WebWhispers Semi-Annual Reports
WebWhispers officers are required by the bylaws to file semi-annual reports to the membership. You will find the history of our growth in these current and past reports.
Semi-Annual Officers' Report to the Membership
(1 July - 31 December 2001)
President's Report: July - December 2001 - Murray Allan
It is with great sadness that I must report the passing of our Vice President, Member Services, Bob Hodge, on October 9. The Bob Hodge Memorial Fund was established in his memory to carry on the publication and shipping of the WebWhispers brochures which Bob was instrumental in founding. This brochure has enabled WebWhispers to ensure that many more individuals are aware of our presence and the support that is available to them. Libby Fitzgerald was appointed to Bob's position for the balance of Bob's term, which expires in 2003.
The following were elected in September 2001 to represent WebWhispers:
Murray Allan, President (2 year term)
Pat Sanders, Vice President - Web Information (1 year term)
Bob Hodge, Vice President - Members Services (2 year term) - (see above)
Terry Duga, Vice President - Finance and Administration (1 year term)
Dutch Helms, Webmaster - Is a permanent Officer of the Executive Committee.
WebWhispers was well represented with 8 delegates at the IAL Annual Meeting which was held at Myrtle Beach in August.
A five member committee under the leadership of Libby Fitzgerald has been appointed for a two year term to administer the Casey-Cooper annual award for Laryngectomee of the Year. This award is presented at the annual WW dinner held in conjunction with the IAL Annual Meeting. The meeting will be held in July at Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Pat Sanders will be in charge of making the dinner arrangements in her usual excellent manner as she has for the past two years. Pat is also arranging the Alaska cruise which will follow the meeting and she will make a separate report on that.
As always, our founder and Webmaster, Dutch Helms, has done an outstanding job in managing the WW site as well as that of the IAL. I would like to thank Dutch, Pat Sanders, Terry Duga and Libby Fitzgerald for all their excellent work in making WebWhispers number one in service to laryngectomees and to those with speech impairment and their caregivers.
The reports of these Officers will follow.
On behalf of the Executive Committee, I would like to thank all members who have aided, assisted and actively participated in your Club.
Should any members have any suggestions, questions or constructive criticisms please contact me at - firstname.lastname@example.org
Best regards to all,
Murray Allan, WW President
VP for Web Information: July - December 2001 - Pat Sanders
This new project has pleased a number of our members and is an active and fun message board in which the members tell jokes and exchange messages about many topics. The chat room part has not been as successful but several people are interested enough to keep working on setting up meetings. If you are interested in joining the Forum aspect of WebWhispers, Email Dutch and he will set it up and send you the joining instructions.
This Listserv has not "taken off" as well as I had hoped, but it is a good service that is always there when someone has a medical question. Often I hear that a question has generated a response directly to the individual from a professional.
This is the base of our communication system, is used well and often, and is the tie that binds us all together to allow us to learn from each other. The only problems here are the usual ones of people not understanding or perhaps not reading the list rules as they are posted on the web site.
Dutch and I are still and always working on the website, increasing the information available to all. I would like to thank the members who have sent us additions, which we added in the appropriate sections.
July 2002, WW Cruise
All plans were made for an Alaskan Inside Passage cruise on Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas in July 2002 to immediately follow the IAL Annual Meeting in Vancouver, B.C. Web pages relating to the cruise were designed and set up with great results and more than 1,000 visits have been made to the site. We let people know about it at the IAL Annual Meeting, through the IAL News, on the IAL web site and HeadLines, in addition to our own WW Journal and our ListServs. It has been well received and we have deposits from between 85-90 folks, 33 of which are laryngectomees.
WW Dinner, Myrtle Beach
We had 125 dinner reservations which was the space limit on the room. The view was wonderful, food superb, but the a/c was not working and we were all wishing we had come to the dinner in shorts! Opening the doors to the beach helped a little, but very little. However, these things happen and there was no way to forecast it…so we try again next year. Doubt we will having to worry about the heat in Vancouver.
