Bill Eckberg, Julian Leidman, Joe Levine, David Schenkman and Wayne Herndon were there with their wives, and Traci Poole bought as her guest Mike Ellis of Dominion Grading Service. It was a pleasant surprise to see Mike, who'd driven from Virginia Beach for the event. He, Traci, me, and Wayne and Karin Herndon hung around and chatted for some time after dinner.
One thing Wayne and I had to discuss was my other numismatic event this week. On Saturday, I hosted a program for kids at the Annandale, VA coin show the Wayne runs. It was the first time we'd done anything like that here. I was hoping to model it after the success we had with the Coins4Kids programs at the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists shows in Pittsburgh.
When I arrived at the show around 1pm Saturday, Wayne was skeptical about whether we'd have any attendees. He'd talked it up all morning to kids at the show, but everyone had other plans for the afternoon, everything from basketball games to birthday parties. While I was prepared for a low turnout I hoped for the best. Later, Karin told me how she'd rolled her eyes as I arranged a dozen+ chairs for the audience.
Well, we needn't have worried. Wayne rounded up a new batch of kids and by the 1:30 starting time the chairs were filling up. By the time we got rolling it was standing room only, with about 30 kids and parents in the room. It was a great bunch of kids - thirteen boys and one girl. They were eager to raise their hands to answer my numismatic quiz questions, and had a number of great coin questions of their own. One asked who's idea it had been to start the 50 States Quarter series, and I talked about David Ganz and his efforts to inspire Congress to action.
Their questions and my prepared talk (a set of slides I prepared back in 2002 for a Coins4Kids meeting) prompted me to discuss topics as diverse as type coin collecting, coin designers, coin investing, and the new 2009 Lincoln Cent designs. One of the kids knew about the 1913 Liberty Nickel, and I digressed into the story of the missing McDermott specimen, and how my friend Eric Newman had once owned all five.
Along the way I distributed donated books and coins to the kids - thanks to Dave Schenkman and others who volunteered material. I was very pleased with the turnout and response. As with PAN we collected names and addresses for a mailing list, and we'll send postcards to all the kids, inviting them and their friends to the next event. Afterwards me, Traci and Karin made plans for the next one, where we hope to add an auction.
If any of our readers have numismatic items they'd care to donate for the kids, please email me (email@example.com) or see Wayne Herndon at an upcoming coin show. Worn U.S. type coins are ideal, as are raggedy U.S. Fractional Currency or Colonial notes. Off-center cents and nickels are very desirable, as are bulk lots of low-value foreign coins and paper money. Watch your wallet for Star notes - these are a great way to introduce kids to U.S. paper money. Thanks!
Wayne Homren, Editor
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