President’s Letter for October
To all of our members and visitors:
First and foremost, it is our profound hope that all of you are safe in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Due to the storm, we were obliged to cancel our meeting for Saturday, October 15, 2022. We truly apologize for not contacting you sooner, but without power or internet, there was no way to inform everyone of the cancellation. Some are still experiencing limited to no internet service.
Many are exhausted, but are continuing to work on cleaning up debris and replacing damaged items. All of our officers are safe; but they have unfortunately,suffered some form of damage. Many suffered heartbreaking losses that were painfully incomprehensible. However, on a positive note, we still have our meeting venue. The Word of Life Church sustained minimal damage, so when we are ready to resume our monthly meetings, we can continue to have them in a safe and comfortable venue.
In spite of the horror we have experienced, Governor Ron DeSantis has done an awesome job collaborating with and bringing in outside assistance and resources to get our area back up and running as quickly as possible. Initially, all odds seemed against us. False rumors spread that it would take months before we had sufficient water and power. If this was meant to defeat us, it definitely did not happen!
One of the greatest and most inspiring sights, for me, was the morning the storm finally died. In my neighborhood, everyone was outside with their chain saws and hatchets helping each other clear the fallen trees and stacking them for easy pickup. Neighbors, whom I usually only exchanged a few words, were eager to hold full conversation to ensure all were okay. We now share a common bond all due to Hurricane Ian.
We were all negatively affected by Ian; however, instead of concentrating on the horror stories, my request is that we focus on the Hallelujah stories. I believe many of us have them…our GCWA family does. If you would like to share your “Good News” with us, please do so by sending your Miracle story to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will read and publish as many of them as possible.
Currently, we do not plan to hold the October and November 2022 monthly meetings because many people are still very unsettled, and attendance would certainly be affected. If by any chance the situation changes, we will certainly let you know. Please continue to check the website for updates at www.gulfwriters.org and stay tuned for November’s newsletter posted next month. The newsletter will offer updates about upcoming GCWA meetings and events.
May God bless and protect all of you until we meet again.
Irene Smith, President
Gulf Coast Writers Association