During the Convention I read a resolution to the members at our annual meeting for action. Ten years ago, I read a similar resolution and I’d like to comment on those resolutions in this column.
As most of you know I wear my heart on my sleeve, if I’m wearing a sleeve. Ten years ago, at DeAnza Springs Resort, I came before the General Assembly with a resolution. At that time, when I came onto the Government Affairs Team (GAT) we had just lost Alonzo Stevens, who had been one of my mentors. We moved to rename the Government Affairs Award in honor of Alonzo.
Since that time, we have lost other Government Affairs Team members who are equally deserving of recognition for their service. Turner Stokes, who Alonzo admired and respected, was one of the leaders we lost over the last two years. Turner reshaped many ideas on how AANR should represent us to lawmakers, to make AANR the credible voice of nude recreation we are today. Turner Stokes’ obituary on NPR is linked here, www.npr.org/2018/06/26/623640838/wear-nothing-but-a-smile-prominent-nude-activist-turner-v-stokes-dies-at-90.
Since Alonzo’s death we have lost other team members as well. Fred Van Nest from Florida, and Don Phillips from AANR-Midwest, were members of the team and each brought their own views for forwarding recognition or education of nude recreation and its benefits. We previously lost Marilou Aguirre from AANR-NW, who had recruited Alonzo for GAT. Her efforts deserve recognition as well.
I had to think long and hard about what naming the GAT award meant to Alonzo’s family and how AANR has recognized other leaders from our last 90-plus years. I spoke with Debra Sue Stevens, Alonzo’s widow, and discussed what we could do to make sure the GAT award would continue as a memorial to Alonzo and also the others who have and will show such great dedication to the ideals of AANR.
It seems appropriate that rather than name the service award after one person that we should recognize all of those who made this effort over the years. Therefore, I presented a resolution to make the GAT award a memorial recognition for all our past leaders. The resolution passed.
The membership meeting in annual session in 2012 did resolve to rename the Government Affairs Award to the Alonzo Stevens Jr Government Affairs Award, and
Since that time other Government Affairs Team members and Chairs have passed, notably Turner Stokes, and
Other team members are equally due the honor of recognition of their service to AANR and Government Affairs
Be it resolved by the members meeting in annual session on August 11, 2022, as a recognition of all those who have devoted their time and energy to fostering our goals,
We do hereby rename the Alonzo Stevens Jr Government Affairs Award, the AANR Government Affairs Memorial Award.
I’m proud to be one of the recipients of the award named in Alonzo’s honor. I hope that going forward, when we present this award, we talk about those who have gone before us in the fight to keep nude recreation mainstream.