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.
Semiannual Report to the Membership
July 1 - December 31, 2006
President's Report: July 1 - December 31, 2006 - Pat W Sanders
The death of our Founder/Webmaster, David "Dutch" Helms from a recurrence of cancer, on November 1 2006, was ten years after the founding of his first website devoted to larynx cancer. The entire membership has mourned this loss and we have devoted a section of the site to a Founder's page which has links to messages sent from members and Dutch's own personal website.
We regret to announce the resignation of Murray Allan from the presidency of WebWhispers in November, 2006. We thank him for all he has done for us through the years he served and wish him well. I have been appointed to the Presidency to finish the present term, which will last until the next election in December 2007. I previously held the position of VP Web Site Information.
We have been fortunate to add to our Board of Directors, Dr. Carla Gress, Director of the IAL Voice Institute, who has plans for setting up a new list for professionals, using our base of WWHH, which has been closed for some time. It will be exciting to see what she has to offer our professionals and we extend a warm welcome to her.
It is also a pleasure to have our List Manager, Michael Csapo. accept the position of Vice President of Internet Activities. He was already covering a good number of those responsibilities and doing such a good job that we added more! Under Michael's department, Barb Stratton has been designated as Chief Moderator, a formality since she was already acting in that position and doing an formidable job. We are so happy to have them both.
Herb Simon resigned from the Board of Directors but stayed with us as our referral person for calls from American Cancer Society inquiries. WebWhispers is now listed in their files as a resource and Herb's number is given out. We are very proud of the job he is doing for us.
I am also filing a report as VP-WSI which has more of the working detail of what we accomplished this last six months. This is relative to the changes and the people who worked to get our beautiful new website ready. The new master database, which has altered our methods of keeping membership records, is giving us safeguards and checks and balances we never had before. This has been a big challenge and we still will be discovering more of what it can do for us.
Sometimes the people who have quietly filled their positions and run their departments get little attention while new activities take the forefront. Finance & Administration and Member Services have been in the background lately and without their support, we would be lost. Thank you Terry Duga and Libby Fitzgerald.
I am honored to be in this position and I follow some very dedicated men who were here before me. I will do my best to keep WebWhispers as one of the best support groups ever.
Pat W Sanders, President
VP- Web Site Information Report: July 1- November 2006 - Pat W Sanders
This report underscores the President's report above. It encompasses the projects that were ongoing in both my section and Dutch's. It has to be that way because they were already intertwined and I backed Dutch up in so many areas, as he did me. Losing him, not only as a friend but as a co-worker and our leader for ten years, was devastating. For the work at WW, it was like looking across the Grand Canyon and being told, "Find a way to the other side with no maps."
WEBSITE DESIGN/CONTENT: In June 2006, we signed a contract for our new web site to be built. After consultation on our needs and our reviews of their suggestions, it was turned over to us the first week in August to fill with our web content from the old site. That's when our workload became oppressive. We had new programs that would enable entries to be made and pages to be designed by people who were not webmasters. With much sorting and planning for differences, redesigning, cleaning up and corrections, we were able to move most of the content, with the balance safely stored so we could keep working on the rest of the transfer as we had time. We switched everyone to the new site the first week in October with surprising few glitches. At the time we opened it to the members, we had already set up over 500 asp pages and more than 200 html. We have continued to add additional files of older information and are approaching having it all converted. The actual moving could not have been accomplished without the unbelievable dedication of Len Librizzi and John Fortroy who worked with me constantly on this project. The time involved would have been too costly to move this huge site if we had needed to hire people to do the job. We had the help of a few others with sections of the job but three people primarily did this part. I cannot tell you how many early mornings I checked my computer and found that Len had just closed down.
DATABASE: In talking and checking with the Salesforce database experts and some of their project managers for recommendations, I learned what their system would do and, putting that together with our needs, came up with ideas. We were aided by two great volunteers, Jeanne Graden, who offered her services and knowledge of databases and Sunny Bakken, who worked through the night many times entering all of our names and data from a mixture of records that did not always agree. It was a slow process and we are still struggling with long term member information. However, we figured a better way of entering new people and of updating our former records, which we have settled into putting as a new Roster on the site every 10 days. We have a By Location list of patients and are looking forward to new Forum Rosters done with charts pulled from the database. These gals have lengthened the list of my "Best" Girl Friends!
