TRINIDAD, Colo.--Mar. 17, 2006--The Santa Fe Trail Assn. is holding a retreat here this weekend (Friday, Mar. 24, and Saturday, Mar. 25), and about 60 people are expected from Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico to plan for the trail organization's future, announced Richard Louden of Branson, Colo., honorary chairman of the event and former president of the Bent's Fort chapter of La Junta, Colo.
The two-day meeting of the non-profit 800-member SFTA will be held at the Trinidad Motor Inn, beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, and is free and open to the public. The purpose of the SFTA is to help preserve the Santa Fe National Historic Trail.
Louden is also one of the original founding members of the SFTA, which got its start here in Trinidad 20 years ago this coming September at a seminar at Trinidad State Junior College.
Louden is also chairman of the SFTA 2007 Symposium Committe. The symposium will be held in Trinidad, and is expected to draw hundreds of trail buffs.
Louden will open the Friday, Mar. 24 meeting by welcoming the SFTA members from 12 local chapters in six states.
Dub Couch of Rocky Ford, Colo., former president of the Bent's Fort chapter and a member of the SFTA board, is chairman of the SFTA retreat. LaDonna Hutton of Rocky Ford, Colo. is chair of the retreat Membership committee and a member of the SFTA board and Bent's Fort chapter. Her husband, Charlie Hutton, is the new president of the Bent's Fort chapter.
Other retreat committees making reports Friday inlcude Preservation, Faye Gaines, Springer, N.M., chair; Chapter/Assn. relations, Dub Couch, chair; by-laws, Joanne Van Coevern, Salina, Kan., chair; Mapping and Marking, Jeff Trotman, Ulysses, Kan., chair; finance, Roberta Falkner, Prairie Village, Kan. chair; and Marcia Fox and Chris Day, Womego, Kan. co-chairs, Education committee.
The 14-member board of directors will hold its semi-annual meeting Saturday at 9 a.m. and vote on motions proposed by the committees.
John Conoboy of the Long Distance Trails office of the National Park Service in Santa Fe will also attend along with two colleagues. The NPS provided a $5,000 challenge cost-share grant to SFTA for the retreat.
The SFTA, which has its headquarters in Larned, Kan., at the Santa Fe Trail Center, is led by George Donoho Bayless, a 6th grade Ortiz Middle School teacher in Santa Fe. Bayless is the great-great grandson of Mary Donoho, the first U.S. woman to come down the Santa Fe Trail in 1833; Mary Donoho also gave birth to the first two U.S. children born in New Mexico.
Joy Poole of the End of the Trail chapter in Santa Fe is the "Mother of the Santa Fe Trail" as she started the first symposium at Trinidad State Junior College in September of 1986 along with historian Marc Simmons, also an End of the Trail chapter member, who is the "Father of the Santa Fe Trail" and SFTA's first president. (FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL DUB COUCH 719-254-3000, cell 719-980-3000).