WebWhispers Journal - Report from David Blevins, Editor
Since August 2001, there have been a total of nine articles by members (average of 1.5 per issue), over 50 individual member quotes, four member biographies, four Judy Greiwe cartoons and other graphics, and hundreds of member photos. The post-IAL convention issue in September beat the record for highest number of individuals reading it at over 700. Other recent issues have had more than 500 hits. (Comment from VP-Web Info.... David continues to do an excellent job for us on the Journal in addition to assisting with other projects. The Journal is now being used as reference material for individual subjects and is indexed. Pat Sanders)
VP Member Services: July - December 2001 - Libby Fitzgerald
It's been a bit of a challenge to get all membership activity records from July-October due to the unfortunate loss of our late Member Services VP, Bob Hodge. Many of these records haven't been located, so if any of you have been affected by this, please contact me to get any lapse corrected.
Don and Rosalyn Cockrell have become Loan Closet Custodians and have recently updated the inventory. Please check this out on our website, because there have been quite a few changes. There were many outdated and inappropriate items that had to be discarded, but what's now available are: electrolarynx supplies, various types stoma covers, books and videos. Catalogs, booklets and samples can be gotten directly from our suppliers free of charge at their toll free numbers or e-mail addresses. This ensures that you'll get the most current supplies which will be sent to you immediately. Several electrolarynx devices were lent out during this period to members and patients of member-SLPs plus stoma cover supplies. If any of you borrowed items between July and October that haven't been returned, please contact either Don and Rosalyn or me to arrange to send them back to be available for other members. If any of you have EL's, batteries and stoma covers to donate, we will happily accept them.
Thanks to the generosity of our suppliers, the following items were donated during this period: Siemens - 25 Servox batteries; Allied Hearing Centers - 5 new Servox devices plus batteries and charger.
The WebWhispers Brochure was the brainchild of Bob Hodge and a truly wonderful legacy. During this period, 5 people requested and received 325 brochures. There are a few outstanding requests which will be filled within the next 2 weeks. As of now, we have a significant number left, so if any of you would like to have some to distribute to your local clubs, hospitals, ENT offices, regional conventions, etc., contact me with your mailing addresses and quantities requested and I'll get them out to you.
There have been few requests for WW pins and patches recently. If you ordered them and haven't received them, let me know and I'll have them sent by our Promotional Materials Team of Rae and Wilda Provost. If you haven't seen what the pins and patches look like, check them out on our website. They are very attractive and reasonable in price. Place orders and send checks directly to Terry Duga.
The membership cards and donation letters are continuing to be sent. Please be patient with any delays that have occurred. If you sent a donation before the end of December, you'll receive an acknowledgment dated 2001. We are also reserving donated funds for future printings of additional brochures in memory of Bob.
Respectfully submitted, Libby Fitzgerald
VP - Finance & Administration: July - December 2001 - Terry Duga
Thanks to the generosity of donors, the WebWhispers Nu-Voice Club, Inc. remains financially healthy. As of December 31, 2001, we had a balance of $9,194.54 in the bank.
We had the following expenses for the second half of 2001:
Casey-Cooper Award -- $135.00
Postage -- $165.00
Supplies -- $58.13
Web Upkeep -- $239.40
Frames for Awards -- $22.62
IAL Dues -- $150.00
Annual Report with Indiana Secretary of State -- $10.00
The annual dinner cost $2,795.46. No WW funds were used to pay for the dinner. Rather the cost was borne by those who attended.
I am happy to announce that the Bob Hodge Memorial Fund, which was established after Bob's untimely death has reached a total of $918.00. Prior to Bob's death, donations for the cost of mailing and preparing the brochure equaled $813.00. This gives WW a total of $1,731.00 dedicated to the WW brochure.
The funds dedicated to the Casey-Cooper Award presently equal $275.00.
