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2022 PNKCA Grants Reports
The last two years of the Covid pandemic shut down have been hard on all koi clubs in the Pacific NW. The NW Koi and Goldfish Club was no different. Social monthly meetings and potlucks were replaced by Zoom meetings. Promoting koi keeping to the public was eliminated and unfortunately, we had to cancel our yearly shows and auctions.
Our club is resilient though and through it all we have managed to stay together and are once again building from our history, strengths, and leadership. Our board of officers have bonded together, and our President Bill Layman has kept us moving forward through this time of history.
Our annual show planning normally starts months in advance of a show, which is in July. The show normally takes place over a 4-day period. Unfortunately, state regulations on Covid did not ease until March and our show site owners decided not have any “public parking lot activities” this year. During this period our club President was contacted by Friends of the Gresham Japanese Gardens about a promotional event they were thinking about having at the Gardens’. They were familiar with our koi show and wanted to know if our club would be interested in working with them to put on a joint promotional event for the Gardens’ and NWKGC.
The NWKGC Board members agreed to meet with the Gresham Japanese Gardens Board to look at the site and see if we could work something out. We were surprised as the location was prefect for an event. The Gardens were beautiful, location was good, lots of parking, good access, power and water, a nice, covered area if the weather was to hot or rainy and most of all the Japanese Garden Board was wonderful to work with! The club knew we needed to have a public event to promote koi keeping, sign up some new members and have an auction to raise some funds for the club! We all felt this would be good for everyone.
July 9, 2022, was selected as the event date, and this would be known as Northwest Koi and Goldfish Club “Koi Expo” hosted by Friends of the Gresham Japanese Gardens, as can be seen by the poster which went up all around the Portland and Vancouver metro area. The Japanese Garden folks helped us with the design and printing. Setup took place July 8, we had a number of our members and the garden members come out to help as well as do security that night and work the event.
Saturday, the membership booth was busy with Lora Layman, Linda Mark and Kathy Carrier talking to koi keepers and signing them up as New Member! Yes, they signed up 14 new members while Bill Layman and Monte McQuade were giving seminars on “Koi Appreciation and Water Quality”. There were also activities for kids with a fishing pond and Claudia Nice’s Koi Coloring Pages. All this was leading up to our Auction! Membership was very generous with their donations of plants, artwork, pond equipment and KOI!!! There were nice koi donated from 8 club members.
Fifty plus people attended and were eager for bidding to get underway. We had folks from our Southern Oregon clubs as well as neighbors from the Seattle area in attendance. It was so exciting to just see everyone, be able to socialize once again with people and friends we care so much about plus meet other koi keepers. The bidding got competitive on some of the items. In the end everyone went home happy, with new additions to their pond and gardens. The club was able to strengthen a treasury that had shrunk during the pandemic. As a “Thank You” to the Gresham Japanese Gardens for their hospitality and support, our club decided to make a monetary donation from our auction proceeds.
It takes a lot of members to put on an event like this and I know if I tried to give everyone credit, I would miss someone. So, this is to “Thank Everyone” that participated and made this such a successful and fun time.
Everyone who attended really enjoyed the event and I so appreciate and want to thank the club members that helped and called to ask if we had enough help for the day. I would like to thank Joel Rutledge and Robert Wilson, who have been helping me for many years with Children’s Day, and Jay and Leora Avery and Virginia Hokkanen, who were lifesavers and dropped everything at the last minute to help to make the event a success!