NEWSLETTERS: "Whispers on the Web" has taken to the new site like a duck to water. It is now swimming in the new pond and looking gorgeous. We have about eight semi-regular columnists and a Member contributor or two. We are always searching for new authors and our new Editor, Donna McGary has found a few good ones lately. We're proud to add them to the list and hope to hear more from them. I took the position of Managing Editor and have been doing the organizing along with some editing, Donna is getting new people to write and has taken on editing for a number of the regulars. Len Librizzi is taking care of the Web Publishing for WotW and is doing a terrific job. You always know it will look great. It's a good team. We are always looking for new contributions from members and guest columnists and invite submissions to be sent to: Editor@WebWhispers.org
LISTS AND FORUM: This is no longer my assignment but it was my responsibility during a large part of this last six months. What a pleasure to work with Michael and Barb on the lists, the rules, the membership letters, and even on problems. I am still on the committee for this. However, they do such a great job and most decisions have been implemented. It's running smoothly.
I had not worked with the Forum or the Forum Managers before but have had a lot of fun with Logan cleaning out and rearranging the forum. Mike R is recovering from surgery and is just now coming back but we corresponded about some of the future changes. These guys are great fun and are ready to jump in and work to make the forum a useful place and a fun Clubhouse and Meeting Room for WebWhispers.
WW CRUISES: We are scheduled for our 2007 cruise on Feb 28th, with 32 folks sailing for an eight night voyage to the Southern Caribbean. We have not yet decided on the next cruise. Suggestions are being considered and we appreciate your ideas.
Pat W Sanders
VP - Finance & Administration Report: July 1 - December 31, 2006 - Terry Duga
We ended 2006 with a grand total of $22,206.52 in the bank.
An additional $10,000.00 was just received from a policy on the life of Dutch Helms and is to be placed in a CD and to be used to keep WebWhispers running in the event of emergencies.
We received $13,196.16 in donations over the last 6 months and $10,096.44 from a life insurance policy that WebWhispers held on Dutch in the event of his death to preserve WebWhispers.
We had the following expenses in the second half of 2006:
Bank Card Fees (the cost of accepting VISA and Mastercard) $498.97
Computer Repair 269.55
Award to Mike & Pamm Muzslay (Dutch's caregivers) 57.99
Donation Refund 23.33
Framing Dutch's letter from President Bush 65.74
Office supplies 6.88
Postage & Delivery 641.28
Search Engine 249.00
Web Site 5,487.50
We have the following amounts in our dedicated funds:
Casey Cooper Award $ 47.28
Edmund Lauder Support Fund 795.01
Carla Lynch has graciously agreed to assist me in maintaining the WW books. As an accountant, Carla brings badly needed knowledge to play. I am looking forward to working with her.
Terry G. Duga
VP Finance & Administration
VP - Member Services Report, July 1 - December 31, 2006 - Libby Fitzgerald
During the period from July 1 - December 31, 194 members joined WebWhispers, coming from throughout the United States and throughout the world. The countries represented by these new members were Australia, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Mexico, Pakistan, Canada, Sweden, South Africa, Iceland, Jordan and India. These members were a combination of laryngectomees, caregivers, medical practitioners and vendors. Welcome all!
At this point, I would like to take a moment to reflect on how far we've come in recording our membership data. When I began as Membership VP in 2001, membership records consisted of handwritten loose-leaf pages that didn't even list all our members. We moved on to typed e-mail entries, but the format was pretty basic. I then enlisted the help of a couple of local friends to bring us into the 21st century with regard to our record keeping. One friend connected us with a website that offered a free directory listing service for selected non-profits. Dutch and this friend worked on the format design and another friend stepped in to record the backlog of our member data. Once that was caught up, she offered to stay on to record all new member entries and was honored for her work at the WebWhispers dinner in Boston. This past summer, with the total revamping of our new website under the direction of Pat Sanders, two of our own members have taken over this time-consuming, critical work and I wish to recognize Sunny Bakken and Jeanne Graden. Your ongoing contribution is deeply appreciated and I want to thank both of you on behalf of WebWhispers.
Our sustaining membership increased considerably during this period, due largely to your many generous donations in Dutch's name and later, in his memory. These donations cover the costs for setting up and maintaining our newly revised website, web hosting fees, listserv hosting fees, the Casey-Cooper Award and others, mailing costs for our ever popular brochure and loan closet, computers, software and other normal operating expenses. We continue to fund our VIP/LT project for those attending the Voice Institute at the annual IAL Convention, through the Edmund Lauder Support Fund and are in the process of deciding how to best use the memorial donations in Dutch's name. There is no dues requirement for joining WebWhispers, but donations of a minimum of $5.00 per year entitle you to vote on all issues of importance to this organization. To make a donation online or by check, contact our VP of Finance, Terry Duga through this link on our website: http://webwhispers.org/donations/donations.asp.