So, for another year, WW remains financially sound. Terry
Webmaster's Report: July - December 2001 - Dutch Helms
Between July 1st and December 31st, the "WebWhispers" website's Home Page received over 12,621 visits (or "hits") from interested Internet surfers. (138,242 total "hits" as of 31 December 2001). This was an average of 69 "hits" per day. During this same period, our 2001 WW Journals received between 333 and 735 "hits" each month (Jul - 430, Aug - 446, Sep - 735, Oct - 457, Nov - 508, Dec - 333), our Hints Index received a total of 1,964, the WW 2002 Cruise pages had 1,377, and the Loan Closet Page had 557. Also, during this six month period, our Member Services Page had 4,688 "hits," the Suppliers' Page 3,615, the Member Roster Page 2,997, the General Information Page 2,888, the Participants Page 2,333, and the Forum/Chat Page 1,626. The most popular Helpful Hints page was "Side Effects" with 1,377 "hits."
Additionally, 115 more individuals took the time to leave messages/comments on the Website's Guestbook and the Guestbook has now had about 5,500 visitors (readers) since its inception. (Note: the Guestbook now only retains the comments of the most recent 475 visitors who left a message.)
Since July 1st, we have continued to add Website participants. As of December 31st, we had 776 laryngectomees/caregivers (a 13% increase) throughout North America and abroad with an additional 111 medical/medical support/supplier personnel (an 11% increase). Of these 887 listed individuals, approximately 602 (a 13% increase) actively participate on the WebWhispers Email LISTSERV distribution system - 412 on normal distribution, 114 receiving the Digest version, and 71 on "vacation." Additionally, 206 members also participate on the WWHealthHelp LISTSERV. During the past six month period, 3,076 Email messages were sent via the WebWhispers Email LISTSERVS (WW and WWHH) -- an average of 17 per day.
To serve as a private Bulletin Board and Chat Room for our members, we created in early February 2001 the WebWhispers Forum on Delphi.com. As of 30 June, 140 WW members had taken the steps necessary to join the Forum. Since then, an additional 53 WW members joined the Forum, for a total current membership of 193 participants. As of December 31st, 1,860 messages remained posted to the Forum (many pre-July 2001 messages have been deleted as "old"). Note: those WW members not yet members of the Forum can get the "joining instructions" simply by requesting them from the Webmaster.
We began on July 1st with 200 members holding Voting Membership. Between July 1st and December 31st, an additional 52 participants became Voting Members - for a total of 252 Voting Members for CY2001 (we closed out CY2000 with 251 Voting Members). All Voting Members have contributed financially to the club, some more than once and many for amounts in excess of the annual $5.00 minimum requested. Remember, as a Voting Member: (1) you can run for any of the Club's elective offices, potentially serve as a club Delegate to the IAL meetings, and have the opportunity to vote on all issues brought to the Club by the Executive Committee; (2) you are actively participating in a club that is aiding and rehabilitating persons who are laryngectomees and/or suffer from voice disorders; and, (3) you are substantively demonstrating that you really care that WebWhispers grows and prospers and has continued meaningful financial support. As of December 31st, we had 120 Voting Members enrolled for CY2002.
On December 31st, our Archives were reformatted and given a new address (http://archive.mail-list.com/webwhispers/). Additionally, instead of retaining all messages for 180 days, the Archives will now begin retaining messages for a full year. This added service is being provided by our ListServ owner at no additional cost to the club.
For those curious folks, at the end of 2001 our web site was approximately 35.6 Megabytes in size, containing 130 individual pages, 954 images (totaling 25.9 MB), and over 3,650 internal/external functioning hyperlinks.
Dutch Helms - Webmaster
Semi-Annual Officers' Report to the Membership
(1 January - 30 June 2001)
President's Report - 1 January - 30 June 2001
It is again a pleasure to report to the membership on the activities which have occurred within WebWhispers during the past six months. As always, our Founder and Webmaster, Dutch Helms, has done an outstanding job in keeping this ever growing flock together. I would like to give you the highlights of our past activities and let our Vice Presidents and Webmaster share with you the pertinent details.
* During the reporting period the new Bylaws were approved by the Voting Members.
* The WebWhispers brochure project was completed and distribution is underway; it is indeed a work of art and a great tribute to the club and to those who produced it.
* The Website has been reorganized to ensure it is more user friendly for all.
