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California Clubs Present Awards
By Numismatic News
December 26, 2013

This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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The Fairfield (California) Coin Club and the Vallejo (California) Numismatic Society again joined together and celebrated their 27th Annual Joint Christmas Party on Saturday, Dec. 7, for the second year in the Hall of History of the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum in downtown Vallejo, Calif.

More than 75 members and guests attended the festive event, which attracted attendees from as far one hundred miles away. The visiting presidents included Merle V. Avila of the Redwood Empire (Santa Rosa) Coin Club, James H. Laird of the Diablo (Concord) Numismatic Society, Jon-Maria Marish of the Solano Silver Round Club (SSRC) and Fred G. van den Haak for the Northern California Numismatic Association (NCNA). They joined the Fairfield Coin Club President Kevin M. Quenga Sr. and the Vallejo Numismatic Society President Edwin T. Hoffmark Jr.

Among other dignitaries were three Krause Publication Numismatic Ambassadors: Lee H. Gong, Michael M. Stanley and Michael S. Turrini.

The highlight of the evening was the drawings. The 50/50 drawing gave the winner $503, and it was claimed by James H. Laird. The mega-drawing raffle took in a record $2,130 with 30 winners. There were enough door prizes for everyone attending plus a second drawing giving over half the attending crowd another prize.

The main event was the several presentations. Beginning with Irene Carrillo and Harry W. Davis, representing American Numismatic Association (ANA) President Dr. Walter A. Ostremecki, Jr., honoring with a Numismatic Point of Light framed citation to John P. Russell Jr., of Concord, Calif.

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This would be John’s night, for in addition to the aforementioned, John was bestowed the coveted and rarely presented Rich Neily Award from the Fairfield Coin Club and the esteemed Service Medal, numbered 18, from the Vallejo Numismatic Society. In recognition of his repeated support and generosity, he was awarded the Joint Plaque, an award from both sponsoring groups.

Among the other honors were two Token of Esteem awards from the Northern California Numismatic Association (NCNA) bestowed to Michael P. Butler and Kathy nee Nancy Walsh, well-known and active local coin club boosters. NCNA President Fred G. van den Haak also recognized the “Two Mikes,” Stanley and Turrini, with President’s Medals.

The California State Numismatic Association (CSNA) also presented two ‘President’s Medals’ onto Edwin T. Hoffmark, Jr. and Ernest Low.

Goodie bags, a complete buffet dinner, and a special sample slab added to the party. The museum was also open to all attendees.

Commenced over two decades ago as means to avoid conflicting Holiday Season parties between the two neighboring coin clubs, the Joint Christmas Party has attached renowned and respected numismatic advocates for the master of ceremonies, like the late Donald and Helen Carmody, Dr. Walter A. Ostromecki Jr., John and Nancy Wilson, George S. Cuhaj and Clifford L. Mishler. This year’s emcee was Michael F. ‘Mike’ Browne from the local Vallejo Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“We are always looking for new ideas and always returning to tried and true activities to make the party a success,” reported Hoffmark Jr.

“I echo Ed’s thought and add with guests are willing to drive hours and return late to attend and to enjoy this event that proves our success,” added Quenga Sr.

No specific date for the 2014 Party has been scheduled; but, both groups will meet late January 2014 to commence planning and preparations.

This year, 2013, marked the Fairfield Coin Club’s 40th anniversary, 1973-2013, and next year, 2014, is the Vallejo Numismatic Society’s 60th anniversary, 1954-2014.

Updates can be learned at, and contacts can be via or at 707-246-6327.

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