†††††††††††† History of the Golden West Chapter
††††††††† In late 1987,
Dale Nies and Wes Bender sat on a pair of barstools at Cirinoís in
††††††††† The founding members were Dale Nies, Gordon Coleman, the late Neil Skellenger, Ben DiDuca, Wes Bender, Geof Gordon, Eric Bennett, the late Rudy Christians, the late Charlie Richardson, Chuck Standen, Mike Burneson, John Falconi, Mike Lovejoy, Mike Shields and Ladd Stephenson.
††††††††† ††††††††† When the Golden West Chapter was first
organized in 1987, times were quite a bit different in northern and central
††††††††† Dinner meetings were held several times per year where blasters could gather and share experiences.† Guest speakers presented interesting programs on new products and techniques. †One or two well-attended workshops were conducted each year. Chapter members who circulated through the territory promoted the Chapter and invited interested parties to join.† Over time the Chapter grew.†
many successful years, however, the explosives distribution and consuming
††††††††† Facing this reduced interest, the idea was proposed to refocus the Chapter by sponsoring scholarships for students who were children of employees in explosive-related industries.† Funding was obtained through advertising revenue, donations and through a very popular annual clay-shoot and barbecue.† Four very successful scholarships were awarded in this manner.
††††††††† Participation continued to decline and eventually, during the year 2021, the Chapter saw a large drop in membership.† An added problem was that the small core group of individuals who had been carrying the ball and keeping the Chapter alive were beginning to burn out or were reaching retirement age. †The handwriting was on the wall.† The Golden West Chapter had apparently outlived its usefulness.† At the Annual Business meeting at the end of 2021, the membership in attendance voted to dissolve the Chapter.†† A committee, consisting of Mike Chiurato, Mike Burneson, Jerry Fulghum, Joe Stack and Wes Bender, was appointed to wind down its affairs.† †The Chapterís bank account, after all outstanding expenses had been paid, was distributed equally among three deserving charities.
††††††††† Thus, with the disposal of the assets and with the submission of the Chapterís last annual report to the ISEE, the Golden West Chapter faded into history.† It was a fun ride for everyone involved and it served its stated purposes well.
††††††††† The group
that oversaw the dissolution of the Chapter and the proper disbursal of its
assets determined that they would stay in touch; however this was not to
be.† Sadly, Jerry Fulghum
passed away on