President’s Column: Fun Ain’t Free
By Eric Jayne
Fun is good. That is the mantra of Mike Veeck who co-owns the local minor league St. Paul Saints baseball team along with “team psychologist” Bill Murray. Thanks to the support and feedback from members and board officers the Minnesota Atheists offered a heaping amount of summer fun for the third year in a row by re-branding the St. Paul Saints baseball team to the secularized “Mr. Paul Aints”. We also co-sponsored another regional conference—this time with the Humanists of Minnesota.
Countless hours went into the planning of these two events. The conference planning committee consisted of Audrey Kingstrom and Scott Lohman from Humanists of Minnesota along with Stephanie Zvan, August Berkshire, and me from the Minnesota Atheists. Without their commitment and time-consuming efforts the conference would not have been possible.
Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and Center for Inquiry provided financial support for the conference and FFRF split the St. Paul Saints sponsorship fees with the Minnesota Atheists. FFRF also helped with advertising.
The business partnership with the Saints proved to be especially helpful this year because the tweets on their Twitter page caught the attention of a few national blogs including the popular Raw Story. The Pioneer Press also featured our sponsored Night of Unbelievable Fun with the St. Paul Saints twice. One article was predominantly featured on the front page in August (after the game was over). Some other local papers – including La Crosse, WI and St. Could — picked up the front page August Pioneer Press article. After all the time and hard work that went into planning the July 11-12 weekend of unbelievable fun it was satisfying to see it all unfold with great success.
I think that Mike Veeck is right when he said “fun is good.” It’s good because it helps build community (people are drawn to pleasurable things like fun). Fun is also good because it invokes passion and creativity in groups and organizations.
If you think fun is good and you want the Minnesota Atheists to continue this trend of positive atheism please consider becoming a member, or renew your membership. Your financial support is the only thing that sustains our not-for-profit non-prophet.
If a financial contribution isn’t in your budget I hope you consider
joining one of our committees. You don’t need to be a dues paying member
to be on a Minnesota Atheists committee. We have a radio committee,
cable TV committee, public relations committee, building committee,
membership committee, and a few more.
Another idea is to attend one of our monthly volunteer service projects. A group of us pack and sort food at the Emergency Food Shelf Network (EFN) food bank in New Hope, MN. We also prepare meals at the Family Place Shelter in St. Paul which serves families without permanent housing. We will be expanding our volunteer service projects so look for more opportunities to come in the near future.
Our membership level ranges from $10 per year for a full-time student all the way to $600.00 for a lifetime member — although $666.00 would be a more fun donation.
It’s been a privilege to serve as president of Minnesota Atheists for
the past two years. I couldn’t be prouder to be in this leadership
position. Our unpaid, all-volunteer 501c3 organization is one that
exists out of pure passion for a cause: Separation of church and state,
and to promote the positive contributions of atheism.
Thank you for supporting Minnesota Atheists, and God-less America.