For those unfamiliar with the WebWhispers brochure, it can be viewed by clicking onto the following link from our website: http://webwhispers.org/services/free-brochures.asp. We continue to circulate thousands of them through our members, who share them with their local clubs and bring them to regional conventions, medical professionals who share them with patients at hospitals and doctors' offices, and our ever supportive vendors who often include them with product orders. These brochures are free and can be ordered through my e-mail address, Lijofitz@aol.com.
We are still distributing our pins and patches, which can be viewed on our website at http://webwhispers.org/services/ww-pins-patches.asp. Pins are $5.00 each and 6 for $25.00. Patches are $1.50 each, 4 for $5.00 or 9 for $10.00. Bruce Medical Supply continues to provide those free Neckbreather pins, mailed at no cost to us for all who donate a minimum of $15.00 in US funds and $50.00 from overseas. This pin can be viewed on our donations page.
Our continued thanks go to Judy and Bill Ramboldt for housing and maintaining our Loan Closet inventory and mailing out that equipment. This consists of several different brands of electro larynges and voice amplifiers: Servox Inton and Digital, AT&T, Tru-Tone, Cooper-Rand, Solotone, Nu Vois, Romet, Bivona, Optivox and Chattervox, plus miscellaneous soft goods. This inventory is available to members only on a loan basis. For further information and explanation, please contact me at Lijofitz@aol.com. .
The annual WebWhispers dinner, held during the IAL Convention on July 21st in Schaumburg, IL was another successful, fun-filled gathering for our group. We had 157 members and guests attend, held in an outdoor canopy that created the feeling of a garden party. While we celebrated our friendship and community with awards, speeches and good food, there was a sense of the bittersweet, knowing how ill Dutch was and how limited his time would be. Many thanks to Gary Miner for setting up a power point slide show with photos of Dutch throughout the years, which we saw as we entered the room. We also had a display of special photos of Dutch and a crystal award of appreciation which was mailed to him after the convention. A truly unique honor was arranged through Terry Duga for Dutch, a personal letter from President Bush which was read to us recognizing Dutch's many accomplishments. This was framed and sent to him, which he enjoyed immensely. Special thanks to InHealth Technologies and Bruce Medical for again covering a good portion of the cost of each dinner, making it possible for our members to attend. Many awards were given, the most significant, the Casey-Cooper Award, which was received by Terry Duga for his years of dedicated service to this organization. We are looking forward to another successful dinner this coming July at the convention in Burlington, VT.
The following members passed away between July 1 and December 31, that we know of, and have been added to the Memoriam Page on our website. We honor them and keep their memories alive in our hearts and minds. If any of you know about others we have lost during that time, please let us know.
Philip Callahan - London, AR - October
John Couture - Bridgton, ME - September
Syd Gartenberg - Bloomfield Hills, MI - August
Bo Hanaburgh - Belleview, FL - November
*Founder: David L."Dutch" Helms - El Lago, TX - November
Pat Hopping - Plantation, FL - July
Ro Johnson - Kailua, HI - October
Larry Jones - Manchester, NH - November
John Popson - Solon, OH - September
James Rasberry - Tupelo, MS - October
Eliot Robinson - Carrollton, TX - October
Mary Glyn Spivey - Eatonton, GA - December
Yvonne Sparks - Upper Saddle River, NJ - September
Kay Sullo - North Babylon, NY - November
Gary Viering - Batavia, OH - December
VP -Internet Activities Report: July 1 - December 31, 2006 - Michael Csapo
Writing reports is not my strongest point and many of my teachers will attest to that fact! If it were up to me, I would opt to change the Semi-Annual report to the Semi-Centennial report so that I would likely only have to compose a single edition! Having said that, I will share the following so as not to be faced with a significant reduction in my current salary!
As most of us know, I came aboard as VP-Internet Activities this past October to assist, in part, and help fill in the position vacated by our late great founder David "Dutch" Helms. Since my appointment to VP-Internet Activities, I have discovered there are many challenges for me yet to overcome in this position; however there are also many rewards. I have been acting List Manager for nearly 6 months now, a small part of the responsibilities for the VP - Internet Activities, and I am still constantly learning new things regarding that position as well.
