I received this letter yesterday and am passing it on to all of those who have in the past or were thinking about going to Makr. Some sad news follows...
What began as an idea in my head, 22 years ago, with the unwavering support of the Chicagoland SkyLiners Kite Club (CSL) as sponsor, and a surprisingly small but very dedicated and hard-working team of volunteer coordinators, MAKR has steadily grown to become one of the most highly successful and anticipated kitemaking retreats in the US. If you have ever attended, then you know, firsthand, that it is in a class unto itself in terms of its warmth and fellowship, in its ability (not too large or too small) to offer a fine range of projects-both sewn and non-sewn, and to suit kitemakers of all skill levels. It has excelled at bringing in lots of top-notch kitemaking instructors from all across the US and overseas, and has helped to teach countless new skills that have filled many a kitebag (and skies) with a wide and wondrous array of high-flying toys!
At the conclusion of the 20th Annual MAKR in 2008, after as many years of involvement, the last 4 original, remaining, team coordinators retired from their positions, eager to see what new directions MAKR might go with a new team foundation of leadership, ideas, and energies. At the same time, plans got underway to revamp the CSL sponsorship to better serve MAKR's unique needs for future sustainment and expansion. It was an exciting time of change!
What no one anticipated, however, was just how difficult it would prove to be, to find at least 4 individuals with a willingness to serve as the all-important team players, for a commitment of two years (minimum).
Discouraged but undaunted by its lack of success in filling all the key positions, a skeleton crew of remaining Team coordinators, with some key volunteer efforts of others, managed to carry out MAKR's 21st year in March of 2009. And yet by Fall 2009, despite a plea that went out to everybody who had ever attended MAKR, only a couple of individuals actually came forward to offer their services as dedicated team leaders♦. (You and we know who you are; we are extremely appreciative of your offers to do so, and shall be in touch with you further.)
Still well short of the small but critical team required to handle all the many and varied details of an event such as MAKR, to keep it running as seemingly effortlessly as it had for so long, we had to be realistic and face up to the challenge put before us. After two years, we still did not have sufficient support numbers to spread out the responsibilities and manage the event properly.
After considerable deliberation, it was concluded that MAKR 2010 would, for the first time in its 21 successful years have to be cancelled. It was and remains a heart-wrenching decision - particularly for myself- its founder, and my fellow retirees who were with me every step of the way, as well as those who stepped up and assumed positions of responsibility and leadership along the way and were willing to stay on into the transition. And so...
There will be no MAKR in 2010. It has been cancelled for the reasons outlined above. It CAN, quite possibly RESUME in 2011 and on, but we really need your help!
Here is a thumbnail sketch of what you need to know:
The Chicagoland SkyLiners Kite Club still retains its ownership of MAKR and as such governs the manner in which MAKR shall operate. At present, CSL is a registered not-for-profit educational organization in the State of Illinois. MAKR has six primary areas in which leadership responsibility is key to its proper functioning. These are: Curriculum (the search for and coordination of instructors and classes), Registration(managing the registration processes), Transportation & Hospitality (of guest instructors), On-Site (coordinating MAKR needs with our host facility), Raffle (coordinating and carrying out the raffle process), and WebSite (setting up and maintaining a MAKR website). In addition, the CSL Treasurer handles the MAKR funding and bookkeeping, while the other officers handle club mgmt plus overseeing MAKR and lending support as needs arise. All of these are elective positions with rotating two year terms of service to ensure a high level of consistency. Annual meetings, with voting privileges extended to all in attendance, will commence at the next annual MAKR, and continue henceforth.
IF MAKR is to resume in 2011 (as we surely hope it will), we need to fill all of the above-named MAKR positions by no later than July 1, 2010
Since most of the work is done either at home or on-site (or a combination thereof), your locality is of little consequence.
As a MAKR attendee, whether you are a newcomer or have been enjoying MAKR for many many years, NOW is the time to give back by taking on a greater role/ responsibility for its continued success into the future. Please consider volunteering your efforts in a leadership position on a dedicated team of directors whose coordinated efforts really do make MAKR appear so effortless!
If, after July 1, 2010, MAKR still does not have all of its positions filled, it quite likely may be discontinued altogether - a real tragedy for a program so loved and so successful for so many years. PLEASE DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN!
If you have ANY questions or concerns, call CSL Officers: Karl Horn (president) or Kathy Horn (vice president) at 815-393-4672 eves; Tom McCune (recording secretary) at 847-537-7066 eves or John Karel (treasurer) at 708-562-2367.
We truly appreciate your support, both in the past, and into the future! Please help ensure the future of MAKR!
Kathy Horn and the CSL Officers
Questions and conversations related to sewing up a magnificent kite creation.
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