The GALA Board of Directors held a special meeting on Tuesday night, to discuss concerns about the safety of moving forward with the much-anticipated lama event of the year. In light of the current surge of Covid-19 cases taking place in our country at this time, and after a prolonged discussion about possible safety measures we could put in place, it was eventually decided that we simply could not guarantee the welfare of all participants.
So, for the safety of everyone, the board decided it would be best for all to postpone the conference until next fall, and we are already working with the Double Tree to secure those dates.
Now, this part is VERY IMPORTANT!! If you have already made a room reservation at the hotel, I need each of you to call the Double Tree Hotel yourself to cancel. There are always a few people that reserve outside the block (Hotels.com, Expedia, etc.). If we ask the hotel to cancel your room for the conference, we have no way of knowing that every room was canceled. When you call, the agent will give you a cancellation number to confirm the room was released and your credit card will not be charged. 804-379-3800.
For those of you that have already registered for the conference, you will be contacted shortly about a full refund of that money.
We are currently having discussions about hosting a series of webinars or other educational opportunities throughout the year, so you could still have a chance to talk with a great camelid vet, or a trainer, or to learn from one of our crafty fiber experts, even if only virtually.
At a time that I was planning to announce how excited I was about the upcoming event, it makes me sick to be writing you this message! I am so sorry we won’t be able to see each other, this year. And worse I am disappointed… I knew this was destined to be one of the best conferences ever! (I know 2022 will be huge).
Stay tuned… we will let you know what we come up with soon!
Steve Silverberg GALA President
GALA 2021 Conference
This is the place, in fact it’s the only place, where you register for the BIG GALA Conference in Richmond, October 21 – October 24
This year’s conference is being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Richmond – Midlothian. Our special rate king size bed or 2 double beds are available for $112 +tax per night. Make your reservations either by using the link on our website (www.galaonline.org) or, by calling 800-222-8733. Let the agent know you want to book DoubleTree Richmond – Midlothian. Mention the Group Code CDTGAL and that you’re attending the GALA Conference or the Llama Alpaca Conference to receive your discounted Group Rate. Direct line to Hotel: 804-379-3800 for reservations. To be guaranteed Availability and our Group Rate of $112.00, Reservations MUST be made no later than September 20, 2021 DoubleTree by Hilton Richmond – Midlothian 1021 Koger Center Boulevard Richmond, Virginia 23235
More details about the hotel below.
FOUNDERS AND OLD TIMERS REUNION
Special Added Attraction: We want to thank the Founders and Old Timers of the Lama Community by inviting them to reunite and join us to share their insights and experiences from Back in the early years as well as their suggestions for the Future of our community and GALA. There will be separate activities, tours and Reunion Room for this special group. We promise an exceptional weekend for all!
While registering, you can renew your membership, pay for conference notebook ads, become a sponsor, and purchase conference items. Your options are: • Full Conference: Thurs Ice Breaker through Sun. Lunch • Partial Package 1: Friday Dinner through Sun. Lunch • Partial Package 2: Saturday and Sunday only • GALA Retirees Full Package • Founder and Old Timers Full Package Rates for the above packages will rise after Oct. 1 so register now! If you have questions about our online registration form contact Terry at 207-549-5774 or 207-441-1313
50% Discount for First Time Conference Attendees. If this is your first GALA Conference and if you are a GALA member, make sure to click the discounted rates below. If you are not a member and you wish to take advantage, add membership to your registration form.
Be sure to join us Thursday evening to get to know fellow llama and alpaca enthusiasts, both past and present.
The GALA Conference Notebook is a valuable resource, therefore, a good advertising investment for your farm or business. Even if you cannot attend the conference, it is a great way to get your name out there. It will benefit both you and GALA. Please consider placing an ad. This is a chance to promote your business, give a thank you, or wish someone a happy birthday AND help out with the printing costs of the notebook. Attendees tend to use this as a reference for farm needs and animals and for educational information. If you have never advertised before, or need someone to construct your ad, Paige McGrath can help you out. She’ll provide layout and design services at no charge. Contact her at paigeink at aol.com. Deadline is September 10.
Be sure to give that little extra support to help make this year’s conference one to remember! Chip in a little or a lot! We have six great sponsor levels! Thank you to those who have already committed!
The vending fee is $100 per 10×10 booth. The Conference Committee is putting together an outstanding conference! We have some fabulous speakers planned and a Founders and Old Timers reunion. We are expecting a large group. One space per vendor, first come first served.
Farm/Product displays are an excellent way to advertise. Each 18” x 8’ space is $65. A table is provided, but you must bring your own extension cord if you want electricity. Be sure to select “electric” under Exhibits – Farm/Product Displays on the registration form, since not all spaces have access to electricity. There are a limited number of farm/product display spaces so they will be on a first come, first serve basis. Set up begins 1:00 pm on Thursday.
PRE-PURCHASE CONFERENCE GEAR
You’ll have a selection of T-shirts, Sweatshirts, and even a Conference COVID mask to purchase featuring this year’s conference artwork.
Back to the Future is the theme for this year’s Centerpiece Contest. Use it any way you like. They should be no larger than 10 inches in diameter. You may use any material you wish. However, the piece must have a camelid represented in some way – fleece, picture or figure. Drop off your centerpieces in the fiber room. They will be displayed on the dining tables and auctioned off with funds going to camelid research. Check out the talent of your fellow GALA members and vote for your favorite one. Let Philippa Beal know that you are bringing a centerpiece at hdnacres at prexar.com.
A BRIEF LIST OF CONFERENCE CLASSES
To whet your appetite, here is a list of just a few of the classes and sessions that are planned for the conference. We are still adding and re-working others.
