Letter From The President

  • 26 Jun 2024 10:33 PM
    Message # 13375084
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Friends of Lafayette,

    The principal goal of the American Friends of Lafayette is to educate the public about the life and legacy of General Lafayette. In the last six months, the AFL has taken great strides towards achieving its goal.

    The 2024-2025 Bicentennial commemorations will provide a magnificent vehicle for educating the public about Lafayette. With events being planned in 24 states and Washington, D.C., the opportunities to present Lafayette to the public will be legion.

    Under the superlative leadership of Chuck Schwam – whom I had the inspired judgment to appoint National Farewell Tour Bicentennial chair – an array of spectacular events will be offered in the first three months of the Bicentennial.

    Parades in New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia. Flyovers in New York, Yorktown and Norfolk, Virginia, and other venues. Fireworks in Yorktown. An all-day symposium on Lafayette hosted by Fairfield University in Connecticut. A Lafayette exhibition at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. An authentic reenactment of Lafayette’s 1824 visit to historic Lexington Green in Massachusetts. Dinner with Lafayette under Washington’s tent at Fort McHenry, Maryland. Just to name a few.

    As we approach the Bicentennial, the AFL is also ramping up its educational outreach in other ways. Bicentennial committee members have attended and staffed tables at education conferences in three states and had a booth at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Our sets of educational panels – now numbering ten – are circulating widely. Members of our Bicentennial Education Committee have initiated a national, online Lafayette essay contest for fourth and fifth graders.

    The AFL has launched the first of seven travelogues that tell the story of Lafayette’s stops on the Farewell Tour – the Hampton Roads, Virginia travel tour. Other virtual travelogues will follow in the short term: New York City, North Carolina, Central Virginia, New Hampshire, and later Northern Virginia and New York State. Each will be available not only on the free TravelStorys app, but also on Lafayette200.org, our Bicentennial website. You can access the Hampton Roads travelogue there today.

    Also in the last six months, the AFL organized numerous events, highlighted by our annual meeting in LaGrange, Georgia and Yorktown Day. Social Media Coordinator Kat Smith is broadcasting AFL activities far and wide to a new audience for us.

    The combination of all of these activities has produced a meteoric growth in membership, which dwarfs the expansion we saw when the replica ship Hermione stopped at ports on the Eastern Seaboard in 2015, or when the musical Hamilton’s popularity soared.

    Here are the numbers. From May 21, 2023 to November 20, 2023, 195 new members joined the AFL, a rate of more than one member per day!!! Note the multiple consecutive exclamation points, not one of my signature grammatical features.

    We now have over 800 members. It was 787 on November 20. This compares with 632 on May 20, 2023. Wow!

    Best Regards, Alan R. Hoffman

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Copyright The American Friends of Lafayette 2024
"The American Friends of Lafayette" is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Mail correspondence to: PO Box 84114 Gaithersburg, MD 20883
Email: americanfriendsoflafayette@gmail.com

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