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President's Letter, November, 2017

posted Oct 30, 2017, 7:03 PM by Gary Urbatis

This is my second to last inspirational (hopefully) letter that I’m writing since my term is coming to an end.  It’s been a rewarding experience.  I hope that I’ve made a difference for OUR club.   We’ve had many wonderfully attended events and a few with only one to 3 people.  Our board members do their best to spread the events around the greater Pittsburgh area.  If there isn’t something fairly close to you one month, hopefully the next month there will be.

Your board members volunteer their time, talents, and gas money to attend the monthly board meetings.  When you see a board member, tell them “thank you”.  We know our members appreciate everything that we do, but it’s always nice to hear the words and see a warm smile.  It doesn’t cost you anything, but means a lot to the person receiving it.

Thanksgiving is this month.  I’m sure that you have many things to be thankful for.  Why don’t you attend a couple of community service events to give a smile to someone less fortunate?  A few of the attendees commented that seeing the joy on the faces of the mentally challenged adults when winning bingo, was wonderful to see.  Most of us wouldn’t get excited about winning a dollar store prize, but to them, it was like winning $100. 

Are you willing to help YOUR club in 2018?  We have a good club.  With your help, we can make it better!  Every little bit helps.  You can be on a committee or chair it yourself.  We could use a mini golf chair and hospitality, to name a couple.  Come to our General Membership meeting on November 11th and see how valuable your assistance and suggestions can be.  We started this year with 90 members.  As of 10/12, we have 95.  I was hoping we would reach 100.  We need your help to accomplish this by the end of next month.  Who do you know that would benefit from membership and have as much fun as you do?  If we permit divorced people without an annulment to join our club, I’m sure we can reach it very soon.

Sincerely,

Gary UrbatisHhhhhhh

 

President's Letter, October, 2017

posted Oct 30, 2017, 7:01 PM by Gary Urbatis

Only 3 months left of 2017.  We’re starting to put our summer clothes away and swap them for warmer ones.  We’ll be spending more time indoors.  If you don’t want to be a couch potato, we have plenty of events to keep you active.

We’ll start off the month with mass and lunch at a Polish church, and attend a Faith on Fire seminar.  We’ll attend a spaghetti dinner to support a nursing home, and we’ll help to brighten the lives of children from Make a Wish, at least for a few hours.  I plan to wear a costume for it.  Will you?  For those of us that love the outdoors, if the weather cooperates, we’ll get in our last biking and mini golf outings for the season.

Several of our events this month are in the north.  We try to have something in all areas so that the same people don’t have to drive as far.  That’s why I chose a new place near Bridgeville for a Happy Hour event.  And not to forget our annual Fall Almost-a-Week getaway.  We’ll hike, play tennis, bocce ball, and other activities.  Contact Margie if you want to join us for the weekend (if space is available) or a day or two.

My term as president is almost over. We are looking for people to be on the 2018 board for several positions.  Please consider helping your club to be the best that it can be.  Contact a board member for more information.

Sincerely,

Gary Urbatis

President's Letter, September, 2017

posted Oct 30, 2017, 6:59 PM by Gary Urbatis

September is upon us and we still have plenty of time to enjoy the warmer days.  Although the evenings may require a jacket and for me, a hat.  Margie would prefer to wear a hoodie.  Seven of our events will be outdoors, five will be indoors.  Our board members have scheduled a variety of events that I’m hoping that you can attend at least one of them.

Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer.  I say let’s embrace it and have a great day on the river!  If being on the water isn’t your thing, how about biking along the river?  Or the Rib Fest along the river?  Or a picnic next to a pond?  Or even a mini golf game with a 12 foot waterfall and 2 water fountains?  Or maybe the Irish Festival along the Monongahela River?  If none of these entice you to be outdoors, our indoor activities include dinner, bingo with the residents of Emmaus House, and Oktoberfest.  If you want to have flash backs from attending a Catholic Grade School and get a refresher, Late Night Catechism is where you want to be.  Remember to sit up straight and don’t chew gum.  Answer a question correctly and you may get a colorful pencil or erasure.  You may even get moved to the front of the class.  Or was it the disruptive student that got moved to the front.  I don’t remember since I wasn’t the teacher’s pet or the class clown.  I will admit, that in first grade, Sister Mary Beatrice Ann broke her yard stick on my behind for talking in line for the water fountain.  Oh, the memories…

This is also the time of year when we start to consider new people to be on the board.  For 2018, we’ll need a new president, 2nd VP, Membership Chairperson, mini golf chairperson, and maybe a couple others.  Are you willing to help your club to continue to offer quality events and leadership?  If yes, please let me, or any board member, know that you may be interested.  We’ll find a position for you.

I hope to see you soon.

