Four Receive Service Award

On Sunday July 28, the AFDCS Distinguished Service Award (DSA) was presented to four individuals - Dave Bennett, Rollin Berger, Kerry Heffner and Mark Goodson. The DSA is the AFDCS's second highest award and is especially significant since the recipients are nominated and selected by their peers, the previous DSA recipients. Background on the selectees follows:

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DAVE BENNETT is an AFDCS volunteer who doesn’t know how to say “no”. Professionally, he was an animator, working first as a freelancer and then later for Disney. In the hobby, he is best known for his line of Bennett Cachetoons, which he has produced since the American Wildlife issue of 1987.

He reports that he first produced a cachet for the American Wool issue in 1971 when his high school obtained a color copier. Prior to the first Cachetoons Cachet, he designed cachets for Al Rolsch’s Stamp Chest store in northern Virginia in the mid-1980s. But it is Bennett Cachetoons, with their anthropomorphic depictions of both animals and AFDCS members, that is his claim to fame. He was selected as the honoree for the 2005 AFDCS Court of Honor cachet in the AFDCS’s 50th anniversary year.

In addition to his Bennett Cachetoons, Dave has designed so many first day and event covers for the Claude C. Ries Chapter #48 that the chapter has published a full catalog of his work. He has produced covers for Ries Chapter food functions from taco fests to barbecues and is best known, perhaps, for his covers for the chapter’s annual Yule Tuber Holiday Party. He designed the show covers for Americover 2012 and 2015. Since 2012, Dave also has designed the event covers given to attendees at the Americover Saturday night post cachetmaker bourse food events. He designs the display pages for the Americover Hospitality Suite Silent Auctions, as well. When the AFDCS needed cachet designs for its Presidential Fundraising letters, Dave quickly provided them.

In addition to all his cachet work, Dave Bennett also is co-president of the Ries Chapter and is a member of the AFDCS First Days Fundraising Auction Committee. Most recently, he has taken over as the receiver of donations for both the First Days and the Americover Hospitality Suite auctions. Dave presently is the Chairman of the AFDCS Auction Committee.

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ROLLIN BERGER has served the AFDCS and the first day cover hobby for over 35 years. He produced his first cachet under the Panda Cachets logo for the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and Sweden joint issue (Scott #2036) in March 1983 and has produced cachets ever since. He currently produces cachets for every new US issue.

In the 1980s, Rollin Berger served as secretary of the AFDCS. He has served as president of the Robert C. Graebner Chapter #17 as well as editor of its Graebner Gazette newsletter. For 25 years, he has been the primary auctioneer for the Graebner Chapter’s quarterly first day cover auctions as well managing the design and preparation of first day covers for the Graebner Chapter.

Since 2009, Rollin Berger has managed the AFDCS Court of Honor first day cover program, obtaining the artists or artwork for the covers and arranging for the printing of the covers. During this period, the Court of Honor has brought it an average of over $3,000 a year in needed income for the AFDCS. In recent years Rollin has taken tables in the Americover dealer bourse. He has served as the auctioneer for the Americover Live Fundraising Auction and has been a major contributor to the Hospitality Suite Silent Auction.

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KERRY HEFFNER may not seek the limelight, but his work is critical to the success of Americover. Since 2009, he has served as Americover Exhibits Chairman, obtaining the necessary exhibits to ensure that Americover continues to meet World Series of Philately status. He handles all required coordination with judges, exhibitors, and the Americover show committee. In addition, he personally creates Americover exhibit awards (other than the grand award), producing unique awards that represent the show theme.

Kerry Heffner has been a stamp collector since he was five years old. He is member of the American Philatelic Society, the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, the United States Stamp Society, and the Mailer’s Postmark Permit Club. He has exhibited the 1956 Children’s Friendship issue (Scott #1085), which was issued December 15, 1956, the day of his birth. The exhibit received a gold award at Americover. He is also a cachetmaker under the name KH Cachets.

Kerry will be honored by the American Philatelic Society during its summer show in Omaha this August with the Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Recognition Award for volunteer service to philately. The DSA is a fitting match to the Carter Award. Kerry is the exemplar of the hard-working, long-serving volunteer upon which societies of every stripe depend.

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It is shocking to learn that MARK GOODSON had not previously received the Distinguished Service Award. Mark not only has served on the AFDCS Board of Directors with distinction but also has served on numerous other society committees, including the Ward Award committee.

Mark has been deeply involved with many subcommittees concerning modern cachetmakers, as well. Presently, he assists with the AFDCS Archives. Mark helped significantly with the updating of Mike Mellone’s “FDC Photo Encyclopedia of First Cachets.”

Many AFDCS members researching cachets have greatly benefited from Mark’s collections of FDCs and philatelic literature. He is generous with his knowledge and gladly offers advice and assistance to writers.

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