January 2016 Newsletter, by Mary Thomas


Black Swamp Driving Club Ends Year on High Note

Black Swamp members gathered for the yearend banquet Nov. 14 at the Good Hope Lutheran Church’s fellowship hall, Arlington, OH.  The large turnout of members was greeted by the beautifully decorated tables, Mark Newman’s antique sleigh, and lots of auction items to examine.  To set the mood for the season, holiday songs were sung, accompanied by Mary Ann Emmons on the piano.  Julie Emmons chaired the banquet committee, ably helped by Roger Higgins, Jr., Mark Newman, Sue and Roger Murray, and Mary Thomas.
Before adjourning to the evening’s activities, President Higgins called for a short meeting.  He thanked members for sponsoring drives and events as well as planning the annual banquet.  He announced that three board members—Roger Murray, John Heffernan, and Pam Baker—had terms that were ending, and that anyone interested in serving on the board should contact an officer or board member soon.  Dates for 2016 drives and events should be turned in as soon as possible so that a calendar can be sent out to members.
The dinner was exceptional with all kinds of special dishes brought in by members.  Once dinner was over, members had one last chance to bid on the 45 silent auction offerings.  Several driving books and pictures had been donated by Cliff and Alice Crabs and other items widely ranged from buckets to jewelry and kitchen needs to homemade pumpkin rolls.  Mary Elliott and Gary Gillfillan were called upon to sell a dozen larger donations.  Pony sized shafts, a set of single trees, and harness parts were among the items that kept the bidding lively.
An antique sleigh robe, donated by Alice and Cliff Crabs, was the focus of the evening’s raffle.  Pam Baker held the winning ticket while Mike Minges won the door prize, a mirror decorated with the Black Swamp logo.  Sue Murray and Ann Bell were kept busy accounting auction sales, selling raffle tickets, and accepting memberships for 2016.  The event was a financial success bringing in more than $1200 and ensuring another great driving season.
Winter educational meetings will be held at the Good Hope Lutheran Church in Arlington, OH, on Jan. 10, Feb. 14, Mar. 13, and Apr. 10.  BSDC is open to all whether a miniature horse fan, pony lover, donkey or mule person, light horse or draft horse driver.  New members are always appreciated and membership information can be found at www.blackswampdrivingclub.com