68th AHC Association
History Page 01
The 68TH ASSAULT HELICOPTER COMPANY ASSOCIATION, INC. hereafter known as the “68th Association” or “Association” was the brain child of Joseph Matusz the first elected treasurer of the established group/association. Joe also wrote and developed the bylaws and personally established the Association as a legal 501_c_19 (Military Not for Profit Organization) under the Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation Law of 1988.
The need for an association arose after the business meeting at the 2006 reunion. The next reunion location and organizer was chosen by a volunteer process and agreed by the group present at the meeting. This was usually someone who expressed a desire to have the location in a certain part of the country and by having the reunion there, the person also agreed to host the next reunion and take on the responsibilities. The group of members would vote and agree to the month and place at the meeting.
The original 68th reunions were relatively small, and did not take a lot of time or advanced capital to organize, but by 2004 it was evident that the group was increasing and the reunion needed more space and both a meeting space and hospitality suite. These last two items and the cost of maintaining them was a cash burden on the organizer, who until the reunion was over was not assured to get all his investment back. In 2006 the reunion almost fell apart when problems arose from the hotel and need for advance cash payments.
Dave Green the 68th AHC website, webmaster was contacted by several members and a group of concerned members looked into the problem. This group included Ron Sheffield, Frans VandenBroek, Joe Matusz, Howard Smith, and Dave Green. Many others were consulted but something was needed to collect a source of cash for the reunion planners.
In 2006 Albert Aylor volunteered to chair the reunion planning and selected San Antonio, Texas as the site. There was a lot of interest in this site and it looked like we would have over 100 people at the reunion. To accomidate this number of people Albert with the help of Paul Richards and Joe Matusz went to San Antonio hotels to get prices. Each member paid his own way to SA and the cost of staying there for 3 days.
It was quickly evident to the group that they would have to come up with 50% of all funding for the hotel 120 days before the event, and the event would have to be paid in full by the second day of the reunion. The Saturday night dinner was $3600 alone and other costs were another $2500. The group needed over $3000 4 months before the reunion started. Then another $3000 on the second morning, before most members even checked.
This growth also was a double edge sword in that we needed working capital to get our reunions off the ground but without being a financial burden to the organizers. We talked to several groups and all had a 501_c_19 (not for profit Association) where memberships were sold and required to attend reunions. This money could be used by the organization committee for advanced payments but every penny had to be returned to the Association coffers within 30 days after the reunion was over. No exemptions would be made. Reunions must be self supporting by charging a registration fee for each person attending. Children under 12 were later exempted.
Joe Matusz was a bank Vice President who dealt with funds and planning for his bank and quickly learned they group needed a contract stating what we wanted and a guarantee of additional services with the hotels. Upon his return to Philly, he wrote such a contract and submitted it to 12 hotels. He also found with the contacts in Philly that if the organization could become a 501_c_3 not for profit the organization could also save on all taxes at reunions. This was a large amount of money, usually 18% to 24% of our entire bill.
Joe went to many Veteran groups and found a lawyer who drew up and submitted our application with the state of Pennsylvania, for no cost to us. One of the items on the application was the organization had to have Association officers in place for the application.
The group working on the process met via conference and agreed on or about May 2007, that the following officers would be listed on the application: (listed below) These officers would hold this office until the group met for the 2008 reunion and elected officers via normal election processes.
The Association was formed and received its 503_c_19 approval in early 2008, and received the Texas equivalent in mid 2008. We were now a Not For Profit, with rules and requirements to file a yearly report with the state of Pennsylvania.
The officers established some association rules and set membership guidelines and cost. This money with donations and silent auctions at reunions would build the amount needed for future reunions. Since the money was from the entire group of members it could not be used to supplement losses from a reunion or other items the board was to take on.
This is the history to the best of my memory
20 Aug. 2008
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