Gary

President's Letter August, 2017

posted Aug 15, 2017, 9:59 AM by Gary Urbatis

President’s Letter, August, 2017

I hate to say this, but the peak of Summer has past and I know that I haven’t taken advantage of the warm weather as much as I would prefer to.  Now that I reflect back, I did go biking a couple of times, attended happy hours, mini golf, camping, outdoor volleyball, picnic, and outdoor concert.  I guess I did more than I originally thought.  I know that I had wonderful experiences with our club members.  How many outdoor events did you take advantage of?

Our board members have filled up the August calendar pretty well.  Three events are indoors, 12 are outdoors.  If you prefer indoor concerts, we have one.  If you prefer free outdoor concerts, we have one of those too.  If you enjoy the challenge of mini golf, we have one scheduled.  If you want to “go back” to the old country, we are traveling to Morelandshire for a day of laughs, watching a joust and other shows, listening to music and singing (participation not required).  Nearing the end of the month, we have our monthly spiritual event that includes mass, dinner and festival.  Spectators are always welcomed at our softball, tennis and volleyball events.  Biking will be at another wonderful location encouraging us to get some exercise and fresh air. 

I encourage everyone to enjoy the events that we have scheduled.  I have made many friends over the years, and I’m looking forward to new experiences with them and our new members.  Come on out and enjoy some good great times with us!  You’ll be glad that you did.

Gary Urbatis

President's Letter July, 2017

posted Jul 7, 2017, 4:04 PM by Gary Urbatis

I can’t believe that I’m writing the July President’s letter.  Where has the past 6 months gone?!  I know that I’ve been busy attending our club events and home maintenance responsibilities.  I hope that you have been attending our events, meeting new people, enjoying yourself, and doing things you probably wouldn’t do by yourself.

I was at a Diocese of Pittsburgh Lay Apostolate meeting recently.  There were many organizations in attendance.  We shared our mission statements and the good works that we do.  Fr. Mele thanked us for leading our very important organizations.  As your club President, I couldn’t do it alone.  We have many talented leaders on the board of CAC.  We still have a couple of positions open if you are interested.

One of our newest members, Susan, noticed that we were lacking a Spirituality chairperson, and asked if she could fill the position.  Please welcome her to this important role in our Catholic Club.  Chris, Margie and I especially thank her for filling the position.  The three of us have been taking turns planning events in addition to our other responsibilities.  Susan is planning a mass and dinner.  I’m not able to attend.  I hope that some of you will support her first event.

Our other committees also have wonderful events planned.  Our annual 4th of July camping trip, playing cards (poker, blackjack, or other games) with our military veterans.  Please use this opportunity to give a little of your time to someone who potentially could have been on the front lines fighting for your freedom.  I have attended many VA events.  It’s a very rewarding event.

Ivan is leading us on another bike ride in a new location.  I welcome the opportunity to experience a new trail with other adventurists.  Bill is busy planning the picnic at North Park.  Are you available to help set up or clean up?  If you can’t commit ahead of time, just ask him, or one of the board members what you can do to help.  Many hands make light work.  To round out the month, Ken has scheduled a free concert and Victor is challenging us to a game or two of mini golf.  Par 2 is much more forgiving than some courses that we’ve played.

If you have any suggestions for new events, let me or any of your board members know.  I hope to see you soon!

Gary Urbatis

President, CAC Pittsburgh

 

 

President's Letter, June, 2017

posted Jul 7, 2017, 4:03 PM by Gary Urbatis

I just reviewed our June calendar and realized that all but two of our events are being held outdoors.  If you’ve been waiting for the warm temperatures to get outside and enjoy summer, now is the time!

We’ll test our skills (or luck) at mini golf, help some blind adults enjoy outdoor activities, cheer on our favorite baseball team in one of the best ball parks in the nation, check out the talents, both visually and audibly at the 3 Rivers Arts Festival, we’ll meet for Happy Hour next to the river in a beach setting, complete with sand and palm trees, bike one of the best trails in Western Pennsylvania, and begin our camping trip.  And don’t forget we have our tennis and softball leagues that anyone can watch for FREE.  I just reviewed the City Works restaurant website and noticed that they have a glass ceiling.  It will give the appearance that we’re outside.  The only indoor events we will have is our monthly board meeting, which anyone can attend, and mass.  There aren’t any masses that are held outside in this area that I’m aware of.  Otherwise we may have tried to have an all outdoor event month.

June holds a fond memory for me.  My first CAC event was at a picnic in South Park.  I’ve been hooked on the club and people ever since.  We still have a few board positions open if you want to help your club to be the best that it can be. 

Have a great summer and I hope to see you soon, and often!

Gary

President's letter, May, 2017

posted May 11, 2017, 5:10 PM by Gary Urbatis

Spring has sprung.  Time to do more activities outside, enjoy the warm temperatures and the beauty of Mother Nature.  I enjoy looking at the vibrant flowers that I planted in my yard, and the labors of love by other people with their colorful yards.  For those that we haven’t seen in a while, spread your wings and join us for some laughs, good conversation, and make some new friends.  Since we implemented the Meetup site, I have gotten to know several people pretty well.

