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President's Message, June, 2018

posted May 14, 2018, 7:45 PM by Gary Urbatis

Mike’s Message for June

Did you ever read the fictional story of Shangri-La? It was a hidden place tucked in the Himalayas where life was peaceful and happy, and people lived long lives. CAC is one of those special places where people can go to enjoy a brief escape, a respite, from life’s many annoyances. It’s a place to relax, to laugh, to talk about anything or nothing, and to stop and smell the roses. And in that special place, CACers have a unique super power. They can’t fly, or turn invisible, or leap tall buildings. (I used to do that, but I gave it up. The gawkers made me self-conscious.)   But CACers do have a special super power.  With nothing more than a friendly word, or a gentle ear, or by sharing a meal, or a laugh, or a sigh, we can lift up and bring joy to a lonely or downtrodden spirit. It seems like such a simple thing, but in fact, it is magical. It relieves pain and has healing properties. And its benefits extend in both directions, to the giver and the receiver.  I urge you all to come to CAC events and to experience this super power to learn for yourselves its marvelous properties. You will discover that CAC is much more than a social club. It reminds me of that song, “Lean on Me.”  But that title is too one-sided. If applied to CAC, the song would be called, “We Lean Together.”  So get out of your cubbyhole, step away from the boob tube and your iPad, and come to a CAC event and live, laugh, and “lean” with us.  It feels like a deep breath on a sunny day in the Himalayas…like Shangri-La.

Mike Kernan, President

P.S. Here are the results of last month’s poll. The choices were (A) Singles Police, (B) Knock-out models, (C) Puppies, or (D) Welcoming Atmosphere.   Well, B got a lot of votes, but I am happy to report that D was the winner.  So to all those applicants for the jobs of Singles Ninja Police, your services will not be needed.)  Also, I have a lot of puppies I need to find homes for.  I guess I jumped the gun a bit.

 

President's Message, May, 2018

posted May 14, 2018, 7:40 PM by Gary Urbatis

Mike’s Message for May

Now that spring is upon us, we can enjoy the blessings of spring. But that’s only possible if you get off your lounge chair, check your newsletter, and commit to attending some great CAC events. I am getting weary of encouraging people who never attend anything. Therefore, as President, I have considered several new ways to get recalcitrant members to participate. Here are some of my ideas:

 Ÿ  Maybe I should start a new agency called the SMNP. That stands for the Singles Mutant Nija Police. Their job is to scour the county looking for recalcitrant CACers who miss out on all the fun by staying home when events are happening. No more! The SMNP will hunt you down, capture you, and drag you to events.  Of course, there will be kicking and screaming at first. But eventually they will thank me once they have tasted the fun and camaraderie that CACers always enjoy.  Or….

 Ÿ  We can hire knock-out models to attend our events and pretend they are regular members. That ought to bring members out of the woodwork.  Or….

 Ÿ  We can have puppies at every event. Everybody loves puppies. That ought to draw ‘em in. Or…

 Ÿ  We can make a concerted effort to be more inviting, and extend a welcome to everyone, thereby embracing all in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

 These are all such great ideas. I just can’t decide myself. Please pick your preference and let me know your vote. The choices are (A) Singles Police, (B) Knock-out models, (C) Puppies, or (D) Welcoming Atmosphere.  Results will be noted in my next letter.

Mike Kernan

President

 

President's Message, April, 2018

posted Mar 20, 2018, 9:43 AM by Gary Urbatis

Mike’s Message for April

I wish you all a happy and blessed Easter. Some of you have heard this historical story of mine before, but I think it deserves a rerun for those CACers who are clueless (I mean about our history). Many of you have heard that CAC history dates back to the 1960’s. While that may be true locally, in fact, archeologists have recently uncovered evidence of CAC back in the Aztec civilization, where it was called AAC, or “Aztec Alumni Club.” (Aren‘t we lucky that I am able to read and translate ancient Aztec writings? And you all thought speaking groundhog was impressive…) Yes, the Aztecs also had single people like us, who were seeking fun things to do with like-minded singles their own ages.
But back then, it was much more difficult. Attempts to organize such classic events as movie night, bowling, and dinners were unsuccessful. You see, the Aztecs were rather shy and afraid to try new things. And since movies, bowling and restaurants had not yet been invented, very few of these shy Aztecs were courageous enough to show up at such events. Furthermore, being single was apparently a dangerous status back then, at least for women, because single women were always being sacrificed to appease some temperamental Aztec deity. For this reason, few Aztec women showed up at AAC events for fear they might be selected to “dance” with the sun god.

