"I am the Eagle. I live in high country, in rocky cathedrals that reach to the

sky Come dance on the west wind and touch on the mountain tops. Sail over

the canyons and up to the stars. And reach for the heavens and hope for the future and all that you can be and not what you are." From the "The Eagle and the Hawk" by John Denver.

The eagle has always symbolized majesty and high obtainment. At the Houston Convention last year the "To Soar With Eagles" AFA affiliated club membership contest and fund raiser was introduced. A packet containing the contest and fund raising information was mailed to all club delegates by the end of August.

The American Federation of Aviculture's membership drive allowed it's affiliated clubs to earn money while striving for excellence in gaining membership for AFA. Each club could earn up to $5 for each new member recruited and for each member it renewed. The contest ran from September 1 through December 31 of 2002.

The TOP CLUB in recruiting new and renewing members receives recognition in the official journal of AFA the WATCHBIRD and be awarded a plaque and have it's name inscribed on the permanent President's trophy which will be on display at the AFA conventions. The picture of the AFA President awarding the trophy to the top club will appear in the WATCHBIRD. In addition the 2nd and 3rd place clubs will also awarded plaques and be recognized in the WATCHBIRD. There are two categories of awards - one for clubs under 50 members and one for clubs over 50 members.

A special thanks to these clubs for participating: Arizona Avian Breeders Association, Arizona Bird Club, Arizona Seed Crackers, Avicultural Society of Tucson, Aviculture Microbiology Foundation, Inc, Capitol City Bird Society (CA), Charleston Bird Club, Chester County Bird Club, Connecticut Association for Aviculture, Dallas Bird Society, Delco Bird Club, Georgia Cage Bird Society, Greater Pittsburgh Cage Bird Society, Las Vegas Avicultural Society, Raleigh Durham Caged Bird Society, Reno Area Avian Enthusiasts, Rocky Mountain Society of Aviculture, San Diego Bird Breeders, Triangle Bird Club, and South Alabama Cage Bird Society. The goal is to have this contest every year. Perhaps your club will "Soar with the Eagles" next year.