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TVGMS Hard at Work

The Villages Gem and Mineral Club


Meeting Date: May 2014

President - Bill Collins
Vice President – Michael McCauley
Treasurer – Richard Goodspeed
Secretary – Rhonda West
Events Co-coordinator – Christine Courtwright
Safety Officer – Ed Mrak
Officer at Large – Tom Mitchell
Web Master – Jim Courtwright

A regular business meeting of The Villages Gem and Mineral Society was held at Sea Breeze Recreation Center on May 1, 2014. Club President, Bill Collins, called the meeting to order at 6:35 pm.


He reminded everybody that Club Work Nights are Thursdays from 6 to 9 pm.  We also have the craft room on Sundays from 9 am to noon.  Everyone who comes to a work session contributes $1.00.  If you want to learn to facet, you pay $5.00 per session up to 5 sessions.  For any sessions necessary after your 5 paid sessions, to finish your stone, you are not expected to contribute.

Officers Reports:

Secretary, Rhonda West

The minutes for March were emailed to each person on the Club Roster.  They were also posted on the new website.

It was moved and seconded to approve the March minutes.

Treasurer, Richard Goodspeed reported:

For March
Beginning Balance    $ 2,687.94
Deposit                       +    200.11
Fees/WD                     -     898.05
Cash on hand                        +      49.00
Bal.                             $ 2,039.00

For April
Beginning Balance    $ 1,990.00
Deposit                       +    198.75
Expenditures             -       50.04
Cash on hand                        +      35.00
Bal.                             $ 2,173.71

It was moved and seconded to accept the treasurer’s report.


Events Co-coordinator, Christine Courtwright reported:

The new information on our show next January 31st is that we will NOT have to pay the 70/30 cut to The Villages – we can keep ALL the money!

Colonial Days at Brownwood went well but The Gem Club needs two tents next year.

Chris is coordinating a cruise in January 2014 for the Genealogy Club.  She is opening it up to our club as well.

Web Master, Jim Courtwright

Our new website is:

The password is:  offthewall.  If you should forget the password, you can scroll all the way to the bottom of the web page and you will see it there.  Nobody will understand it is the password except those of us who are “in the know.”

You will need the password if you want to view the contact information for our members.  To get to that info you would click the LINKS tab.  That will take you to a page with two tabs: HOME or MEMBERS.  Click on the MEMBERS tab and that opens to a page with seven tabs: HOME, BY-LAWS, CALENDAR, EQUIPMENT, NAMES & PHONE #, CONTACT TVGMS, MEETING REPORTS.  When you click on the tab NAMES & PHONE #, you are taken to a page with the names on our Club Roster.  At the top of the page, in purple letters, you see Phone Numbers and Email Address.  If you click on either one of these, you will be asked for the password.  This is the only place you need the password.

If individual club members want to sell items, Jim will set-up “Storefronts” within the club site.

Safety Officer, Ed Mrak

Pertaining to safety and machine operation, we will have one document with safety standards that ALL are expected to follow.  We will have a separate document with standards for operating equipment.  Every person using the equipment will be trained in the proper procedures.  You are not allowed to use the equipment until a club member has trained you – no matter how much experience you have running equipment!  We have had damage to our equipment because of improper use.


Our craft room will be closed on May 22nd for painting.  Sea Breeze is giving us the craft room Friday, May 23rd at our usual time.

Field Trips

Ruck’s Pit is open for business contrary to the rumors circulating.  May 17th was suggested as the date to go to Ruck’s Pit.

Vulcan’s Pit is a place that mines gravel but they also find fossils.  The mine is 40-50 miles from here.

Graves Mountain, GA “Rock, Swap and Dig” is October 3-5, 8 am to 6 pm each day.  You can dig for the local stuff and there are dealers who bring in stuff from everywhere at very reasonable prices.


Tom Mitchell – Assistant Florida State Director for the S.E. Federation

Tom explained to us that Florida is divided into three territories.  Tom is in charge of the central territory.

The Federation puts out newsletters, provides some scholarships, lists club shows, lists mineral museums, provides insurance for the clubs, supports the American Land Access Assoc., has a slide and video lending program, and much more.  The Federation also teaches classes at William Holland and Wild Acres – two weeks at each venue.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm.