Happy New Year and Thank You!

As Director of Development for TACF, I want to say Thank You so much for supporting TACF in 2011.  As I look over the many, many people who donated time and money to TACF, I am overwhelmed by your generosity.  The response to the Fall Harvest Campaign was tremendous and we are truly grateful.  We are constantly amazed by the passion and commitment of everyone involved with TACF.  We were very fortunate to have some new partners contribute to TACF for the first time and also that those who have faithfully supported us for many years are staying with us.  

We have tremendous motivation in 2012 for continuing the unprecedented volunteer-driven breeding program that has spawned over 300 orchards with more coming on line every day.  We have high-hopes for increasing the production of blight-resistant trees that have resulted from these herculean efforts.  We look forward to leading the way in reclaiming mine sites with chestnuts and other hardwood trees as never before.  We look forward to teaching more adults and kids about chestnuts, and supporting the many research projects and universities affiliated with TACF. 

We could not do much of this without your financial support.  Our goal is to double our income for the next 3 years so we can increase the production of trees, more strongly support breeding programs through our state chapters, and increase education and staffing as needed to help get the reintroduction of the American chestnut moving rapidly forward. 

Thanks again!

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Volunteers Scamble to Pull Off Christmas Eve Fox News Story!

The week before Christmas my family and I had the unique experience of filming a story on Fox News along with several TACF volunteers.  Thanks to our Public Relations Coordinator Paul Franklin, Regional Science Coordinator Sara Fitzsimmons, and especially TACF volunteers Robin Wildermuth and the Lewis Family of northeastern PA, we made the national Fox News twice on Christmas Eve. 

My family got involved when Fox requested some small kids  – I have two that fit the bill, Luke and Clare.  I also have an understanding and adventuresome wife who was up for the 6 hour road trip to the Poconos. 

Long story short, thanks to the flexibility and courage of Robin Wildermuth (who appears in the story) and the Lewis Family, who donated their fire pit and house as the back-drop for the chestnut roasting segment of the story (and fed all of us), we got a very nice story about TACF on a national stage that more or less summed up our mission. 

We were also very impressed with the Fox crew, who was enthusiastic and easy to work with and  who spent about 2.5 hours with us.   The YouTube link containing the Fox News clip is  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M59gq5ME_g0.