Notes from the President


December 30, 2013

Dear JRT Friends,

It has been five months since I last wrote. And the second half of this year was just as busy as the first half! Take a look at where we were just a few months ago! Picking up where I left off, the joint SSJRTC/ GCTN Membership Appreciation Day was another ‘annual success’ with over 80 dogs pre-entered! Hosts Todd and Debbie Smith once again provided their home as our venue and with Shelley Holland’s assistance, and everyone who brought tons of covered dishes, whipped up an awesome lunch!

Following the MAD (Membership Appreciation Day), Russell Mania 2013 was the Club’s first attempt at going to a “B” rated trial (no conformation) and our Treasurer Jason Jones reports that it was still profitable! As suspected, Florida Feeds Florida and it seems that because of the timing of this event (close to the JRTCA Nationals), perhaps a B trial or similar ‘lesser’ event is appropriate for our club at least for the foreseeable future. We still have two (actually four since each is two trials in one weekend) “A” rated trials scheduled (Thaw Your Paws and Sunshine Showdown) each year and two A rated and one B rated (Russell Mania) JRTCA Sanctioned trials per year is still more than any other JRTCA affiliate club puts on so we can all be proud of that!

Russell Mania 2013 also saw the election of the new board of directors for the 2014-2015 terms. Half the board is elected each year so there is always an overlap of experience. Congratulations and appreciation goes out to newly elected: Monica Owens (treasurer), Evelyn Segner (director) and Debbie Smith (director) and re-elected Kathy Cullifer (director), Justin Caynor (director) and Karen Muth (director). Club members must recognize these folks for stepping up–and re-stepping up—to keep this club the leader that it is! Sincere appreciation goes out to ‘retiring’ board members Jason Jones (treasurer), Lisa McKinney (director) and me (president)! Like many board members before them, these folks have devoted years of service to the success of this club.

Elections for the 2015-2016 terms will be held during Russell Mania 2014 and I encourage you to visit the Elections, BOD and BOD Bios pages of the website to familiarize yourself with what these folks do and consider nominating someone to run or better yet, volunteer to run yourself. ‘Take a turn’ and be a part of making the fun you’ve enjoyed possible for yourself and others in the future. At the very least, visit the BOD page and see the Committees that the BOD members Chair and volunteer to be on their committee.

So, what’s next?! At the December 14th BOD meeting the board put into place preliminary plans for 2014. Of course, Thaw Your Paws 2014 preparations are already underway but we also solidified dates and venues for Sunshine Showdown 2014 (April) and Russell Mania 2014 (November). In terms of fund-raisers the club will be repeating our annual Racing Exhibition at the Florida State Fair in February and will hold a Terrier Day (similar to a “B” trial but not sanctioned by the JRTCA) in either June or September. We will also hold our annual Membership Appreciation Day the same weekend as the Terrier Day so as to maximize both dates and manpower! As you can see, 2014 looks to be another very busy, fun-filled year for the SSJRTC!

The board also voted to purchase Team MaddMac’s lure coursing equipment. As announced to the board this past March, “Team MaddMac” is retiring. Purchasing this equipment will ensure that the SSJRTC is able to provide quality lure coursing events at maximum revenue return to the club for many many years to come.

And finally, on a personal note, I’d like to thank Debbie Smith for accepting the Chairmanship for the Merchandise committee from me. I believe I have left this committee in very good shape going into next year and I trust that Debbie, along with her committee, will continue to deliver cool merchandise for the club. On a related note, I will be maintaining my position on the Communications Committee (relinquishing the “Chair” to Jackie) for the foreseeable future so as to keep continuity among our communications efforts throughout the JRT community.

I have truly enjoyed being a BOD member these past eight years. I appreciate those who came before, those who worked with me, and those who are yet to serve. All contribute to making this club the very fine example that it is.  Don and I have enjoyed providing Team MaddMac Lure Coursing for nearly eight years. We both look forward to continuing to participate, and to contribute where possible, to the perpetuation and success of the SSJRTC!

Very Best’,




Melanie Heckler-Ahrens
Your President (for just one more day!)

P.S. Watch for the next installment of Prez Notes from Jackie Raes (Acting President & Vice President) later in the spring.