November 2-4, 2012
The 8th IRC Committee pulled off one of the most difficult International Ragdoll Congresses in history, they refused to quit when the going got tough.. Never have so many things gone wrong during the course of preparing a congress as went wrong during this one. The first Co-Chairpersons resigned early on leaving the congress with no leadership. Ken Staples stepped forward to serve as the Chairperson for the 8th IRC and did a remarkable job despite being faced with near insurmountable obstacles, however he was able to draw upon the vast experience of the other members of the committee and keep the ship afloat. Ken provided excellent leadership in a time of need. The next obstacle that Ken had to face was the Keestone Kat club losing the show hall and then having to try and find a new show hall that turned out to be not only in a different hotel but in a different city. There he was engaged with a very difficult hotel that just flat out refused to work with us. The communication was very difficult and it was very hard to keep track of what was happening at any given time.
Finally the STORM of the century hit the East Coast after totally dominating the news for over a week and people were e-mailing the committee wanting to know if the congress was cancelled. The storm of the century had shut down the major International airport in Philadelphia, however the airport in Harrisburg was able to remain open and the congress was on.
With the difficulties that were involved in this congress there were bound to be complaints, many of which were valid. Let me be very clear, the International Ragdoll Congress Committee takes complaints very seriously and will do everything possible to rectify them. At the same time there were many things that went very well and I am sure those attending enjoyed them.
Due to the Hotel refusing to allow us to bring our own food into the hospitality room with tables and chairs etc the committee was forced to rent another hotel room in the hotel to use for the Hospitality Room. Lisa Steegmueller & Yaryna did a fabulous job with the food preparation. Many say it was the best food of all the congresses. Everyone one had a great time meeting and greeting old friends and making new ones.
The Gift Bags were spectacular and beautiful, a big thank you to Mable Roberts who was in charge of creating them. She put a lot of her own money into them.
For the Educational Seminar the committee had two well known Vets from the University of Pennsylvania.
John R. Lewis- VMD, FAVD, DAVDC. He spoke on common dental & oral problems in cats focusing on tooth resorption, stomatitis, & oral cancer.
Erika Krick- VMD, DACVIM, (Oncology). She spoke on Lymphoma in cats. The Educational Seminar went well and was very educational and well done.
The Banquet was moved from the banquet room to the restaurant because only 23 people had registered for the banquet. The comments on the quality of the food ranged from very good to good. This is an area where the committee will be taking a serious look on improving. This was the first time that this hotel had been used for a cat show so no one had an opportunity to sample the food in advance. This is another area where the committee can and will do better for the next congress.
The number of Ragdolls registered in the congress was the second lowest number of Ragdolls ever entered. The number was right at 50 Ragdolls of which only 7 were Alters. The quality of the Ragdolls was excellent and drew comments from the judges.
Please keep in mind that the committee does not always have someone who lives in the city where the IRC is held, we are scattered all over the United States. It is almost a miracle when the day of the Congress arrives and the plan and organizing that has been put together over the proceeding 2 years comes together and things work out as well as they do.
The planning by the committee takes place by phone calls and by e-mails, we are scattered far to far apart to hold an actual meeting.