No one has ever become poor by giving.
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
The AASV Foundation has many generous members who give freely of their time and resources. Since its beginning 20 years ago, these members have nurtured, developed, and strengthened the foundation. They have shared more than just their money. They have shared their ideas and inspiration. They have shared countless hours and extraordinary energy and enthusiasm. They have clearly recognized the value of helping others achieve and enjoy success as swine veterinarians.
The mission statement of the AASV Foundation (see sidebar) was crafted to benefit veterinarians and veterinary students. This statement is what continues to drive the programming of the foundation today. As new ideas arise, they are filtered through this mission statement to test fitness. If an idea fits, then the challenge becomes one of funding. The annual budget of the foundation is more than $130,000. The vast majority of that is directly spent on programming, with little overhead or administrative cost. While this budget has grown substantially since the beginning, it is still not enough to implement all of the good ideas.
Right about now you are thinking “Here comes the plea for more donations!” Yup, this is it. But before you stop reading, please consider how you have benefitted from your membership in the AASV. If you can honestly say that you have never benefitted then you are off the hook – no benefit, no donation expected! On the other hand, if you have benefitted, then why not donate?
The foundation has a tremendous opportunity to benefit from the generosity of two individuals and their respective companies during the 2013 Foundation Auction event. Bill Marks of MJ Biologics and Mary Lou Hogg of MVP Laboratories have issued a challenge to the members of the AASV. For every dollar raised during the 2013 Foundation Auction event, they will jointly match with 50 cents. When the amount raised goes over $100,000 then they will donate $100,000! This challenge donation will be directed towards the funding of research with direct application to the profession.
Meeting this challenge will require the participation of a wide range of AASV members. We will need donations of auction items that generate interest. We will need enthusiastic bidders who are willing to go over the top to push other bidders to the maximum. We will need buyers to seal the deal with that one last winning bid. Lastly, we will need an appreciative audience willing to recognize the donations of others.
Many of you know that I grew up in the auction business started by my grandparents in 1933. I can’t even begin to tell you the countless hours I have spent at auctions over the last 56 years. Over all this time I have never lost the thrill of the auction experience. I look forward to each and every auction I hold or just attend, but the Foundation Auction is especially meaningful to me. It exemplifies what makes the AASV so special. It is commitment, generosity, gratitude, fun, and family on display for one evening every year. If we can all bid early, bid often, and bid to win, then the foundation will be the big winner and we all will benefit!
Note to JSHAP readers
This will be my last Executive Director’s message for a while. After writing these since 2000, I am at a loss for what to write. After a while (30 or 40 messages ago), I began to feel instances of déjà vu, as I considered many of the same topics that we had faced in previous years. At times I was tempted to just dust off an old message and see if anyone would notice. Rather than inflict that upon the readers, I have decided it is time for you to enjoy some new perspectives. In place of my message, you will see the writings of other AASV members. If you or someone you know is interested in writing a column, then contact me. I am taking volunteers.
Thank you to those who have read my messages over the years. Special thanks go to those who took time to let me know they read a particular message, whether you agreed or disagreed! Your comments meant more than you will ever know.