Remember March of 2020? COVID Impact Revealed after 2 Years It was scheduled to be a fairly normal but busy But there was one other big thing that got lost. month. Three of our four awards are presented in March. The Slim Rawley Crew award, the Allan Jones We had a flying event the first weekend, due to Volunteer award, and the Bob Ruppenthal Edu- the St Patrick’s Day Rallye in Belen scheduled cation award. the second weekend. It turns out, two of those were due to be present- Our annual membership meeting with election ed that fateful month. However, the awards were results and awards was scheduled for the 24th. put away and forgotten about in 2020, only to be rediscovered in January 2023. That’s right. Award But then something else happened. COVID! winners were selected in 2020 but never informed or presented with their recognition plaques. The first cases in NM were reported on March 11, the same day the World Health Organization So we’d like to take a mo- declared the spread of COVID a pandemic. Two ment and recognize Debi days later, COVID became a National Emergen- Ellis-Ostgulen as the 2020 cy in the US. Less than a week later, California Allan Jones Volunteer Award issued a stay-at-home order as New Mexico recipient. The nomination health officials acknowledged there is “commu- sheets and specifics have nity spread” in our state. been lost. However, we all have benefited from the ex- Only four days later, Governor Lujan Grisham im- tra efforts Debi continues to plemented a stay-at-home order effective March give to the club on all things ballooning. 24, the day of our Annual Meeting. And the 2020 Bob Ruppenthal Of course, we abided by the order canceling our Education Award recipient is meeting. But this was not to be a one-time thing. Ken Tuley. Ken had started While we scrambled to keep in touch electron- working with the AAAA Ed- ically and put in place the technology to do so, ucation Committee to bring there was a change of leadership at AAAA. Jenni- the ground schools into the fer Garcia had just been elected President. Peter current century with updated Cuneo joined the board as Vice-President to fill presentations, video record- the slot vacated by Jennifer. Sue Palmer took over ings and more. Little did we know at the time, that Crew-Development, Doug Gantt Flying Events we would all be taking a much larger leap into and Chani Kaibetoney Ways and Means. And technology in the months and years to come. with everything in disarray, some things got lost in the shuffle. Debi and Ken now have their plaques. Congrat- ulations and thank you for your contributions to Take the Cloudbouncer as an example. It wasn’t AAAA and the Ballooning community. published in March, April, or May of 2020. There was a catch-up edition published in June with minutes and committee reports. aaaa cloudbouncer JANUARY 2023 7

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