I am merely a small link in the chain of great volunteers who help to make WebWhispers what it is today. I feel truly blessed to work with all the wonderful and talented dedicated folks who volunteer themselves and their time so freely to WebWhispers. I will not list them all individually here but rather just offer my personal THANKS to each and every one of you!
WebWhispers is indeed a diverse community, which grows larger by the day! Recent counts show 910 members actively subscribed to the regular mail list with 422 subscribed to the WebWhispers Digest list. We have an additional 174 on vacation lists. The Webwhispers HealthHelp List (WWHH) presently portrays 219 medical and professional subscribers to that list as well.
Special thanks, appreciation and recognition should also go to our Forum Managers, Mike Rosenkranz and Logan Grayson! Mike Rosenkranz recently had some health and family concerns to deal with and Logan stepped right up to the plate to fill in when Mike R. had to leave for that time. The forum has also recently undergone some major renovations and upgrading to make it even more appealing and simpler to navigate for all our members. If you are not already a member, I encourage you to become one and enjoy the un-moderated side of WebWhispers. If you wish to join the Forum, it is a simple process. Just send the Forum Manager, Mike Rosenkranz or Logan Grayson (email@example.com) an Email indicating that you wish to join.
Speaking of Moderators, very special thanks go out to our Chief Moderator Barb Stratton who has for the most part single handedly moderated the WebWhispers mail list for the last 6 months. She is at it early morning until late evening, 7 days a week (holidays included), assuring that our emails abide by the rules and get released to the list. Barb is like the modern version of a virtual "Pony Express" working diligently at all hours to see to it that our emails get delivered in a timely manner.
Future projects will involve a crash course in re-training our standby moderators Mike Rosenkranz, Randy Lemster, and Carl Strand to bring them back up to speed as backup
moderators. I will also be considering training an additional "backup" for the List Manager position which I currently fill with Barb Stratton as my only current standby.
Now that my Semi-Annual report is completed, I can move on with other things such as toothaches and taxes! The best thing about toothaches is that a couple of aspirin can take care of that but the pain of taxes is persistent!
Last, but not least, a special thanks to our President Pat Sanders who has exercised extreme patience with me and would now be a millionaire if she had a nickel for every question of mine which she has answered.
Best wishes to all!
~Michael Csapo - VP - Internet Activities
Board of Directors Member Report: July 1 - December 31 2006 - Carla Gress
Greetings to all,
I would like to thank all of you for the warm welcome I have received since being appointed to the WebWhispers Board a few months ago. A special thanks go to the Officers, Murray Allan, past-President; Pat Sanders, President; and our Vice-Presidents, Libby Fitzgerald, Terry Duga, and Mike Csapo, for their confidence in me and the assistance they have provided as I took on this new role. I had the privilege of joining the mail list way back when Dutch used to send out the messages manually, when there were less than 50 members. I knew from the first time that I found Dutch's website that he was a tremendous person, with a great vision for aiding his fellow laryngectomees (including many of my patients over the years), and it is rewarding to see how the organization has prospered and grown, thanks to all of you, the contributors .
One of our current projects is to re-develop the WW HealthHelp list for medical professionals. We would like to create a mail list for the speech-language pathologists (SLPs), otolaryngologists, and other health care providers who specialize in head & neck cancer treatment, particularly larynx cancer. This will provide a mechanism for easy communication among the specialists, to discuss treatment methods, insurance and clinic operations issues, announce professional conferences, etc. Our first order of business will be to update the address lists, purging the incorrect ones, and adding new ones.
In November, while I attended the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) convention in Miami as a representative for the International Association of Laryngectomees (IAL), I met close to a hundred SLPs who expressed an interest in the new WebWhispers professionals' mail list. They were given literature about the website and encouraged to pass it along to their patients. This, along with the professionals who have already been on the HealthHelp mail list, will be a great start for our efforts in connecting colleagues.
I continue to participate in the WebWhispers mail list, interjecting information and serving as a professional resource when needed. Feel free to contact me at Carla_Gress@hotmail.com if you have questions or comments - I may not always be able to answer promptly, but I will do my best!
