For several decades, the Arizona Mushroom Club has thrived under the leadership of its founder and president, Dr. Chester Leathers. However, this year, Chet has decided that it is time for him to step down. He has resigned as President of the club, and several other longtime leaders of the club have decided to take the opportunity to retire along with him, including Membership Steward Gary Melgaard, Treasurer Sandy Melgaard, and Foray Leader/Chief Scout Terry Beckman.
All of us who have benefited from their diligent efforts and knowledgeable instruction are in their debt. Chris May, MD was appointed interim President of the Club when Chet resigned in Novembers.
On December 10, at the annual holiday potluck and meeting the Club has voted to dissolve itself and reorganize as the Arizona Mushroom Society, Inc., a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) Arizona nonprofit corporation. The former Club will turn over its assets and records to the new Society. Because scientific organizations have an easier time being approved for tax deductions than social clubs, the name was changed to the Arizona Mushroom Society. We intend to live up to the scientific, educational, and charitable purposes that this change implies. We'll be expanding our outreach to novices and new residents of the state, and introducing additional forays and workshops geared to intermediate and advanced mycophiles.
The retirement of Dr. Leathers coincides with a desire on the part of some of the longtime members of the club to formalize its organization with a duly registered and incorporated non-profit Arizona corporation. This will reduce the liability exposure to officers and members, as well as ensuring that membership dues remain non-taxable, and (we hope) will allow dues, grants, and other donations to the organization to be tax-deductible to the donor.
Chris May, AZ Mushroom Club Member, has a web site that includes a blog, forums, photos and other resources. Click this link to view Chris' web site:
Scott Bates, mycologist and AZ Mushroom Club Member has a web site that includes photos and other information of interest to all mushroomers. Click this link to view Scott's web site:
The Arizona Mushroom Forum is a Facebook Group dedicated to making communications, sharing, and collaboration among members of the Arizona mushrooming community much easier. Click here to visit this Facebook group: