THE 2016 SFUPS HOLIDAY PARTY was fun and festive. Everyone enjoyed excellent food, drinks and raffle prizes, but most of all, the friendship we have with each other.
With 65 members in attendance, the evening began with cocktails and Hors d’eouvres, followed by a delicious three-course meal at the Marriott. Jim Mears prepared the “Year in Review” video, entertaining everyone with a presentation of the year’s accomplishments. It was exciting to see the level of participation and the quality of the images, as they just get better and better every year!
Sam reviewed the accomplishments of the club under his leadership and we have come an impressive long way in a short time, indeed! The list is much too long to cover here, but SFUPS members have enjoyed a who’s who list of notable speakers. We have also arrived in the electronic age with on-line competitions, a state-of-the-art website, archived video presentations for members to view, a Facebook presence, an electronic newsletter and participated in many galleries, exhibits and contests. Thank you to Sam and the Board of Directors for your excellent leadership.
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OUR SPONSORS were generous with us and, once again, donated many great prizes for the raffle. Thank you’s are in order for all of them, including Reef Photo & Video, Ikelite, Force-E, Pura Vida, Guy Harvey, Wakatobi Resort, Big Blue, the Marriott and more. A huge thank you is also due to Bob Weybrecht for donating his winning trip with Blackbeard’s Cruises to be raffled off by the club.
Phil Rudin presented outgoing SFUPS President, Sam Hodge, with a COMMEMORATIVE AWARD to thank him for his leadership during the last four years as President of the club. Sam will now pass the baton to Suzan Meldonian beginning in 2017.
As always, the highlight of the evening was the presentation of this year’s awards. The 2nd Runner-up was Walt Sterns and 1st Runner-up was Wayne Mac Williams. After a drum roll, the award for 2016 Photographer of the Year went to Kelly Casey! Kelly consistently competed and placed in both the Master’s and Challenger’s categories, racking up a whopping number of points. Her underwater photography is outstanding and the honors are well deserved! Congratulations Kelly!