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FUN slates its first Ambassador breakfast

The next chapter in the history of the Numismatic Ambassador Award was begun by action of the board of directors of the Florida United Numismatists on Saturday.

It was decided that award winners, past and future, will be honored at an Ambassador Breakfast at 8 a.m., Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, at the FUN convention in Tampa.

It will be the first such event held under FUN auspices.

The award honors hobby volunteers who have made organized numismatics a better place for all of us.

It was created in 1974 by Clifford Mishler and was sponsored by Numismatic News.

It continued that way for 40 years until the final breakfast held under Numismatic News sponsorship was held last August during the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill.

The history of the fifth decade of the award will now be written by one of the most dynamic organizations in numismatics.

When the call for nominations is issued later in 2015 by FUN’s Tony Swicer, a past president and the individual who has been put in charge of the award, you can be sure that it will appear in Numismatic News.

If we do this as intended, about the only difference in the selection process that will be noticed by hobbyists will be the address to which nominations are sent.

I have been honored by being asked to emcee this first FUN Ambassador Breakfast. I plan to be there to do it.

Founder of the award, Clifford Mishler, also plans to be present.

Passing the torch to FUN assures a bright future for the award.

Think about who you might want to nominate for the next class of awards.

The nature of volunteerism has not changed since 1974.

It is still something that is crucial to the operation of all of the hobby’s clubs and it is obvious to most active numismatists who is worthy of recognition.

As Numismatic News defined it in 1974, the Numismatic Ambassador Award honors “the unsung heroes at the grass-roots level of collecting.

“They are club members who never fail to ask, 'What can I do?’ when something needs to be done. More often they find something that needs to be done – and they do it without being asked or told.

“The award is based, also, on the collectors’ acute sense of sharing. They share their knowledge – learned over many years of devoted research – in educational programs and exhibits at club meetings and by answering, without reservation, the questions of beginning or less-advanced collectors.

“Additionally, the Numismatic Ambassador is a person who has earned the respect of his peers by his quest for knowledge. He wants to know the whys and wherefores of coins, tokens, medals and paper money. He wants to know much more than their values and whether they’re in demand in the marketplace. He searches out the little-known facts and passes this information on to others.”

As you can see, these are timeless values and traits.

Thanks to FUN, there will continue to be an award to recognize those who possess them and act on them.

Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2014 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper "Numismatic News."