HOA Singing Valentines
1991 was the first year that I was chapter president, and for a few years prior to that I kept saying that I would like to start a Singing Valentine program for our chapter. Guys weren’t too excited about it during some planning meetings we had prior to January first, so it still was just another crazy idea that I had at that point. Prior to becoming chapter president, I had been Marketing and P/R contact for the chapter and had a pretty good list of contact people on both radio and TV.
That year someone called me from one of our contacts and asked if we could do a Singing Valentine to his sweetheart, who was a teller at a bank in Merriam, like Johnson Drive and Nieman, or somewhere around there. I think I said sure, and he said “how much?”. I said $25, and he said go for it. So now we were all set, except there wasn’t a quartet to do it. Finally I got four guys, Monty Duerksen on bass, Ron Abel on tenor, Ed Sundermeyer on lead, and me on baritone. Ironically we ended up on Let Me Call You Sweetheart, and Heart of My Heart as two songs that fit pretty well for Valentine’s Day. Guess not too much has changed since that first attempt at Singing Valentines.
I made a few phone calls and sold a few more. One at an office in the Cloverleaf buildings at Johnson Drive and Metcalf, one to Jan, and three others. I definitely remember we did six total and had a blast. The consensus was that we should try it again the next year, and we did. I believe the second year we did a total of 26. After that the sky was the limit.
Top year number was 425 total. Getting enough quality quartets to fill all those orders was a nightmare but we still managed to get them done. I don’t think we ever missed more than four or five deliveries any year, a number that is still simply amazing. The commitment and dedication was something to behold. In the peak years we had a few quartets that did close to 38 or 39 deliveries in one day. Number like that were mind boggling. The friendships and memories created in those banner years will be cherished forever.
Mike Mathieu 2014-12-24