by Marie Miley-Russell copyright 2007, all rights reserved
DRAGON has grown to nearly 50 members located throughout the United States and Canada and has put on what is arguably one of the most successful annual bird shows in the American Singer fancy for twenty five years largely due to the "DRAGON attitude".
The "DRAGON attitude" is that the club is a family comprised of unique individuals gathered together for a common purpose. All members are equally valued and respected whether or not they hold an office in the club. All members are entitled to their opinions and are encouraged to share them. Competition is left to the birds- DRAGON members are not competitive with each other, but support and encourage fellow club members whenever possible. Many folks ask why DRAGON meets every month even when we sometimes have little actual business to work on and the answer is really very simple - because we like each other and enjoy each other's company. We also jump at any opportunity we can get to talk about the birds!
"The attitude" further encompasses an exceptional dedication to the American Singer fancy and a willingness to do whatever it takes to support and grow the fancy. DRAGON members have a strong support network for novice fanciers and quite a few members donate hours of tutoring to novices each month. DRAGON also supports the development of educational literature about the American Singer and the fancy dedicated to it.
The DRAGON attitude about its annual Song Trials can be summarized as: that the DRAGON show should be the model by which all other American Singer shows are judged, that the show is one of the most important activities the club engages in each year and is the proper focus of our energies for much of the year, that show participants should have their needs and wants satisfied, and that folks should enjoy themselves at the show.
Unlike shows where club members seem primarily occupied with how much work is required of them, DRAGON members are happy to work hard TOGETHER for the success of the show. We divide the work amongst ourselves according to our individual abilities and ensure that there are not too few folks overwhelmed with too much work so the show remains enjoyable for everyone.
Beginning on Friday afternoon, exhibitors arriving from out of town are greeted by name at the entrance to the show hall and beverages and snacks are made available to them. On Friday evening a homemade family-style dinner is enjoyed by all club members and any exhibitors who care to join us. The morning of the show, a homemade breakfast is made followed by a homemade Thanksgiving-style luncheon.
DRAGON has the largest raffle of any American Singer show in the Midwest - in addition to donations from businesses, a number of fine handmade items & tasty homemade foods are offered for sale.
Members of the public visiting the show are greeted when they enter by club members and the workings of the show is explained to them. They are invited to join us for lunch and many do.
DRAGON offers an astounding array of rosettes, ribbons, awards and unique, carefully chosen prizes in addition to the rosettes and medallions provided by the national American Singers Club. Exhibitors do not receive ready-made trophies but instead they are awarded nice crystal and pewter pieces and for the Best in Show, a large dragon. Club members shop year-round for these items to ensure that the club is able to offer high quality prizes to breeders of winning birds. Additionally, DRAGON offers substantial cash prizes. How can DRAGON do this? By year-round fundraising efforts; the annual show is a large part of the regular work of the club.
Many American Singer fanciers have remarked that DRAGON is unique and special. The "DRAGON attitude" encompasses all the little things that make a BIG difference!
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