By Mona Everett
Previously printed in Ninnau
Leaders from over two dozen local Welsh Societies met during the 2010 North American Festival of Wales in Portland for a lively give-and-take at the annual meeting of Affiliated Welsh Organizations (AWOs). Working from an ambitious agenda, WNGGA Board member, Mona Everett moderated the discussions while Liz Heath, of the Puget Sound Welsh Association, took notes.
Participants took turns sharing ideas and swapping stories and brainstorming ways the local societies can keep in touch and help each other all year long. (Did you know that WNGGA has over 100 Affiliate members from the US, Canada, Wales, New Zealand and Australia?)
A summary of this meeting will be sent to all the AWOs, and additional information will be provided for future Ninnau articles.
The Welsh National Gymanfa Ganu Association had been at work all year to establish better communications with, and between, local Welsh societies. Any Welsh society or organization which supports the mission of the WNGGA may join as an Affiliated member. Organizational dues are currently $50 for a life-time membership.
The AWOs are at the heart of the WNGGA. Most of the individual and life-time members of WNGGA also belong to at least one local Welsh society. The WNGGA mails its newsletter, HWYL, and NAFOW registration and publicity materials to all AWOs. These in turn are shared with the local members. Many people first hear about the Festival through their local society.
This past summer, WNGGA began sending e-letter updates to the AWOs and will expand this to include individual members and other interested parties this year. As we all know, email updates can be sent much faster and are much cheaper than postal mail. To this end, it is now a priority of the WNGGA to have the most current contact names, along with email addresses and websites (if any) for all the AWOs and individual members. Please be sure your current contact information is on file, by sending it to:
1314 Woodvale Drive,
Madison, WI 53716 USA,
or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many advantages of individual membership in the WNGGA. A short list of these includes: saving on registration costs for NAFOW; receipt of the newsletter, HWYL, three times a year; and automatically receiving all mailings/emailings with the latest news and registration materials for NAFOW. Most importantly, membership supports the WNGGA mission to preserve our Welsh heritage and allows WNGGA to continue to sponsor the North American Festival of Wales. In addition, members have a voice in the organization, by voting at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), serving on the Board of Trustees, and volunteering their talents to help plan or run a NAFOW.
It is the hope of WNGGA that every AWO will encourage all their members to join and support WNGGA. Individual memberships start at just $10 per year. Membership forms may be printed from the website: www.wngga.org, or may be requested from WNGGA International Headquarters, PO Box 410, Granville, OH 43023 USA.
Besides the advantages for individual members, AWOs are also eligible to volunteer to bring a NAFOW to their city and may help plan and run the Festival; to join other AWO leaders on the private online AWO discussion group to exchange program ideas and strategies for solving problems facing local Welsh societies; to have their AWO contact information listed on the WNGGA website so prospective members can find them (and join); and to attend the AWO meeting at every NAFOW and meet other leaders from other societies.
In addition, each AWO is entitled to send a representative to vote on their behalf at the AGM and is able to nominate eligible members from their local society to serve on the WNGGA Board of Trustees. Be sure your local society is taking advantage of all these benefits.
Remember every member helps WNGGA continue to sponsor the NAFOW we know and love and is always invited to suggest ways to make it better-known and loved.