* A new WebWhispers Forum has been established on Delphi.com to allow members to talk about subjects not related to laryngeal cancer. This site is rapidly becoming very popular.
* An Awards Committee was appointed to establish, in their view, who had assisted the Laryngectomee community the most since the inception of WebWhispers. This will be an ongoing program. This annual award, named after our two founding Presidents (The Casey-Cooper Award), has been established through the generosity of an anonymous donor and the first award will be made during the WebWhispers dinner at the IAL Convention at Myrtle Beach in August.
* New WebWhispers patches displaying our logo have been produced and are now available for purchase through our Vice-President of Member Services.
* Last but not least, 21 of our members and their partners enjoyed a one week Carnival cruise through the Western Caribbean which was very enjoyable and extremely well arranged by our Vice-President of Web Services .
On behalf of all the Executive Committee I would like to thank all Members who have aided, assisted and actively participated in your Club.
Should any members have any suggestions, questions or constructive criticisms please contact me at: "email@example.com."
Best regards to all,
Murray Allan, WW President
Semi-Annual Report (January-June 2001) Pat Wertz Sanders, VP Web Information
One of our first projects this year was to find and set up a new bulletin board and chat room that would offer us better service than the ones we previously used. Dutch and I checked out several sites, among them Delphi Forums, which I had joined in 1998 and whose format I enjoyed. Dutch investigated the ways it could be set up for us and then proceeded to make it our new unrestricted social discussion area. This current WebWhispers Forum is unmoderated with chat rooms and a message board, where you can go to tell jokes, leave notices, talk about pets, ask questions about computers, complain, or start your own topic of choice.
A few changes were made in the way mail is directed which has improved the flow of mail coming through WWHH but the good news here is the appointment of Libby Fitzgerald as alternate moderator. We have just modified the Member Roster Page so it can be seen "at a glance" which of our professional members are participants on this listserv.
Our primary Email system is functioning well and posts "rejected" by the moderator remain at very small percentage. 99% of the messages are approved "as is". The 1% that are rejected are mostly for such things as attachments (which our system does not handle), Internet chain letters, including bogus virus warnings and hoax messages, messages that become garbled due to multiple "forwarding", resulting in unreadable text, or other messages similarly not in compliance with our published Netiquette Guidelines. Our primary moderator is and has been Dutch, but his worthy alternate, Mike Rosenkranz, has served honorably and well during Dutch's occasional absences. Mike's service to WebWhispers while Dutch was cruising the Caribbean and without access to his computer, was especially appreciated!! We strive to have little or no difference in the moderation regardless of which of the four of us are moderating the lists.
WebWhispers Nu-Voice Club Bylaws
We did the initial rewriting of the bylaws and submitted these to the Executive Committee for suggestions, corrections, and ideas before completing the final rewrite that was submitted to and approved by the Voting Membership on February 17, 2001.
Bob Hodge approached the rest of the officers to say he had been able to arrange with a NC printer for a free 4-color printing of a WW brochure if we could present them with a design. We immediately asked David Blevins, our WWJ Editor, camera buff, and graphic specialist, to start on it right away. I did most of the text and offered ideas while Dutch put up web page after web page where we could do comparisons and be sure we were all looking at the same designs. David worked closely with the printing company and various vendors who provided graphics. Dutch has since set up a place to download the brochure for those who want to print it themselves. The ones printed for us by our anonymous benefactor are being distributed to members, clubs, doctors, hospitals and clinics by our VP Member Services, Bob Hodge.
Dutch and I started working on simplifying the website, one section at a time, to make it easier for newcomers and members to find all of the information we offer and to navigate from one section to another. I would design and send Dutch a file for a new page, section, or index and he would respond with corrections or suggestions and these would fly back and forth until we both liked what we had, at which time Dutch coordinated the placement of the new pages so we were never shut down. The content of numerous sections (Hints, Laffers, etc.) was also expanded and/or updated.
