Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Essex Heritage Examines Travel Opportunities. National Rally Plan in Place, Memorial Day and The Celtics


Change in Schedule

I began to post to this BLOG for the first time last summer when I was away from Essex Heritage for the summer season. I am once again away from the office as my commitment for 2009-2010 has ended. I provide services to Essex Heritage each year from Labor Day until Memorial Day, and since that holiday has now arrived, I will not be in the office regularly until the end of the 2010 summer season. I do stop in to the office whenever it is possible during June, July and August for staff meetings and the like to keep as current as possible. I also try to attend all of he Board of Trustee and Executive Committee meetings as well. During my time away I will continue to monitor e mail and other communications so I will continue to offer regular postings that will provide information on the work of Essex Heritage all summer. The Postings to Essex Happenings will continue on the same schedule and look for reports every Tuesday and Friday. The postings might be a bit shorter and may contain more personal information but they will continue, so continue to look for these postings.

Essex Heritage Examining Travel Opportunities

One afternoon last week we were very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with two of the senior staff people at the Danvers Senior Center to discuss their very successful travel program. Seniors in Danvers have been provided with an aggressive travel program for a couple of decades and each year there seem to be more and more options offered. The Danvers Senior Center regularly provides a wonderful mix of multi day trips and one-day programs to a wide range of seniors in Danvers. The schedule of trips offered range from international opportunities all over the world to overnight stops at New England sites and day trips to venues where a single day bus trip makes sense. The Senior Center earns commissions from their efforts, and those revenues are then used to underwrite other programs and to subsidize some of the very talented people who provide daily services to the Danvers seniors.

Two of the most talented are the two folks we met with last week. The Senior Center Director Pam Parkinson and Travel Coordinator Paula Corcoran were wonderful to work with, and they provided us with pertinent information and contacts for us to reach out to for help. We were seeking this travel information as part of the Essex Heritage long-range planning process that calls for an investigation of travel opportunities as a potential revenue generator in the future. As a result of our contact with Pam and Paula we were able to set up an appointment later this month with a travel agency coordinator who will help us in the investigative process to learn if there is an opportunity for Essex Heritage in travel coordination. Heritage tourism is a growing component of the travel market and this certainly looks like an issue worth considering. Essex Heritage in partnership with Hunts Photo and Video in Melrose has offered a series of photo safaris in this region and there are expectations that that program could be expanded to include travel to other locations. As facts are gathered and opportunities are investigated, look for more details in the future, if the process proves worthwhile.

National Heritage Area Rally Plans in Place

In the most recent past we have provided information about the efforts of Heritage Area’s across the country to coordinate a public awareness campaign to bring attention to the importance of Heritage Area’s to job creation and other benefits. That effort includes a local component that encourages our many local partners to “speak out” through a series of photos to support this effort. Many of these photos that depict the support we are seeking for our efforts are coming in every day to our staff. It is our intention to make certain that the Massachusetts Legislative Delegation in Washington has access to these many expressions of support for Essex Heritage.

The culmination of these efforts will be demonstrated in a rally in the nation’s Capital on June 15, 2010. Most of the Essex Heritage staff will be taking a break from our work in this region to take this one-day trip to Washington to participate in this effort. On that day, we along with many others from Heritage Area’s in the eastern part of this country will gather at the House Triangle on the grounds of the US Capital to participate in this effort. At the rally, we will hear from US Congressmen Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania and Paul Tonko of New York who will lead this effort. At the rally they will announce the formation of a House Legislative Caucus to support Heritage Area’s and will also discuss the continuing need for comprehensive Heritage Area legislation. In addition a house resolution that will create a National Day of Recognition for Heritage Area’s will be introduced at the rally. We will provide a press package to all in attendance, and will also make that package available to the Essex County press in advance of the rally. We have high hopes that this effort will bring attention to the importance of Heritage Area’s to the nation and the Essex County region in particular. We know that asking our partners to join us at this Washington rally is a serious imposition in these difficult econ0mic times, but if there is an interest in attending please contact us at the Essex Heritage office in advance of the rally so that we will know of your interest. We will continue to provide information on this effort, as the date of the Rally gets closer.

Long Memorial Day Weekend Weather Provided Opportunities

The weather certainly cooperated to provide a wonderful three-day weekend for many in the region. With the exception of a couple of showers the conditions were near perfect for the opening summer weekend of family cookouts and community holiday parades and services to honor military heroes. We spent the early part of the weekend on Cape Cod, where the crowds were generally larger than in recent years. The golf courses in this region were active and from what we could see motels and restaurants were also busy. Let’s hope that this is a sign that will help drive the local economy as the summer progresses. We arrived back in Danvers in time to view the parade that stops in the square for a salute and then on to the Town hall for some services. The parade was led by a couple of Danvers citizens who survived the battle for Iwo Jima that was highlighted in the recent HBO series on the war in the Pacific.

One Boston Team Successful

The win by the Boston Celtics in game six of the series against Orlando early this weekend coupled with the win by the Los Angeles Lakers sets up a wonderful series repeat. It seems that every couple of years these two historic basketball franchises go at each other in another NBA final. The series will be contested late at night due to the coast-to-coast rivalry, and for many of us including this writer those evenings may be too late for me, but I will still be rooting for another World Championship for the team in green from Boston.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts or any questions you may have at www.essexheritage.org. We are always striving to make Essex Heritage work as effectively as possible and your input and suggestions are always welcome. We can always provide more information and better communication, and one of the goals of these postings on Essex happenings is to provide that opportunity. Thanks You. Tom Leonard

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