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Nominate candidates for Numismatic Ambassador Award

HarperD_color.jpgConsider this column the official call for nominations for the Numismatic Ambassador Award. Mail yours to the address indicated below by Dec. 7, 2006. That is all there is to it. All done.

Whoa. That?s a little abrupt, isn?t it? Don?t I usually elaborate a little bit? The answer to both questions is yes, but perhaps I should ask you to consider the Ambassador Award another way.

For years, I have mentioned that the Ambassador Award was created by this hobby paper in 1974 to honor those who make our hobby machine run. These are the thousands of volunteers out there who give the talks at the club meetings, create the exhibits, edit the monthly bulletins, chair the monthly shows at the local VFW hall, and generally do all of the dirty work that it takes to get all of these activities up and running to the benefit of all of the rest of us.

Ambassador winners as well as candidates know that this hobby is more than just record auction results, a record show attendance, or the latest brouhaha at the American Numismatic Association. It is all of the above.

Who in your own mind fits the qualifications? Put another way, who would you like to send me out to honor?

In the years that I have been here, I have had the pleasure of giving awards to many well-deserving individuals. The most recent award was given to David L Ganz, a former ANA president, and well-known writer. He was concluding his tenure as president of the Token and Medal Society and he received the award Aug. 17 at the TAMS annual dinner at the ANA convention in Denver.

I have traveled to Costa Rica to give an Ambassador Award to F. Tomas Duenas. He is universally known there as the guy who gets things done numismatically as well as the patron of all things numismatic. The great irony in this is that after I gave him the award in 2002 he was named Costa Rica?s ambassador to the United States. He is currently serving his country in that post in Washington, D.C. My readers were first to call him ambassador. Imagine that.

I have given awards to multiple members of the same family. Art Kagin received the award in 2001. His son, Don, got it in 2002. This year, daughter, Judy, received it. The only unfortunate aspect is Art is no longer alive to appreciate the latter award.

On Jan. 6, 2006, Joann Johnbrier got the award during the Florida United Numismatists convention for her work for the National Silver Dollar Roundtable. Her husband, Al, had gotten it in 1996. I joked that they now have a matched set of plaques.

I journeyed down to New Orleans in 1995 to recognize Patricia J. Reno. This was during the annual Iola Old Car Show. I had to give up my Iola duties that year. That is how seriously I take the award.

So I ask again. Where would you like to send me? One of the questions we would like answered is your suggestion as to where the Ambassador Award should be given. It is one thing to get an award. It is quite another to get an award in a familiar location with friends, family and hobby peers attending.

Your nominations are the first step in the process. From there, we create an Ambassador ballot with profiles of the nominees. These are sent to all of the living Ambassador Award holders. They vote their choices. We believe very strongly in the principle that those who have labored long and hard on behalf of the hobby are most likely to recognize the same traits in others.

So who should it be in 2007? There are a lot of worthy hobbyists out there. Take this opportunity to nominate someone. This will show them how much appreciated all of their work has been.

Numismatics could not exist in its present form without volunteers. This is our chance to express our appreciation and give something back to the people who have distinguished themselves by giving to others. Help us say thank you.

See Page 7 of the Nov. 11 issue of Numismatic News for a Numismatic Ambassador nomination for, or contact Dave Harper at e-mail address david.harper@fwpubs.com for information.

Completed nominations should be sent to

Jackie Baldwin, Numismatic Ambassador Program
700 E. State St.
Iola, WI 54990

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