Semiannual Officers' Report to the Membership
(1 January - 30 June 2006)
President's Report: January 1 – June 30, 2006 - Murray Allan
For the past year our Founder and Webmaster, Dutch Helms, has undergone dilations, surgery and other forms of treatment. Unfortunately, this has now been diagnosed as terminal carcinoma of the neck region with metastasis to one lung. Dutch has reported his condition and the subsequent testing and results at frequent intervals to your Executive Committee and all WebWhispers members. Dutch sets an example for us all. While suffering constant pain he continues to live in his home alone and is able to take his nourishment only through a tube. He has been advised that the only care available to him now is palliative and his physicians are attempting to control his severe pain with several types of analgesics.
Notwithstanding his distressful situation he continues to train and upgrade moderators and work on the multitude of tasks that are required to operate a large web site such as WebWhispers. His devotion to his "baby" WebWhispers goes well beyond that expected from anyone. He is truly setting a fine example for us all and we trust he will do so for a long time to come. Extensive plans have been made by Dutch to ensure that WebWhispers continues to aid and assist laryngectomees in perpetuity.
He is truly our hero and may we all hope and pray for him. We wish him only the very best with a minimum of pain and suffering.
In January a decision was made to incorporate a rule into WebWhispers which would prohibit a member of the WebWhispers Executive Committee from holding a seat simultaneously on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Laryngectomees (IAL). It was felt by the majority that serving on the committees of both organizations could be perceived as a conflict of interest. WebWhispers was founded as an independent organization and it was considered that serving both groups would not be in the best interests of WebWhispers. Two members were affected by this decision. Our Vice President of Member Services, Libby Fitzgerald, and myself. Libby will complete her term on the Board of Directors at the next IAL convention in 2007 and I will complete my term as Vice-President of the IAL on July 22, 2006.
After attempting to be recognized for a number of years, it is a pleasure to announce that WebWhispers will finally be included as a resource in the database of the American Cancer Society. Herb Simon, our Board Member, will be the contact person.
We continue to grow by leaps and bounds and are still adding around one new member a day which we feel is truly remarkable.
I deeply thank our Vice-Presidents, Dutch, Pat, Terry and Libby for all their dedication and hard work that they continue to put into making WebWhispers the great laryngectomee organization it is today. The reports concerning the activities in the area of each of their responsibilities follows. I also thank Herb Simon for his active participation as a Board Member
Take care and stay well.
VP Web Site Information Report: January 1 – June 30, 2006 - Pat Sanders
We have been investigating a new web site design that will use Dreamweaver8 and Contribute3, products that will allow more people to assist on various aspects of the web site without formal webmaster training. On June 26th, we contracted with Kinetic Communications to do this project for us and with us. Appropriate details will be in the Mail List at various stages to keep members updated on progress. There will be additional work to be accomplished before the web site is finalized and becomes our home on the web. Moving this huge web site will be a job partially done by volunteers. Some of this will need to be done by professionals. We then face organization of our database and again this will require professional advice and help. We put a request for donations to cover the cost of the web site and in the few days since, they have flowed in. Comments have brought tears to the eyes of all of your officers as our members tell what finding WW has meant to them.
A WW Table will be set up at the IAL Annual Meeting in Chicago and we invite all members to come by to say hello or stay a while to talk to new people or members. The Webbie Workshops, a page for our members to list their crafts, coordinated by Barb Stratton, is having a few additions and is looking good. We need more people to list their crafts.
We have re-written the welcome letter that eliminates one step in the process of joining. While I am currently the stand-by Moderator, I did participate in the selection of volunteers to act as regular moderators for us and am so very pleased with the way this is working out. Thank you all for being willing to take an active part in the running of the lists.
"Whispers on the Web" has lost some, gained some, regular columnists. We still have Murray, Dutch and Donna as regular columnists. Have added Vicki. Others, like me, write on occasion and we do have a new column, "Tidbits", for notes from members and excerpts from the list. We are always looking for new contributions from members and guest columnists and invite submissions to be sent to: Editor@WebWhispers.org While "HeadLines" is not a WebWhispers newsletter, it is in the WW list and on the WW site for educational reading and I appreciate contributions for that newsletter, also.
