OUR 54TH WEEKLY UPDATE REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC – TODAY WE WILL UPDATE YOU ON THE PROGRESS OF THE VACCINATIONS AND THE OVERALL STATUS OF WHERE WE ARE WITH THIS VIRUS. WE WILL ALSO FEATURE ONE LAST ARTICLE ON A STAFF MEMBER, AND THIS ONE HAPPENS TO BE ABOUT ME. WE WILL CLOSE WITH SOME FUN SHORT VIDEOS FOR YOU TO ENJOY.
FRIDAY, April 16
FROM CHRIS KRARAS
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
“PEOPLE DON’T TAKE TRIPS, TRIPS TAKE PEOPLE!”
My Dear Friends:
I hope that you have had a pleasant week and that you are enjoying the beautiful Spring weather that we have been having in most parts of the Eastern United States. With some of these beautiful days, the excitement of the season is heightened by the anticipation of finding an end to this terrible pandemic which has haunted us for the past year. It is amazing how, when we have good news, the days seem even brighter.
In discussing where we are as far as this Coronavirus is concerned, things continue to move in a very positive direction. The most encouraging bit of news is that across the country we are inching closer to distributing four million vaccinations per day. There has been a little delay regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but it appears that there may have been some results that could have been misread which will allow the continued distribution of that vaccine as well. The vastness of the distribution of the vaccines throughout the country is just absolutely amazing and we are inching closer and closer to that all important “HERD IMMUNITY”.
Of course, many of us have been reading some of the concerns about the numbers of positive tests increasing slightly over the last few weeks. However, over this last week, it has been reported by the New York Times, and other news outlets, that the numbers have once again stabilized, and even appear to be slightly dipping in that positivity rate, which is very predictable. There was a period of time when everyone was so excited about getting the vaccine and enjoying the beautiful weather, that there were people that were not quite as careful – especially the younger part of our society. But, that all appears to have leveled out, and now we can all look forward to seeing the end of the virus, and also the end of the fear of the virus, which will hopefully be within the next month or so.
All of this news boils down to the fact that you as Group Leaders and your Group Members can continue to get your trips in order and enjoy the world of travel that you have all longed to do for so many months. Here at White Star Tours, we are so encouraged by the fact that so many Groups that we serve are on the road, or in line to get on the road over the next few weeks, to destinations all over the country. Our staff here at White Star Tours is so excited because it feels like we are back to where we were in 2019, before we had ever heard of the word “Coronavirus”. It is so exciting for me to walk around the Office and see all of our Staff Members feverishly putting the final touches on so many trips for so many of you Group Leaders. So many of you have reported back to us that a lot of the clubs, centers, and other meeting places are opening again so that you can get your Members there to discuss these trips and fill whatever buses aren’t already full. Everybody should feel good today as you read this note, and you should share this excitement with your Group Members! I can’t thank you enough for all the encouragement that you have been giving us, and for the fact that you all have stuck with it and now are realizing the fruits of all your efforts. I know our Staff is excited!
ONE LAST STAFF PROFILE…
Speaking of our Staff, this is the point in my Weekly Email to you where I usually talk about some of our many wonderful Staff Members that have been working along with us for so many years. But, I have gotten so many requests from many of you Group Leaders wondering why I had never featured myself in any of these Staff Reports. So, I thought I would take this opportunity today and let you know a little bit more about me. My Family and I have always sort of been in the “hospitality business” stemming back for seventy years owning small restaurants and small places of lodging. I personally graduated from college in 1969 and went into the teaching profession. I taught Government and Economics for ten years here in Pennsylvania. All the while, I kept one eye on the fact that I enjoyed putting trips together. So, along with my Father and other Family Members, I started putting bus trips together from the region in which I live, which is the region of Reading, PA. I realized very quickly that this was a passion of mine and that I enjoyed doing this so much that it was now engulfing me on a daily basis. Within three or four years, I had so much success in getting Bus Groups from all of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey to travel with us, and my business grew so fast, that I had to take it from part-time work to full-time, and I was forced to leave teaching. The rest is sort of history as we are currently celebrating the 50th Year of White Star Tours! We have grown the Company substantially almost every single year of those fifty years. I consider myself a very blessed man, because not only am I engaged in a profession that I absolutely love and for which I have a dramatic passion, but I have been blessed by having wonderful people working along with me and also I am blessed to have had so many of my Family Members at my side as we grew this business to the nationally-recognized organization that it is today. I thank God every day and sometimes several times a day for his many blessings in allowing us to be where we are. The challenges of the past year are something that I never saw coming, but with the enthusiasm, dedication and love put forth by all my Family and Staff, we have overcome this tremendous obstacle and now there are only bright days ahead.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my wife of 52 years, Ann, and my children, Dean and Marisa. Of course I would also like to thank my sisters, my brothers-in-laws, nieces, and nephews who have all joined in this incredible journey that has been so wonderful to all of us and one we hope lasts for another fifty years!
It is now time to enjoy a couple bits of fun that we like to end every email message to you with. This first one is something that you will find extremely interesting, and it is entitled, “Useless Facts Which Allow You to Learn a Thing or Two”. Take the time to watch this, and I think you will learn a few things just like I did. Please click here.
The next piece I think you will enjoy features some good, old-fashioned humor, and involves a comedian that so many of us know for so long by the name of Ray Romano. The clip that you will enjoy involves one of his first performances on the old David Letterman Show over twenty years ago. Enjoy this bit of humor by clicking here.
Amazingly, another week has passed and one that continues to bring us so much happiness and so much hope. I wish you all a beautiful weekend and a very happy and healthy week. Again, I want to thank you for so many of the tours that you have set up with us, and all the reservations that you have in place. God Bless You All!
“TRAVEL AND CHANGE OF PLACE IMPART
NEW VIGOR TO THE MIND!”