Veterinary Topics: Our presenters in this category are Dr. Pat Long and Dr. Pamela Walker, both camelid veterinary specialists with many years in research, clinical and on-farm experience.
1. The Geriatric Camelid: how to get them there and the care and feeding needed when they get there
2. Camelids Helping Our Future: Llamas and alpacas are contributing in a number of ways, especially in the medical field, to better health and new and innovative cures for humans.
3. How to Help Your Vet to Help You: Have the answers before you call. Know what is important for the vet know before he/she arrives at your farm. This is an especially great session for those new to camelids.
Training Topics: John Mallon will again be out in the animal tent showing his training methods for llamas, all tried and true. Again, good for those newer to owning llamas as well as a great refresher for those who have had llamas for awhile.
1. Back to Basics (catching, haltering, leading on a slack lead)
2. Training Your Camelid to Meet the Public (on-farm visits, treks, PR events)
3. Using Your Camelids for Animal-Assisted Therapy: what makes a great therapy lama. This session will be presented by longtime llama owner Niki Kuklenski, who has been sharing her llamas with the elderly, physically and mentally challenged kids and anyone else who needs their spirits lifted.
PR, Marketing, Business, General Interest: How Your Animals Can Help Pay for That Feed and Hay!
1. How to Start a Trekking Business: Camelids are awesome companions on the trails on your property to public parks (where permitted). Trekking is a short-term event in this session, but one that has taken off across the country.
2. Virtual Visits: What Are They? What Technology Do I Need? Find out how a number of owners are taking their camelids to meetings without ever leaving the farm.
3. Ladies Driving the Big Rigs: Sometimes You Have to Back Up!: this self-explanatory class will have hands-on experience as well as tips for traveling with your camelids, what you should never be without while on the road and several GALA female members who will answer your questions or concerns.
4. The Fiber Room: This year’s lineup is jam-packed with classes offering you the opportunity to learn improve and create with the incredible fiber that your animals gift you every year. We have added more “make&take” sessions so will take a project from start to finish and have a special piece(s) to wear or show off or give as gifts.
GALA invites you to participate in their annual ILR-sanctioned Fleece Show. Take this opportunity to exhibit your best shorn fleeces which will be evaluated by fiber judge Gogi Villanueva. All fleeces will be displayed after judging, and results will be announced during the conference. Entry forms and classes are posted on the website. In addition to having your fleece judged, each exhibitor will also have the option to sell their fleece after the show. All sales of fleeces will be handled by the exhibitor. Here is an excellent time to show off the very marketable fleeces you harvest each year. Prizes will be awarded to Grand and Reserve Champions in each division, as well as Best In Show. If you have questions contact Linda at linda.taggart.me at gmail.com or 301-512-4834.
Don’t forget to enter the Photo Contest! • Photographer must be a GALA member and an amateur • Each photographer may submit 2 entries per category • Each entry must contain a camelid or some identifiable portion of a camelid • $7 per photo, check payable to GALA Conference 2021 • Categories: Black & White, Comedy, Crias, Full Body, General, Interacting with People, and Portrait For more information about size, mattes, entry fees, and display; see the most recent issue of the GALA newsletter or www.galaonline.org. Send an envelope/package marked: “Handle with Care” to: GALA Photo Contest c/o Meghan Cormier, Box 495, Redding Ridge CT 06876
GALA prides itself on donating funds to camelid research and government relations and those funds are raised via various auctions held throughout the conference. A very small percentage of the funds raised is retained for GALA’s operating budget. Please consider giving in one of the following ways: • Donate a new item or two for our Live, Silent and Raffle fundraisers or consider teaming up with a few friends to donate a larger item • Set aside money to spend at the Conference in the various fundraisers, including the 50/50 raffle. If you are unable to attend the conference but still want to donate an item, contact Barb Baker bebaker at earthlink.net to coordinate shipping/drop-off.
Farm banners are welcome and will be hung by the hotel on a first come, first serve basis, where space allows. Be sure to drop off your banners at the Conference Registration table when you arrive.
Everyone will receive $5 of Vendor Bucks in his/her bag. Vendor Bucks are worth their face value at any vendor booth and are only valid for the 2021 GALA Conference. You must spend the face value as vendors will not give change.
CORN HOLE TOURNAMENT
Sign up at the Registration Desk. The cost is a mere $5 per person and we will match you with others to create a winning team! Half the money goes to GALA conference expenses and the other half will go to the winners in the form of Vendor Bucks. Any questions contact Linda Tressler at hcfllamas at aol.com.
Sunday morning Yard Sale: this has proven popular, so we’re bringing it back for 2021. Bring your used, but not unuseable, tack and barn items that you no longer need and sell to someone who does! Cost is $10 and sales are between individuals, GALA takes nothing.
The Co-Chairs are Barb Baker, Deb Gaskill & Paige McGrath.
Boasting an ideal location, just a short drive from downtown Richmond, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Richmond – Midlothian offers easy access to numerous businesses, shops, sports complexes and leisure options. Shop at the many specialty stores in Chesterfield Town Center and discover local craft shops in the quaint village of Midlothian. Visit Westchester Commons – the latest retail experience in the area, offering movies, shops and dining outlets or take the hotel’s free shuttle to the designer stores of Stony Point Fashion Mall. The charming Carytown, a one-street delight full of local vendors and restaurants, is about 10 minutes from the hotel. With close proximity to sports venues such as Greater Richmond Aquatics (GRAP) and River City Sports, numerous wedding sites and an abundance of leisure activities including rock climbing, golf, go-karts and skating, our friendly hotel in Midlothian, VA is the perfect base for an unforgettable family experience.