Thankfully, all these problems had been solved in the modern era. Today, you can show up at movie night, bowling, and dinners and actually expect to enjoy a real movie, bowling, and dinner. And since it is no longer legal to sacrifice women to sun gods (at least, I think so), there is no longer any stigma associated with being single. In short, the CAC of Pittsburgh has solved almost all the various problems that prevented the Aztec Alumni Club from being successful. I say “almost” because there is still one problem that CAC has in common with its Aztec counterpart. We still have shy people who are afraid to try new things. Sadly, they are missing the chance to make a lot of good friends and enjoy some interesting conversation and pleasant, good times. To these people, I reiterate my personal theme for this year: Welcome! Please come on out and join the fun. And for our regular active members, I encourage all of you to go out of your way to try something new, some event that is a bit different from the usual ones you prefer to attend. You may be very pleasantly surprised.  So come on out and join in the fun. (Aztec deities need not apply.)

Sincerely,
Mike Kernan
Emperor Czar Potentate Supreme

President's Message, March, 2018

posted Mar 20, 2018, 9:40 AM by Gary Urbatis

Mike’s Message for March

Wow! I am into my third month as your President, and no one has bumped me off yet. (I would credit that to my bodyguard, Mugsy, except that he took a swing at me himself.) Anyway, we have been moving along rather smoothly, but I would like to increase membership participation in our event planning. Rather than sitting around and waiting for a good event to show up in the newsletter, all members (as well as Associates and Subscribers) have the ability to suggest an event. It’s so easy. We have a simple and easy form on our website at http://www.cacpittsburgh.org/events/suggest-event. The event will be reviewed by our social committee, and you will be contacted if questions arise. So if there is something you would like to do, go ahead and suggest an event. If you prefer instead, you can call me or another board member and talk about it.

I would like to give you some examples, but my own ideas did not always work out. In fact, many events that I had suggested over the years were subsequently designated taboo by the Board. I will list a few here so you can avoid suggesting events like these: Frog Races in Carnegie Library, William Tell Apple Archery, Gorilla Petting at the Zoo; Jenga with Eggs; Pin the Tail on the CAC Board Member; Dumpster Snorkeling; Hands Across Antarctica; Armpit Orchestra Karaoke; Trivial Pursuit-Intestinal Edition; Slinky Bungee Jumping; Ants-in-the-Pants Dance Marathon; Anatomical Pictionary (don’t ask); Relay Alligator Wrestling; Wheelchair Races at the nursing home, and Underwater Hockey. (There may be a few more.)

So don’t be discouraged if your event does not work out. I was told that my events were “uniquely qualified to be designated taboo” (whatever that means). I am confident that you can do better. We welcome your suggestions with enthusiasm. (It’s only mine they don’t want.)

Mike Kernan
Emperor Czar Potentate Supreme (No need to bow. Just throw money.)

President's Message, February, 2018

posted Feb 2, 2018, 9:32 AM by Gary Urbatis   [ updated Feb 2, 2018, 9:48 AM ]

Mike’s Message

My second month as president is fraught with a problem. How can I reach out to members who never come to any events?  As luck would have it, a fortune cookie had the answer: “Seek professional help.” So I traveled to Punxsutawney to consult with the wise and renowned Punxsutawney Phil.  (I hope our Treasurer will allow me to expense this.)  Since it is near Groundhog Day, the wise (and fat) seer was accepting visitors, and was seated in a Santa-like throne at the top of the stairs at GC Murphy’s. I waited in line for over an hour before I got my turn to see him. I asked him, “Oh wise and famous whistle pig, why do so many CACers stay at home month after month, and fail to enjoy our friendship and fun events?”  He snorted and pointed to his tip jar.  So I tossed in a buck. He laughed. I ended up coughing up $20 before he spoke. (I really hope the Treasurer will let me expense this.)  The rotund rodent raised his paws and said, “CACers who never come out are afraid. They are afraid that people will see them as misfits, or that people will detect their flaws and their funny mannerisms and they will be embarrassed. Whenever they plan to come to an event, at the last minute they start to worry, and they find some reason to duck back in their little hole and hide from the world.” 

