Wednesday, May 10, 2017

2017 Dogwood Festival

We had a great time at this year's Dogwood Festival, surviving the unseasonably hot temperatures. The people running the check-in at the festival were wonderfully kind in finding us a shady spot rather than our assigned slot which would have been in the sun all day. I do think they prevented me from a trip to the hospital. So a great big thank you to them!

The crowds seemed larger this year than in past years. We were able to sign up eight new members, who we hope to see at this year's  Memorial Day cookout at the end of the month.

We also experienced less rancor from passing religious folks, though as always, there were those who just couldn't help themselves and had to make comments. It was very encouraging to hear from those who thanked us for being there and appreciated our presence. We look forward to having a table at next year's festival and continuing our outreach!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Solstice!

Brenda, Paul & Kat
The day after Winter Solstice, Kat, Paul & Brenda Germain dropped off our annual Food Drive donation to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC. We exceeded last year's donation by 27 pounds! This year we donated $175 worth of food.  That's 134 pounds, enough for 112 meals. Thank you to everyone who donated time, money or food! Atheists doing good because it is the HUMAN thing to do.

Food Drive donations next to the Tree of Knowledge.
On December 18th we held our annual Solstice Celebration at the Germain residence. Our celebration was an intimate Pastafarian repast complete with homemade spaghetti and garlic bread. This year's Tree of Knowledge featured forbidden fruit for the picking (apple ornaments filled with tasty candy.) Goody bags filled with MASH Ft. Bragg calendars, notepads and more were handed out to everyone and this year's door prizes were MASH mugs and a MASH insulated lunch bag. It was decided to apply for a table at 2017 Dogwood Festival, so our application was sent in. A day filled with lively conversation, laughter and camaraderie.

Monday, September 5, 2016

MASH Summer Events

MASH had a busy summer this year. We started the summer off with our annual Memorial Day cookout at the Germain residence. There was a great turnout; Mike, Lance, Roxanne, Kevin, Annee, Mike & Stef, Vicki, Paul & Brenda and John who brought some delicious marinated chicken!


Nine of us from MASH Ft. Bragg were able to make it to the Reason Rally in Washington, DC this year; Mike & Wendy, Cheryl & Baily, Michael & Stef, Paul & Brenda and John. Most of us were able to take in some sightseeing at the Smithsonian and other national museums on the mall. Brenda was finally able to visit the Air & Space Museum! The Reason Rally was a great experience and the weather was stunning. The speakers, including Penn Jillette, Lawrence Krauss, John DeLancie and Bill Nye were fabulous. Mike & Brenda were even able to get their pictures taken with Lawrence Krauss!


Our 3rd annual School Supplies Drive for Ferguson-Easley Elementary was a great success! On August 23rd, Paul Germain, Michael Berntsen, Brenda Germain and Stef presented Dr. Mary Hales, the principal at Ferguson-Easley, with our donation for 2016. We were able to donate over $450 worth of new school supplies and another over $100 worth of used bookcases, FAX machine, new toner and assorted office supplies. Dr. Hales was thrilled with what we were able to amass this year.

Our donation was especially need this year as Ferguson-Easley  had to pay to repair their A/C unit which had been robbed of it's copper just days before.

A big thank-you to all of our members who gave generously to this worthy cause, educating children in the rational and critical thinking required in science, technology, math, engineering and life. Ferguson-Easley is a STEM school in an economically challenged area, giving their students the discipline and education to improve their futures and ours!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Solstice Food Drive

Food collected
Our Solstice Food Drive managed to collect an overflowing table full of food for donation. We'd like to thank all of our members who contributed to the Food Drive! Our totals are as follows; dollar amount was $121.33, 107 pounds of food which provides 91 meals for hungry families in our area! We tried to get the most bang for the buck and ended up with plenty of protein sources, beans, peanut butter and canned meats this year.
Paul & Brenda deliver the donation

We added another $50 worth of cash donations collected at our Annual Solstice Party on Dec 19th. Paul and Brenda then delivered our donation to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC on Dec 21st.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015 Ferguson Easley School Supplies Donation

Beth Malsby, Paul Germain, Dr. Hales, Charlie Miller & Brenda Germain
Charlie, Brenda & Paul delivered this year's school supplies donations to Ferguson Easley Elementary School on Aug 17th to the delight of Principal Dr. Hales and her staff. Congratulations to all our members who were able to contribute this year, we couldn't have done it without your generous support. Our total was just over $350 worth of supplies. Here's what we were able to donate:

54 Dry Erase Markers
128 Spiral Notebooks
32 Composition Notebooks
30 Binders
29 Book Bags
14 Bottles Hand Sanitizer (10 ounce or larger)
9 Boxes of Tissues
172 Pencils
96 Boxes of Band-aids (Thanks to Cheryl, Steve & Bailey)
45 Glue Sticks
4 Bottles of Glue
5 Packs of 40 Erasers
over 1,000 round magnets for craft projects

Again, our thanks and appreciation to all our members for their generosity!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Cookout 2015

14 heathens joined Paul and I out at our house in the boonies for our annual Memorial Day cookout. The amount of food was amazing! Leigh Anne made a spicy homemade guacamole, Chase brought some deliciously savory roasted potatoes, Charlie brought corn-on-the-cob and his ever popular potato salad, and I made a fruit salad baby for our dining pleasure. There were pies, cookies, chips and dips of every sort and a macaroni-shrimp salad. To say that everyone was stuffed afterwards would be an understatement!

Spirited discussions of various topics went on inside and outside. From politics, to vaccinations and of course, religious intrusion into government. Our group enjoys discussions, no matter what the subject is! We had a kiddie pool set up, but alas, there were no children this year. There were games to play, and a table of free atheist books and magazines for our members to take home and enjoy. As the afternoon wound down, there was a drawing for door prizes. We had enough that everybody won something!

We also discussed our summer school supply fund-raiser for Ferguson-Easley Elementary school. Due to the changes in the Coke Rewards program that request the school's financial info and the school being understandably reluctant to provide that info to Coke's 3rd party, we have discontinued the Coke Rewards collection. We are still collecting Box-Tops for education, I send those to the school on a regular basis. Starting with our next meetup. Anyone who would like to donate is encouraged to donate to the pot that will be used to purchase school supplies for Ferguson-Easley in August (when all the supplies go on sale really cheap, so we get the most bang for our buck!) Last year we were able to amass a notebook and pencil for every child in the school and then some!

One of our members brought a bunch of phoney money she had found in a book at the library. After she found the first one, she made a treasure hunt of it to see how many she could find. She ended up with 4 total. Know what the phoney money really was? Proselytizing religious tracts. Congrats to our member for removing them!

There must have been something in the air of late, this same member also found a 4 page printout of bible verses that indicate that "all are saved" stuffed in her newspaper box. She wasn't sure if she was targeted or not, but she didn't see other newspaper boxes similarly stuffed. I suspect we'll see more of this sort of activity after the recent polls showing religion and especially Xtianity declining. You can see our mascots wanted to check out these oddities.

We had a great time with interesting heathens and look forward to all the meetups the rest of the year offers. I hope we'll see you there!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Darwin Day Surprise!

Our group got together for our monthly Secular Supper on Feb 12, 2015 in honor of Charles Darwin's Birthday. We had a great turnout, 17 members were able to attend. It was to be a night of surprises. The fun began with one of our new members, Michael of the UNC at Pembroke's Secular Student Alliance, made a dramatic entrance arriving in full Darwin beard & hair. Everyone loved and appreciated his effort to set the mood!

Cory brought a huge bunch of Coke Rewards to add to our running donation to Ferguson Easley Elementary school, a local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) school we at MASH Ft. Bragg support.

Everyone ordered their dinners and conversations were in full swing when Mike Banks got up and announced that he had some awards to present. Mike began reading a letter from Rosalind Eaton of MAAF. For those of you who don't know me, I have Lupus and I'm a little slower on the uptake than I used to be. So, I'm sitting there listening to what Mike is reading, interested  in what he was saying, but completely confused. Who is this award for and, as the president of MASH Ft. Bragg, why didn't I know anything about it? As I was slowly processing these thoughts, Mike finally announced that the awards were for me, Brenda Germain! To say I was stunned would be an understatement. More like a deer caught in the headlights!

They got me good, catching me completely by surprise. The first award was the President's Volunteer Service Award - Silver level for my attaining 445 volunteer hours for MASH during 2014 which came with a cool coin. Wow, I had no idea it had added up to so many hours. Time flies when you're having fun!

 The second award  was the MAAF All Star Award for Exceptional Community Service for the charitable work our group has been involved with over the last year. Mike told me to get up and say something. The lupus fog was in overdrive! About the best I could manage was to thank everyone, because my Swiss-cheese brain was still trying to process this unexpected turn of events. I must have started dithering, because I vaguely remember hearing a voice say "sit down." Not loudly, but just loud enough to break through my mental fog and confusion. Turns out, it was Paul, my husband. Thank you honey for preventing me from looking too foolish!

I'd like to thank Mike and Wendy Banks (sneaky little stinkers!) for presenting and coordinating this surprise with Jason Torpy and Rosalind Eaton of MAAF. Of course these honors would not have been possible without the great group of people who make up MASH Ft. Bragg and I thank all of them for helping build our interNOfaith community!