As a member of the German Village Society's board of trustees and chairman of the development committee, I want to encourage you to join the other committee members, the society's staff led by Mark Weiss and me in making 2018 a special year.

The development committee was formed to establish a strong "third leg" on our existing financial framework of membership and events.

A key aspect of our charge has been to reshape perceptions about financial support, moving from "dues paying" to supporting our organization for the long term.

As a volunteer organization, we benefit from a wide range of individual passions people express through their direct efforts and also financially. At the same time, we have annual expenses in the form of staff salaries and benefits and maintaince on the Meeting Haus.

This general operating budget needed bolstering and one key objective of the development committee is to assist in ensuring we "stay in the black."

The committee is also a focal point for funding the numerous objectives in the society's strategic plan. We are in the midst of a major campaign to achieve a goal of $1.25 million over the next several years.

This goal is a direct response to the priorities established in the strategic plan.

Our campaign is off to a strong start. The combination of more than 1,000 enhanced membership levels, challenge grants and multi-year pledges should take us beyond $250,000 for 2017.

Building on this past year's achievements, for 2018 we need to expand our committee which is presently composed for the most part of board of trustee members.

Expansion is very important for two reasons. First, we simply need more motivated folks to get the word out and engage our next wave of supporters.

Secondly, our committee will benefit from further diversity, demonstrating the society is about our entire community.

Our committee members have been rewarded with making new acquaintances among members who are after all, our neighbors and local business people.

We have benefited from great feedback about how the society is doing. And we have been consistently gratified by the commitment and generosity of so many who have agreed that enhancing one's commitment is producing tangible benefits for our community.

So, please, give serious consideration to expressing interest in joining us. Mark and I are eager to provide the details of this year's goals and the nuts and bolts of your responsibilities.

Be a key part of building German Village -- "History in the Making."

German Village Society Trustee Dennis Brandon submitted the Village Notebook column.