“Wow,” I said.  “How do you know all this?” He replied, “Personal experience.”  After a pause, I said, “But that’s so silly.  Nobody actually fits into a neat category, so everybody is a misfit of sorts. And we all have flaws and funny mannerisms. But that is what we love about each other.  Those things are not embarrassing. They are endearing. We love the oddities about our friends. It reminds us that they are just as warm and human as we are. How can we make them see this?”  He gave me a wise and understanding look, and pointed again to his tip jar.  Another 20 bucks later he replied, “You have to tell them that there is nothing to fear. You must make them understand that CAC is the warmest, friendliest social club out there. Only then will they venture out to events and see for themselves.”

So there you have it.  Words of wisdom from another soul who hides in a hole hoping for sunny days. CAC has put together a lot of sunny day events. All you need to do is come out and meet us.  Try it once. You won’t regret it.

Mike Kernan

(Emperor Czar Potentate Supreme)

P.S. I’ll bet you are all impressed that I can speak ground hog. It is one of my many talents.

P.P.S. Bob, tell me I can expense this.

President's Message, January, 2018

posted Dec 27, 2017, 9:18 AM by Gary Urbatis

Dear Friends:

In case you haven’t heard, I have been elected President of CAC---again. You’re probably asking the same question I am: “How could this travesty happen?" Well, here’s the story: Near the river I found an old oil lamp.  When I picked it up, it smoked, and suddenly there was this tan guy wearing traditional Arabic clothing and claiming to be a genie. Of course, I didn’t believe it. (He didn’t even have light-brown hair.) But I figured, oh heck, just go with it. So I said, “This is the part where I get 3 wishes, right?” And he said, “No, we stopped that at the turn of the millennium. But you can have a herd of camels.” I said, “What?! All I get is some lame camels? I should stuff you right back in that lamp!”

So he said, “Alright, I’ll give you one wish. But don’t go overboard. I’m only a 3rd class genie.” 

Well, I didn’t want to blow this. These guys can be tricky. After careful thought, I told him, “I always had a secret hankering to conquer the world. But now that I have this wish, I can skip the conquering and go straight to the ruling part.”

“Well,” he said. “That’s a tall order. Such a ruling position does not even exist. Would you settle for something like President?” “Wow,” I said. “That sounds pretty good. Imagine me, President.” So I took the deal. Still, I wanted to get some clarifications. But before I could say anything else, he uttered some kind of alakazam mumbo-jumbo. With a flash and a poof, I found myself at a CAC General Membership Meeting, where I was being congratulated for, (you guessed it) for being the only nominee for CAC President. (So don’t anybody complain to me. I am the victim here.) But there are two things you can all do to help me. First, rather than calling me President, I would very much prefer the title of “Emperor Czar Potentate Supreme.” It is not much to ask. And with a little practice it just rolls off the tongue.

Secondly, this is a great social club and offers a tremendous opportunity for fun and camaraderie. Look over your newsletter and check out the activities and upcoming events. There is something for everyone. Make a point to try something different, just for kicks.  You will be glad you did. And for those who are so shy that you have not yet come to an event, please do come soon. We don’t bite. I would be delighted to see some new faces sharing our many good times with us.

Mike Kernan
Your Emperor Czar Potentate Supreme

President's Letter, December, 2017

posted Dec 27, 2017, 9:09 AM by Gary Urbatis

I can’t believe that it’s almost December.  Where has the year gone?!  Oh, I know, attending CAC events, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying many other things that life has to offer.  I hope that you had a memorable 2017.

We haven’t reached the 100 member count yet.  Hopefully in 2018 we’ll not only increase our membership numbers, but also our event attendance numbers.  We had the most people at the General Membership meeting than we’ve had in a long time, including four attendees that joined CAC in 2017.  One of them asked “Why aren’t there more people here?  This meeting is about their club.”  I couldn’t give an exact answer.  I could only speculate.  A few possibilities…1.  They have other plans.  2.  They trust that the board members will be responsible with the finances and continue to offer a plethora of enjoyable events.  3.  They don’t attend many other events, why would they show up for this free one?! 

Your board members need your encouragement and input.  Please take a few minutes of your time to give it to them.  Two simple words can make the difference between someone continuing to plan events, or thinking “Why bother?!  People don’t appreciate what I do anyhow?!”  Which attitude would you prefer to have?

We have a pretty good club with wonderful members.  I’m requesting every one of you to spread the word about CAC and to invite and encourage people to attend our events and play in our tennis and/or softball leagues.  Do you have single relatives, coworkers, neighbors or friends who would benefit from our friendliness and activities?  Please use this as a personal invitation to help make our club better.  Don’t be surprised if they start to attend more events than you do.

Thank you for your support as your 2017 president. 

Sincerely,

Gary Urbatis

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

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