The Alaska Cruise and tour was superb. We had 52 people on both with 6 more joining us on the Island Princess for the cruise only. We got there and all anyone could talk about was the long trip there. First morning, we went to the Pipeline and took a train through a Gold Mine, panned for gold and stomped our feet to some great fiddling’. Over lunch everyone talked about that…then we went on the Riverboat for the afternoon, saw sled dogs in training, got off the boat and went through a village, had a small airplane take off and land to show us how they do it in almost no space. Fun and that night everyone raved. Next, we headed for Denali and went through the park, seeing all kinds of animals and having fun with our group. The weather could not have been better and we boarded the Princess train to Talkeetna, had two full days with perfect views of Mt. McKinley. We could wander around and visit on the train and we had a great time. How could you not love a glass domed train as you went through the mountains and looked out at perfect scenery in every direction. Every day people said…this was great but what can you do to beat it…and I just smiled. We loved the cruise but that was more traditional and we’ll save that for later.
Our Annual WebWhispers sponsored cruise for 2007 is a return to the Caribbean but this time further South. We will be going to St. Kitts, St. Lucia and St. Maartens for an 8 day voyage on one of the newer Carnival ships.. All info is on the web site. We already have about 40 signed up. Come join us.
Pat Sanders, VP Web Site Information, Editor, and Cruise Coordinator
VP- Member Services Report, January 1 - June 30 2006 - Libby Fitzgerald
From January 1 - June 30th, 195 members joined WebWhispers continuing our steadily increasing level of growth. These new members were recent laryngectomees, those just finding our group, returning previous members, caregivers, SLPs and laryngectomy supply vendors, and they came from throughout the US, plus Canada, Denmark, Morocco, Norway, Ireland, Pakistan, India, UK, Poland, Australia and Japan, a truly international representation.
Our voting membership for all of 2005 totaled 258 and we began 2006 with 78 voting members. For those of you new to WebWhispers, a minimum donation of $5.00 per year (US funds) entitles you to vote on all issues of importance to us plus elect our officers. This year, and especially in the month of June, we had an outpouring of donations to help in our web site transition after Dutch's announcement of his declining health. It is hard to comprehend how much he has been doing each and every day for all these years to keep our group functioning. Our present voting membership (out of a total membership of 1,562 ) is now 235, the largest number we've ever had this early in the year. We have been awed and touched by your great generosity and will use these funds to cover costs of the newly designed website, web hosting fees, listserv hosting fees, the Casey-Cooper and other awards, printing brochures and mailing for those and loan closet equipment, computers and software needed to conduct business and other normal operating expenses. Our VIP/LT project for those attending the Voice Institute at the annual IAL Convention is now being sponsored by the Edmund Lauder Support Fund.
For those of you who wish to send a donation, this can be done online at: https://www384.safesecureweb.com/webwhispersorg/pages/CreditCard.html or by sending a check made out to "WebWhispers Nu-Voice Club" and mailed to Terry Duga, 6115 North Park Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46220.
The WebWhispers brochure, which can be seen at the bottom of our Member Services page, continues to be in great demand by members passing them along to their doctors and local clubs and speech pathologists (SLPs) who in turn pass them along to new patients at their hospitals and doctors' offices plus our medical supply vendors. Anyone interested in receiving them should send their requests to me at Lijofitz@aol.com. Please include the number of brochures you would like along with your full mailing address.
Our pins and patches are still available. The pins are $5.00 each and 6 for $25.00; the patches are $1.50 each, 4 for $5.00 or 9 for $10.00. We will bring our supply to the IAL convention July 19 - 22 if you would like to purchase any. Otherwise, please contact Terry Duga directly to place your orders. Special thanks to Bruce Medical Supply for continuing their generous offer of free Neckbreather pins to all who donate a minimum of $15.00 in US funds or $50.00 for our overseas members. All the above can be viewed at the bottom of our Member Services page.
Our loan closet continues to be housed with Judy and Bill Ramboldt and we thank them for this important service. For those of you unfamiliar with the loan closet, we have an inventory of donated electrolarynges and related supplies available on a temporary basis to all our members. To view this inventory, go to: www.webwhispers.org/pages/loancloset.htm. The brands we have are Servox Inton and Servox Digital plus chargers, AT&T, Tru-tone, Solotone, Cooper-Rand, Nu Vois. Romet and Optivox, plus amplifiers and miscellaneous soft goods.
Last year in Boston, we had a record breaking attendance at the WebWhispers dinner, held the Friday evening of the IAL Convention. This year, we already have 138 paid reservations and are looking forward to another wonderful turnout. Many thanks to InHealth Technologies and Bruce Medical Supplies for covering almost half the cost of the dinner making it possible for many of us to attend, and to Bruce Medical for their annual hosting of a pre-dinner reception. I look forward to meeting many of you this year and seeing old, dear friends as well.
