Auxiliary president has tempered message

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In her July 20 address to the AVMA House of Delegates, 1999-2000 Auxiliary president Pat Anderson delivered welcome news about the Auxiliary's moral and financial support, but tempered it with concerns about the Auxiliary's future.

Pat Anderson addressing the AVMA House of Delegates
Pat Anderson addressing the AVMA House of Delegates

Her report about the Auxiliary Student Loan Fund was cause for optimism. "Last year, President Ginny Grant reported that a moratorium had been placed on new loans because all available monies were promised," Anderson noted. "Interest and principle paybacks have rebounded quicker than was expected; therefore, no students seeking new loans are on a waiting list."

Students may borrow up to $8,000 each at 6.5 percent interest. Over the past year, 73 students received loans totaling $300,000. A total of 862 loans totaling $2.7 million are outstanding. "Do you know how much jam and yarn it takes [at Marketplace] to raise $2.6 million?" she quipped.

This year's Marketplace of States, dubbed "Buzzing Into the New Millennium," raised in excess of $26,000. Twenty states and six colleges participated with such donations as honey, cutlery items, and clothing.

On July 24, Anderson presented the AVMF with a donation to the Auxiliary Student Loan Fund in the amount of $26,876.68. This combines the '99 Marketplace proceeds, a percentage of the '99 AVMF Auction earnings, and donations. The Auxiliary also donated $9,550.84 (10 percent of the Student Loan Fund interest) to the Congressional Science Fellowship program.

During the year the Auxiliary also presented a $200 cash award to an outstanding fourth-year student at each college of veterinary medicine.

Anderson told the HOD that the Auxiliary added a phrase to its 1999 mission statement expanding its support to those associated with the profession. "This is an important part of being a member of the Auxiliary — supporting the spouse, the family, the significant other, the life partner, the technician, the office staff, and so on. Veterinarians are generally great people, but being supportive of you can be a challenge!"

Although the pool of individuals receiving Auxiliary support is growing, the number of Auxiliary members providing that support is shrinking. "We are at a crisis in the next few years over membership," Anderson said frankly. "The Auxiliary membership decreases while the AVMA membership grows."

One of the factors accounting for the decline has been the lack of male spouses joining. Mrs. Anderson's daughter is a veterinarian, and she assured delegates that her son-in-law is an Auxiliary member — "as if he had a choice!"

Marketplace of States
The Marketplace of States, a festive bazaar featuring handcrafted and novelty items from state and student auxiliaries, is the Auxiliary's largest fund-raiser of the year, held at the AVMA Annual Convention.
A square of the millennium quilt at the silent auction.

Mrs. Anderson encouraged everyone to shop from the new Auxiliary Gift Collection, showcasing a new line of commemorative clothing as well as personal and office articles. The catalog will be featured in the Aug 15 JAVMA.

The National Pet Week theme for 2001 will be "People and Pets — the Perfect Combination," she announced.

According to Anderson, the Auxiliary to the AVMA has "had a great year partnering with the AVMA" and participating in the Animal Welfare Forum, Veterinary Leadership Conference, Committee on Wellness, and Council on Public Relations.

In parting, she said, "I thank you veterinarians for your contributions to enrich the quality of life — both animal and human. You are truly 'the other family doctor.'"