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Greetings fellow cavers, TRA members & OTR attendees,

I had a wonderful time at the 69th OTR in 2018.  It was truly an awesome OTR that I will never forget.  It was great to reunite with old friends and I made some new friends that I hope to see again for many years to come.

I would like to take this opportunity to give you a “sneak peak” into some of the exciting plans that lie ahead for OTR 2019.

Before I get to that, I need to acknowledge the sincere gratitude and appreciation that I have for Sarah Mosberg, OTR Chair for 2017 & 2018.  She coordinated and organized two amazing OTR’s for all of us to enjoy.  While I had the honor of serving as her Vice-Chairman for those years, she took me under her wing and mentored me every step of the way during her tenure as the Chair for two incredible OTR’s.  We spoke on the phone several times a week throughout the entire two-year period that she served as OTR Chair, we texted each other almost daily, and we exchanged several emails every day that she was planning OTR for 2017 & 2018.  I’m also very appreciative to her husband, Stephen, as he was patient enough to allow Sarah to continue talking to me late into the night (after he was going to bed) as we discussed issues related to OTR for the past two years. Over the past two years, I have grown very close to Sarah and Stephen and I am blessed to consider them dear friends of my children and myself.  It is because of Sarah’s willingness to mentor me and include me in her planning that I feel ready to go be “let out of my cage” to invite you to a wonderful OTR in 2019.

I have already started working with an awesome group of volunteers as we plan for OTR 2019.  The volunteers working with me are very excited about the plans for OTR 2019 and we are working very hard to insure that you will have an incredible experience.

In 2019, OTR will be celebrating our 70th Reunion.  In recognition of the 70th OTR, we will be highlighting the 1970’s and enjoying some activities that were popular during OTR’s that occurred in the 1970’s.  For example, did you know that the OTR Auction first started in the late 1970’s?  This entertaining event continued for 25 years with the same auctioneer when he retired after a quarter century of “auction-sized” service.  The auctioneer that started the OTR Auction in the 1970’s has agreed to come out of retirement and entertain the OTR Auction attendees as items and goods are auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Start cleaning out your closets and garage so you can submit enough items to the OTR Auction to buy a beer and a corndog next year.

Does anyone know Chuck Barris?  If you guessed the 1976 – 1980 host of the Gong Show then you’re correct!  We are planning our own version of the popular 1970’s variety / talent show from the 1970’s complete with a witty host, sarcastic but honest judges, and of course a giant gong.  Start working now on an individual or group talent act to perform at the OTR Gong Show.

Once you are done attending the OTR Auction and performing in (or attending) the OTR Gong Show, there will be plenty of opportunities to relax at the Sunday afternoon River Party with an incredible blues band, or you can dance the night away with a band with lively sounds from the 1970’s during the Saturday night Disco Party.

There will be many more details to follow, but for now be prepared to search through your closet, grab that polyester suit, dust off your bell-bottoms, starch your wide lapelled shirts, and practice your best disco moves.

We’re going to have a fabulous time and in the words of Dale Ibberson, “It’s a Brand New Party.”

Cheers,

Shack

OTR 2019 Chairman