The Auxiliary to the AVMA celebrated another year at the AVMA Annual Convention in July. Recruiting new and former members continues to be a primary goal for the Auxiliary. In the past year, Diana Turner, whose term as Auxiliary president ended at the convention, has worked with the Auxiliary's board and the AVMA to boost membership.
"It has been my privilege to represent the Auxiliary as their president," Turner said. In the past year, she has helped maintain the Auxiliary's membership at a steady level. "We have a new membership vice-president (Julie Willard) coming aboard, and we have some new ideas for membership solicitation."
The Auxiliary hosted shopping and other activities during the meeting, themed "Join the Auxiliary Adventure."
Convention attendees shopped for unique and innovative gifts at the Auxiliary Kritter's Korner, which had two locations this year; one shop at the Minneapolis Hilton Hotel and another at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
At the Marketplace of States, sponsored by Bayer Animal Health, attendees aimed for the high bid at the silent auction tables and took home one-of-a-kind finds donated by friends of the Auxiliary and individual state auxiliaries. Proceeds benefited the Auxiliary Student Loan Fund and other Auxiliary-related educational projects.
Next, attendees visited the Auxiliary House of Delegates meeting as delegates or guests. At the end of the meeting, former Auxiliary presidents Kimberly Topper and Cheryl Knape installed the incoming president, Brenda Bullard. Dressed in Hawaiian attire, Topper and Knape urged the audience to attend the AVMA Annual Convention in Honolulu, July 15-19, 2006.
Along with Turner, Bullard is also focused on increasing membership. "I would like to see the Auxiliary implement a competitive membership drive among the states, whether or not the state has an active organization," Bullard said. "The success of any organization lies in its membership."
"One of my personal goals is to educate lower socioeconomic groups concerning the care and treatment of animals, and educate them concerning veterinary medicine as a possible career goal," Bullard said. The Auxiliary will continue to promote its projects such as National Pet Week, 4-H Veterinary Science Award, Senior Veterinary Student Award, and the Student Loan Fund.
"We look forward to meeting the challenge of administering the Student Loan Fund and we are committed in our supportive role to enhance the profession of veterinary medicine," Bullard said. She chose the theme "Celebrate today ... imagine tomorrow" for her term.
Immediately following the installation and acceptance speech, the Auxiliary Luncheon, sponsored by Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. took place. During the luncheon, the Auxiliary presented the Distinguished Service Award to Marianne Lange and Virginia "Ginny" Grant. The luncheon featured a performance by the Metropolitan Boys Choir of Minneapolis-St. Paul.