The following members, that we are aware of, passed away between Jan. 1 and June 30th and they have been added to our In Memoriam Page. We will honor them at our banquet, along with those who passed away since the last banquet in September 2005 and their memories will live on in our hearts and minds. If any of you know about others we have lost, please let us know.
John Bergvall - International Falls, MN - May 2006
Dennis Bonar - Colorado Springs, CO - January 2006
Johnny Coleman - Rangely, CO - June 2006
Donald Douglas DeHart - Palm Harbor FL - April 2006
Kenneth Fairfax - Landover, MD - January 2006
David Farrington - London, UK - January 2006
Joan Haynes - Conyers, GA - May, 2006
Stanley Hesley - Oceanside, CA - March 2006
Jerry Hough - Palm Harbor, FL - February 2006
Denise Hunter - Richmond, VA - February 2006
Mary Jinright - Allen, TX - February 2006
Carolyn Kaplan - Toledo, OH - June 2006
Dennis Leo - Kurri Kurri, NSW, Australia - April 2006
Don Neis - Lake Villa, IL - May 2006
Martha Reed - Bedford, TX - April 2006
Gerald Shapiro - Miami, FL - May 2006
Bill Smithson - Lansdale, PA - February 2006
Dorothy Thomson - Walton on Thames, Surrey, UK - March 2006
Respectfully submitted, Libby Fitzgerald
VP-Finance & Administration Report: January 1 – June 30 2006 - Terry Duga
To say that this has been an impressive six months is an understatement. Actually the generosity of the members during the last week of June was stunning.
From January 1, 2006 through June 30, 2006, we received donations and interest income totaling $12,741.89. We also received $4,779.00 in payments for banquet seats.
We received over $8,000 in donations the last week of June in response to Murray's request for donations to pay for the costs of redesigning and upgrading our web site. This response is gratifying, to say the least.
From January 1, 2006, through June 30, 2006, we had expenses totaling $4,506.58.
Those expenses are listed below:
Paper and Folders for Awards $34.75
Ind. Secretary of State Annual Fee. 7.14
AOL Broadband (for Our Webmaster) 286.80
Bank Card Fee (for processing charges) 217.28
Forum (upgrades to keep forum running) 49.50
Postage and delivery 96.22
Software (Quickens update) 42.39
Verizon Online DSL (for our Webmaster) 46.52
Web Hosting 299.50
Kinetics Communication (web side revamp) 3,250.00
We will be paying Kinetics at least another $3,250 when the revamp of our web site is complete. After that, we expect that there will be additional expenses as we grow.
We had $22,964.93 in the bank as of June 30, 2004 (but remember that $4,779.00 is being held to pay for the banquet and $3,250 is obligated for the web site revamp).
Again, thanks to the generosity of our members, WW remains solvent.
Terry Duga, VP Finance & Administration
VP - Internet Activities Report: January 1 – June 30 2006 - Dutch Helms
Between January 1st and June 30th, the entire WebWhispers web site received 328,067 visits (or "page views") -- up about 96,854 (41%) over the previous 6 months. The web site's Home Page received over 21,723 "page views" from interested Internet surfers. Since our inception, our Home Page alone has received 274,157 total "page views", as of June 30 2006. (For those in Rio Linda, CA, that is a BIG NUMBER ... representing well over one quarter of a million visitors to our Home Page alone!)
During this same 6-month period, our "Whispers on the Web" newsletter editions received the following total "page views":
Jan - 985, Feb - 852, Mar - 826, Apr - 596, May - 659, Jun - 542
Also during these past six months, the following "most popular pages" recorded the following number of "page views":
Suppliers Page – 15,450 Crock Pot Recipes – 10,615
Info Library Index – 5,557 Member Services – 5,456
WW Site Map – 5,384 Journal Page – 4,118
WW Web Search – 4,053 HeadLinesIndex 2,229
The most popular "Hints" pages (by "page views") were:
SideEffects – 4,035 Electrolarynx - 3,238 StomaCovers - 2,489
TEPSpeech – 2,122 StomaCare – 1,612 EverydayLife - 1,456
Radiation - 1,682 EsophagealSpeech – 633
The most popular “Download” documents were:
Headlines_96_Jun04.doc - 761 SelfMassageandStretching.doc – 584
IALClubs_2005.doc – 327 BuildClub.doc – 206
On 5 September 2005 we significantly upgraded our "Web Site Search" capability by installing a new Search Engine, courtesy of PicoSearch.com. This new engine has greatly increased the breadth and depth of searches conducted by members and visitors alike. Since installing this new system, our web site visitors have conducted over 3,776 web site searches for information and ideas --- 2,276 of these over the past six months.