I also enjoy spending time outdoors with my CAC family.  We’ll be hiking on April 30th, and in May we’ll be playing softball, tennis, mini golf, biking and our annual Memorial Day canoe trip.  If you love the outdoors as much as I do, you won’t miss these wonderful events.

If you are still in the Lenten mindset, we would love to see you at the Emmaus House event.  We’ll be playing bingo with people that are less fortunate than ourselves.  The residents will have 2 cards and we’ll help them to put the chips on the called numbers.  They really enjoy this event.  Especially winning the small prizes that we bring.  This is a spectacular community service event, rain or shine.

We have received some suggestions for event locations from our members and have scheduled them.  If you have more suggestions, we’re willing to consider them.  Your board members can’t think of everything, nor can we read your minds.  We value your membership, attendance and input.

I hope to see you soon!

Gary Urbatis

President's Letter, April, 2017

posted Apr 6, 2017, 5:41 PM by Gary Urbatis

April showers bring May flowers.  April also is the start of our Tennis and Softball leagues.  If you haven’t submitted your application, you can be placed on the replacement list.  Easter is this month and we have two opportunities to enrich your spirituality.  Living stations and regular Stations of the Cross.  We also offer a wonderful community service event with seniors in a nursing home. 

Since we created a Meetup page, we now have 116 Catholic Singles following our club’s events.  We’ve had several people attend multiple events.  And some of them have become club members and attend on a regular basis.  If you have suggestions for a location or type of event, we’re willing to listen to what you have to say.

There are a couple of people interested in the CACI New Orleans convention July 9-15.  Let me know if you are interested and I’ll connect you with the others.  It’s always more fun to travel with someone you know.

We invited Pope Francis to join us for dinner.  We are renting the convention center and using the whole 2nd floor.  We are charging $150 for dinner and $2000 to have your picture taken with him.  Half of the money will go towards the Pope’s vacation in the Caribbean and the other half will go to a worthy recipient (me). Reservations are due by March 17th.  Don’t wait too long to send your money.  We’re sure this will be a sellout.  Hint:  putting a $50 bill in the envelope will ensure a place for you.

I hope to see you soon!

Gary

President's Letter, March, 2017

posted Apr 6, 2017, 5:40 PM by Gary Urbatis

Lent begins March 1st with Ash Wednesday.  It’s the time of year for Christians to remember that Jesus died and rose from the dead for us.  We have several events this month to help us prepare for Easter.  We will be attending a Fish Fry and Stations of the Cross.  This is a wonderful opportunity to support a church and have dinner with your CAC friends.  You can join us for both dinner and stations or just one.  We would love to share our faith with you.  Some churches have programs that are more meaningful for me than others.  It gives us something to reflect upon that could have a personal meaning or message.

We are also encouraged to do penance.  It doesn’t always mean giving up a particular food or drink.  We can resolve to help the less fortunate.  We can use our time, talents and/or treasure.  Ray is hosting a BOLD (Blind Outdoor Leisure Development) event at his house.  We’ll play games, have some good conversations, and be thankful for the good fortunes that God has given us.

We still have a few vacant board positions.  You can use this opportunity to give back to your club and help to welcome our new members.  Let one of the board members know if you have suggestions for events.  I hope to see you at an event soon.

Gary Urbatis 

President's Letter, February, 2017

posted Jan 30, 2017, 9:26 AM by Gary Urbatis

February is the month for the Super Bowl, Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and National Margarita Day, amongst others.  How many will you watch or partake in?  I know that some people gather to watch the Super Bowl, will wonder if Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow, to wear red on Valentine’s Day, or have an adult beverage.  I’m sure that some of you are meeting with friends this month that you have made through CAC.

We have plenty of events to get to meet new people in a relaxed setting.  Will you make it your New Year’s resolution to get out of the house more and use CAC events as a reason to do so?  We’d love to see you more often.  This is YOUR club.  You get out of it what you put into it.  Is there an event that you would like to see us schedule?  Would you like to help organize it? 

Many years ago, when I was “elected” to get people’s attention at picnics, dances, and other gatherings, I had to have my topics written down and I needed a few minutes to prepare and calm my nerves.  After many events and repetition, I really don’t need to have my topics written down, nor minutes to prepare.  I want to thank the attendees of our events for your help in my personal development. 

We still need a few board positions to be filled.  Are you willing to help your club?  In last month’s President’s letter, I thanked previous board members for organizing events when I was new to the club.  It’s been my pleasure to pay it forward for the past 16 years.  Ask any board member for more information if you are interested in helping on a committee.

Have a wonderful month and I hope to see you soon.

Gary Urbatis

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