There is no slowdown of activity at the VHA in 2024! January was one of the best months ever for new and renewed memberships. Great news: Our plan to provide quality informational forums with positive and constructive dialogue is paying off. I will share some activities we participated in behind the scenes during the first two months.

Our print version of The Voice in The Daily Sun changed this month. (This is only temporary.) We could not wait to share our “Get Involved, Make a Difference” theme! You can look for it everywhere moving forward.

Our website designer is retiring. Dave Fountaine created the necessary RFP and vetted four vendors as a replacement. Dave recommended, and the Board of Directors concurred, that we contract with Curious Minds as our new website designers. I look forward to working with the Curious Minds team!

Sandra Rzepecki and Sue Langworth have been working on our Resource Hub information for more than six months. The Hub currently has more than 350 available resources listed and will continue to grow as we advance the project. We are ready to go live, awaiting minor website system changes from Curious Minds. Hopefully, we can accomplish that goal before the end of March.

We are focusing Resident Information Night on specific counties. Karl Arps organized an event for Marion County residents that was a remarkable success. He has organized our March 12th Residents Information Night at La Hacienda, to include Lake County and Lady Lake partners and presenters. We realize that our community covers three counties, and our leadership teams continue to focus on the demographics and locations to provide quality.

On March 13th, we will provide an informational forum: “Water Wisdom.” This event will be at Lake Miona Recreation Center at 7:00 pm. This panel discussion will include District Government, Vikus Water Group, SWFWMD, and UF Florida County Extension. I will moderate the discussion that will cover topics related to water use and conservation. Those attending will gain knowledge about how the water distribution systems in The Villages work and how they can best be conservative users.

Mark your calendars for May 8th! We will again be hosting an evening of fun and information sharing at The Sharon. This year, the event will be The Villages Homeowners Advocates presents, “Our Community Today and Tomorrow.” I will be hosting  special guests, including Mark Morse. The focus will be on “Quality of Life.” This is a members-only event, free to all VHA members. We will send ticket information when available.

As we grow as an organization, our needs for leadership also grow. Our intention is to grow to include 30,000 members in five years. Without your help, we cannot accomplish that goal! We need  you to Get Involved in our organization. We need your help filling one of our volunteer positions. When our membership reaches the goal, our voice will be even larger than it is today. We will be involved in more opportunities that may enhance our “Quality of Life”!

Peter Russell, VHA President