April 2001 WW Cruise
We made it! Twenty-one of us were on the inaugural WebWhispers-sponsored cruise and had a marvelous time for the week. We now have added to the cruise web page some of the photos taken by our cruisers. The response to this cruise has encouraged us to set up another WebWhispers cruise next year and the plans are being set for an Alaskan Inside Passage cruise in July 2002 immediately following the IAL Annual Meeting in Vancouver, B.C.
WW Dinner, Myrtle Beach
Reservations and payments are now being accepted for the WW Dinner at the IAL in Myrtle Beach in August. Our VP, Terry Duga, who handles the money, is accepting the payments, Dutch is keeping the records on the web of who is attending the IAL and who has paid for the Dinner reservation. I am handling the arrangements with the Catering Manager and the table seating, so contact me for that.
WebWhispers Journal - Report from David Blevins, Editor
The WebWhispers Journal continues to be read by about one half of the members. Articles from the Journal frequently appear in other laryngectomee support newsletters across the U.S. and around the world. Since December, issues have included four full articles written by members and one non-member. Additionally, there have been four biographical articles on members, two biographies of non-member laryngectomees, 11 shorter member profiles, two of non-member laryngectomees, and quotes from and photographs of dozens of members. Many additional articles have been included of a informational nature including upcoming conventions, new developments and trends, and new products. Cartoons by Judy Greiwe have appeared in almost all of the issues.
WebWhispers Journal - The Web Site
Getting the Journal from David's imagination, text, photos and graphics to Dutch's
workable web page design with a minimum of effort is no small feat and at the end of each month, after e-mail gyrations that have to be seen to be believed, they each deserve a medal. Thanks to both of them for contributing this labor for our enjoyment and education.
Semi-Annual (January-June 2001) VP Member Services Report (Bob Hodge):
The following items were donated to the WW Loaner Closet: Jim Lauder, Lauder Enterprises, Voice Assist Machine; Matt Griffin, Griffin Laboratories, two Tru-Tone and one SolaTone Electrolarynx machines.
Electrolarynx machines loaned during this period are as follows: Phyllis Bartlett, Servox; Tammy Slayton, Servox; Barbara Vinson, Servox; Sharon Andrak, Servox; Gerald Boddie, SLP, Servox; (for patient who was in the process of joining WW); Carla Brown, SLP (for patient) Servox and Cooper Rand; Betty Decker, Tru-Tone; David Bullock, Tru-Tone; and a Williams Amplifier to James McDougall.
As you see, the EL's are the most requested item by our members. During this period several EL's were returned to the Loaner Closet. The only other items requested were certain videos which have been sent to members. For the latest supplier literature, videos, and sample products, members are ordering directly from the companies using their 800# or email addresses available on the WW web site. In this way they are assured of receiving the latest information and products from the suppliers.
The new WW brochure was completed by our printer and several thousand copies have been mailed to members, doctors, clinics, SLP's, IAL Clubs, caregivers and others. Thanks again go to our very generous North Carolina printer who did the printing "free of charge." Also, to Dutch Helms, David Blevins and Pat Sanders for their hard work in preparing the brochure for "camera ready" copy for the printer. The distribution of the brochure continues and I will have a large supply available at the IAL Convention. Based on the feedback I have received everyone likes the brochure especially the format. As you know, the purpose of the brochure was to get the attention of the laryngectomy community, arouse interest in the WW site, create the desire to visit the site and see what we have to offer, and get action from doctors, SLP's, WW members/caregivers and others to help spread the word about WebWhispers. The Executive Committee feels we have met those goals.
The new WW Logo Patches have arrived and orders are being filled. A total of 206 patches have been shipped to our members. A total of 33 WW Logo Pins were shipped. I will also have several of these items with me at the IAL Convention. As a reminder, if you wish to order the patches, pins or brochures please email me with your order. All payments for patches and pins should go directly to Terry Duga, Treasurer, 6115 North Park, Indianapolis, IN 46220.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our members for their continuing support of WW by purchasing logo pins and patches. Also, your contributions to help defray the cost of shipping and mailing the brochures are greatly appreciated.
Bob Hodge, VP, Member Services
Semi-Annual (January-June 2001) Treasurer's Report (Terry Duga)
WebWhispers remains very solvent. To date we have $8,569.37 in our bank account. Of that amount, $2,680.00 are funds sent for the annual banquet. We've received $703.00 in donations earmarked for mailing the brochures. This leaves $5,185.37 in unallocated funds.
From January 1 to date we spent $2,441.27. $472.75 was spent on Website costs including a payment of $189.00 to reserve the WebWhispers domain name for 9 years. $751.21 was spent on postage and mailing. $443.13 was spent on supplies to provide mailings. $135.00 was spent on the Casey-Cooper Award (this came from a special fund donated for that purpose). $558.00 was spent for 1,000 patches.
To date, we have received $535.00 from pin sales. $370.00 came from last year and $165 from this year. To date we have received $219.00 from the sale of patches. There will be plenty of patches and pins available at Myrtle Beach.
Terry Duga, WebWhispers Treasurer
Webmaster's Report to the Membership: (January - June 2001)
We have extended the required Internet Registration for our Domain Name (www.webwhispers.org) through October 2010.
To serve as a private Bulletin Board and Chat Room for our members, we created in early February 2001 the WebWhispers Forum on Delphi.com. As of 30 June, 140 WW members had taken the steps necessary to join the Forum. Since February, 803 messages had been posted to this Forum. Those WW members not yet members of the Forum can get the "joining instructions" simply by requesting them from the Webmaster.
Between January 1st and June 30th, the "WebWhispers" website's Home Page received over 19,204 visits (or "hits") from interested Internet surfers. (126,629 total "hits" as of 30 June 2001). This was an average of 105 "hits" per day. During this same period, our 2001 WW Journals received between 280 and 470 "hits" each month; our Hints Index received a total of 1,380 "hits"; and the WW Cruise paged have had 1,152 "hits." Also, during this six month period, our Member Services Page had 2,730 "hits," the Member Roster Page 1,716 "hits," the General Information Page 1,500 "hits," the Suppliers' Page 1,458 "hits," the BB/Chat Page 924 "hits" and the Myrtle Beach Page 852 "hits."
Additionally, 109 more individuals, for a total of 561, took the time to leave messages/comments on the Website's Guestbook and the Guestbook has now had 4,740 visitors (readers) since its inception. (Note: the Guestbook now only retains the comments of the most recent 350 visitors who left a message.)
Over the past six months, according to our server, our website (all pages) was "visited" by 41,880 individuals who viewed the equivalent of 90,000 pages. (We have 115 total pages on the site.)
Since January 1st, we have continued to add Website participants. As of June 30th, we had 673 laryngectomees/caregivers (a 15% increase) throughout North America and abroad with an additional 99 medical/medical support/supplier personnel (a 23% increase). Of these 772 listed individuals, approximately 526 (a 23% increase) actively participate on the WebWhispers Email LISTSERV distribution systems - 382 on normal distribution, 97 receiving the Digest version, and 47 on "vacation." 175 members also participate on the WWHealthHelp LISTSERV. During the past six month period, 2767 Email messages were sent via the WebWhispers Email LISTSERVS (WW and WWHH) -- an average of 15 per day.
We began on January 1st with 101 members holding Voting Membership. Between January 1st and June 30th, an additional 99 participants became Voting Members - for a total of 200 Voting Members so far in CY2001 (last year at this time we had 203). All Voting Members have contributed financially to the club, some more than once and many for amounts in excess of the annual $5.00 minimum requested. Remember, as a Voting Member: (1) you can run for any of the Club's elective offices, potentially serve as a club Delegate to the IAL meetings, and have the opportunity to vote on all issues brought to the Club by the Executive Committee; (2) you are actively participating in a club that is aiding and rehabilitating persons who are laryngectomees and/or suffer from voice disorders; and, (3) you are substantively demonstrating that you really care that WebWhispers grows and prospers and has continued meaningful financial support.
For those curious folks, our web site is now approximately 29.9 Megabytes in size, containing 115 individual pages, 708 images (totaling 21 MB), and over 3,400 internal/external functioning hyperlinks.
Dutch Helms - Webmaster