
Convention Update, Part 1 (May 2021)
Some months back, I provided a hopeful but somewhat unoptimistic “convention update.” My goal, of course, was to do all we could to rekindle the great times and events we have become used to over the past 40 years. It had become obvious our traditional time of the year in May was going to be impossible. These events take 3 months, minimally, to organize. In fact, we start the next one when the last one ends! Mailings, registrations, invitations, preparation for our police officer of the year presentations, etc., need to be as perfect as we can make them and that takes time.
Last year, we did a “roadshow” for our Officers of the Year. They were well-received and turned out better than I could have hoped. Fact is, I just felt we need to get back together. Our members, first responders, all worked through one of the strangest years one could imagine. Courts closed, offices closed, mandated masks, friends, and family ill with the virus — our people went to work each day. Some employers were more generous than others. Some were much less than nice. Our members, though, came to work. Kids home from school, quarantines, hand sanitizer, eating off Styrofoam. Good grief. Our members need a night with old and new friends.
Our staff has been diligent in trying to keep up with the “rules” set upon us by the elected leaders, the CDC, the WHO, the “science.” Moving targets, all. We had set aside September 1 -2 as our “target dates” for the 2021 convention. We couldn’t do it in May — the summer rules were unpredictable and I felt we would go as far into the summer as possible. This would avoid the school year and those hunting seasons that so many participate in. Our members don’t like changes but it was the best that I can do. All going well, I’m hopeful we are back into May for 2022.
We will probably begin mailings in mid-June with the announcements/invitations. We have to set up for September with the rules we are confronted with today in May but are hopeful the current rules will loosen some by convention time. My goal is to have the seminar a little earlier on the 1st with the infamous poker run beginning around 5 p.m. that afternoon. Why? Because, as of today, the places we frequent must close at 11 p.m. The business meeting will begin at noon on the 2nd (as is traditional) and the cocktail party will begin, perhaps an hour earlier than normal (6 p.m.).
Again, the dates seem certain, the events are likely but the times may get adjusted if the rules governing the places we frequent loosen up. I am hopeful if not optimistic. Unless something totally unpredictable happens (sheeeese!), we will be together with friends on the 1st and 2nd of September. I hope this sounds as good to you as it does to me.
Please keep an eye out for the mailings and plan to join us for a long-awaited event!
Stay alert to our website, mobile app, and social media platforms for a follow-up to this 2021 events update.
Best to each of you,