President’s Message – June 2022

This will be my last President’s message before our Annual Meeting on June 6 when our organization will elect our first regular Board of Directors to 2 year terms, consistent with our bylaws.  The first thing I would like to say is thank you for allowing me to serve you, the members of UpDoNA.  It has truly been a privilege to act as your first president. 

In the scant six months since we first formed, we are already known to the City of Denver and even in some segments of the Colorado State Legislature as a strong action-oriented organization.  We have their attention.  This is due to the effort and support of many people that have joined forces for the betterment of our community.

There are so many people who have taken us to this point that deserve thanks.  The first is my wife Kathy who has been so encouraging and tolerant of all of the hours I have spent on our organization in the four formative months leading up to our December 6, 2021 Founding Day Meeting and the six months since.  She has also worked as a proofreader, scheduler, researcher, contributor to the monthly Community Cleanups and so much more. 

I also want to recognize Lisa Pope who has been amazing to work with.  Sometimes people think of a Vice President as someone who just sits back while the President does all the work.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth in this case because she has worked hard every step of the way, putting in more hours than you can know.  We would never have accomplished as much as we have if she had not been there shouldering an equal load.

There are so many others, too.  During our formative period, Jeff Burke wrote our bylaws practically from scratch.  Sal Tripodi worked to fine-tune them and has been a consultant on several matters, some of which were legal issues, and some for which we simply valued his point of view.  Shortly after that, we began our outreach efforts with Andrew & Ellen Weiner, who as professional website developers, put together an effective website at a cost to UpDoNA of exactly $0, and they continue to make improvements on it.  Carly Ebenstein put in hour after hour developing first our newsletter and continues to put out a new one every single month.  For social media, Cole Harding started and runs our Facebook page.

Kristen Bennett and Helen Hedrik co-chair the UpDoNA Cares Committee.  Kristen also serves as UpDoNA Secretary with Helen often helping with Board Meeting Minutes. Melissa Matuska serves as the Chair of our Membership Committee working with Carolyn Benton who has put miles on her shoes contacting buildings promoting UpDoNA.  Janet Apter and Kristen Deak, co-chair the Clean Sustainable Denver Committee and run our monthly Community Cleanups.  Taking care of our finances are our Treasurer Jack Murphy, and Donna Mosely who submitted our corporation and 501c(3) applications, and has volunteered to perform UpDoNA’s accounting for us.  Sheryl Clark is chair of our Social Committee and is preparing to begin our social events and is working with Melissa to arrange our June 6 annual meeting.

There have been so many more that have contributed, really too many to mention.  Dozens have participated in our Community Cleanups.  Perhaps most valuable of all are those of you that have written emails on various issues when we have asked you to.  You may not realize how very valuable those emails are.

All I can say is that it has been inspiring to see people who are willing to step up and help improve our neighborhood.  Thank you all.

Rob

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UpDoNA is a City Registered Neighborhood Organization representing the community of Denver’s Upper Downtown.

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