Kevin Snyder


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Between the Lines March 2020 issue

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The past couple of months have been significant ones for A.B.A.T.E. of PA. I didn’t realize just how much water has gone under the bridge.

Sometimes when I am trying to come up with ideas for an article, I’ll look back over documents from the past  to see if inspiration happens. Tonight, I happened to look back at the meeting minutes for the January Board meeting of sixteen years ago (held on January 18, 2003 at the Milesburg Holiday Inn). It was shortly after that meeting that our helmet law modification bill was introduced by Senator John Wozniak, and the rest, as they say, became history. That meeting was my first as Assistant Coordinator and Peggy’s first as State Treasurer.

The names of the officers attending was an eye-opener. There were twenty eight officers listed. Man, looking down the list of names was cause for some reflection on my part.

We just had a board meeting this past weekend (the January meeting that was delayed by weather). At that board meeting, there were thirty five officers in attendance. Out of the thirty five, three were also at that meeting in January 2003. One was Carol Umbenhauer (Office Manager the whole time), and the others were Peggy and myself (Treasurer and Assistant Coordinator then and again now). Lot of water under that bridge.

This whole scenario, though, illustrates the transformation A.B.A.T.E.  of PA has to undergo if it is to survive and continue carrying out its mission statement. And there are a lot of people, old and new alike who are working hard to make sure that happens.

Sonja Mauk has done an excellent job promoting the idea of an electronic newsletter. We’re not quite there yet, but it’s getting closer. The Operations Committee Is moving ahead with documenting and building flexibility into our office systems so that when change is upon us, we’re not caught with a “deer in the headlights” moment. Diane Evans has volunteered to help with some of it as well. Bob LeGore is working hard with Operation Save A Life, which is the most important thing we’ve got going to both save lives right now and plant a seed with future riders who may become members and officers some day. And we’ll get the yard signs out on the road again this year.

Most important, there is a greater recognition at all levels of the organization of the urgent need to reach out to the younger riding generation. The ones who will take our place aren’t even on motorcycles yet. But they’re out there, and it is up to us to find them and make them feel welcome.

I just want to take this moment to thank all of you for helping with that.