As of January 1st, we had 1,196 laryngectomee/caregiver members with an additional 236 medical/medical support/vendor personnel – for a total of 1,432 registered participants. Early in 2005 we began a thorough, on-going review of our laryngectomee/caregiver membership, concentrating on "inactive" members and those whose Email addresses appeared to be no longer valid. Numerous attempts were made to reestablish contact, when at all possible. Thus, during the past six months we removed about 50 "participants" from our rolls since they proved to be unreachable via Email. However, although we lost these unreachable members and lost some others, too, who passed away or otherwise left our membership, we added, since January, 168 new laryngectomees/caregivers and 27 medical/medical support/vendor personnel ... ending up on June 30, 2006 with 1,299 laryngectomees/caregivers and 263 medical/vendor personnel ... for a total of 1,562 participants (an increase of 9%). Of these 1,562 listed individuals, approximately 1,388 actively participate on the WebWhispers Email LISTSERV distribution system - 867 on normal distribution, 376 receiving the Digest version, and 137 on "vacation." Additionally, 323 members also participate on the WWHealthHelp LISTSERV. During the past six month period, approximately 1,930 Email messages were sent via the WebWhispers Email LISTSERVS (WW and WWHH) -- an average of 10+ per day. KUDOS must go to WW members Barb Stratton, Mike Rosenkranz, Michael Csapo, Randy Lemster, and Carl Strand who are now fully qualified and trained List Moderators - and who can thus fill in for Dutch (WebW) and/or Pat Sanders (WWHH) when necessary. These moderators will be especially important in the future as Dutch transitions out of his Mail List Moderator duties.
To serve as a private Bulletin Board and Chat Room for our members, we created in February 2001 the WebWhispers Forum, hosted by Delphi.com. As of 1 January 2006, 360 WW members had taken the steps necessary to join the Forum. Since then, an additional 19 members joined, for a total current Forum membership of 379 participants. Since January 1st, these Forum members accessed the Forum over 3,600 times, posting 850 messages, and generating over 21,638 message/discussion page views. As of June 30, a total of 5,862 messages remain posted to the Forum. Note: Those WW members not yet members of the Forum can get the "joining instructions" simply by checking the web site at: http://www.webwhispers.org/pages/bboard_chat.htm
On Jan 1st 2002, our WebWhispers Mail List Archives were reformatted and given a new addresses:
WW - http://archive.mail-list.com/webwhispers/
WWHH - http://archive.mail-list.com/wwhealthhelp/
These Archives, both UserID and Password protected, retain our messages for a full year. At the midpoint of 2006, the WW Archives contained 3,786 Emails, the WWHH Archives 150 Emails.
We continue to add "annotations" to the SUBJECT line of all of our outgoing Emails. Annotations on WW - (WebW), and on WWHealthHelp - (WWHH) are routinely inserted at the beginning of each SUBJECT line, just prior to release, so that our recipients can know, in advance, prior to opening the Email, that the message is from the WebWhispers "system" and thus is virus and attachment free. We also continue to "Return To Sender," for editing or correction, those Emails sent to the Lists that do not comply with our guidelines ... specifically, those Emails that are NOT SIGNED, those that do not have a proper SUBJECT line, and those that unnecessarily include a copy of the entire Email to which they are responding. Once the sender corrects and resubmits these Emails, they are then routinely released to the Lists for distribution.
Additionally, since January 2006, 50 more individuals took the time to leave messages/comments on the web site's Guestbook and this Guestbook has now had about 15,700 visitors (readers) since its inception. (Note: the Guestbook now retains the comments of the most recent 1,260 visitors who have left a message.)
Lastly, for our "bean-counters" or our "techie" folks, at the end of 2005 our web site was approximately 134 MB in size, containing 354 individual "htm" pages, 3,005 images (totaling 102 MB), and over 8,727 internal/external hyperlinks. As of 30 June 2006, the site had grown to 139.2 MB in total size, containing 374 individual "htm" pages, 3,210 images (totaling 105 MB) and over 9,324 internal/external hyperlinks.
Best regards to all and thanks so much for your support!
Dutch Helms - VP - Internet Activities