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                                                                                                                    It’s About the People

             Janine Banks

TFCB December, 2013

It used to be about the fish, but once TFCB was formed and we began volunteering to help the NEC and their events, the fish became less important to me.  It was the people in the hobby that I began to enjoy the most.  Sure the fish remained the reason for the (season) hobby and our participation, but for me, socializing with my friends became the highlight of meetings, auctions and conventions.

There are many reasons people join the organized hobby and our club.  Some join for the speakers and to learn all they can about fishkeeping.  Many come to, as our club’s motto says, “meet and learn from others who share your interest.”  Some want to sit back, pay their dues and be educated and entertained.  Others want to help out at meetings or at auctions, and some want to become involved sharing their ideas and organizing the club and its events.  What is amazing to me is that all these different types of people have a common thread of just being nice and fun to be with!

It seems aquarists simply like being helpful to each other.  I have found comradery to be strong in our hobby as people seem to share an invisible bond.  A perfect example came from an unfortunate accident a year ago.  One of our members slipped on the ice and broke his back.  Ah, can you imagine his concern about the future welfare of his beloved fish?!  Well, members of OVAS and TFCB jumped up to help him before you could say, “volunteer!”  They housed and cared for his fish for several months with the sole goal of returning them to him as healthy as they were when he fell.  And they did.  But the story gets better!  These helpful people would take no reimbursement for their time and efforts, saying it was nothing to do and that anyone would have helped out…!

And the story gets even better!  Having collected his fish and not having been able to reimburse anyone for their much appreciated efforts, he turned to the club and did what he could do.  He made a large cash donation to our club in the honor of those that helped save his fish all those months.  I have never seen anyone so overwhelmed by the support and generosity of others, and so appreciative.  As one who has worked for years selling raffle tickets, working auctions and whatever else to raise money for the club, I appreciate and thank him profusely for his donation!

So, with the holiday season upon us, I have so many friends in the hobby to be thankful for and I will endeavor to do my part to follow our members’ example and help someone who needs a helping hand.  Thanks to each of you for just being you – I am glad to know you!