Finding Uncle Earl

A Veterans History Project to honor one of our American heroes

By Early Langley

One month, almost to the day, before the Marines of the Fifth Division hoisted the American flag atop Mount Surlbachi over Iwo Jima, my Uncle Earl Zimpfer was killed in combat by a sniper on Luzon on January 22, 1945. Victory escaped him and it was not until four years later that the message of his remains reached my grandparents. 

I never met him. The only living relative who knew him is my Aunt Ethelyn, who lives in Ohio.  She is now 99 years old and not able to speak well.

The quest to find Uncle Earl came to light after being on the Board of Trustees of the National Court Reporters Foundation. Having been assured that the honor of his memory would best be preserved under strict temperature and storage controls at the Library of Congress, I agreed to submit all original documents. It was not easy.

However, when I found out that the paper on which Uncle Earl wrote to my Grandmother Margaret Zimpfer was so thin that the ink bleeds through, I thought it best to scan everything, make a book, and ship it to the Library.  

I hope that you’re as inspired as I am to be part of this honored project.

Early Langley, RMR, RSA, is a freelance court reporter from Danville, Calif.

Listening to U.S. Veterans: Court reporters preserve the stories of our nation’s heroes

By Jill Parker Landsman

Future generations can learn about the perils faced by our war veterans not just by watching the movies. The true challenges from World War I, World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf wars are best shared by those brave U.S. soldiers who survived. To preserve stories of experience and service, veterans have shared their firsthand accounts during recorded interviews. Court reporters, by creating a transcription, can make these memoirs available in perpetuity through the Library of Congress.

“We are proud to announce that NCRF just renewed a three-year Memorandum of Understanding with the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project,” said NCRF Chair Cathy Phillips, FAPR, RMR, CMRS, an official court reporter from Collierville, Tenn. “Collecting and preserving the firsthand accounts of our nation’s wartime heroes is an honor and a privilege. Our court reporters can select veterans from the library’s website or interview and transcribe a local veteran’s story,” she added.

Understanding the realities of war based on accounts by our wartime heroes is so appreciated that Congress passed legislation in 2000 creating the VHP. Videos, transcriptions, original letters, diaries, photos, memoirs, and historic documents related to a veteran’s wartime service are  preserved and catalogued at the Library of Congress

NCRA members have transcribed more than 4,000 histories thus far. (Read about Early Langley’s experience.) Members who submit the requested documentation, keep backups of submitted work, and email and mail final documents to NCRF, can earn 0.25 PDCs credit for each transcription.

Did you know you can see the veteran collections that are part of the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress?
Use this link to explore the collections that include transcripts prepared by NCRA members.

Find out how you can get involved.

Jill Parker Landsman is the NCRF Manager and can be emailed at jlandsman@ncra.org.

Donating is as easy as sending a text

We, at NCRF, appreciate donations that come in all sizes: We do not discriminate! Donations have been made in the past with paper pledge forms and staff tracking who paid what, when, and where.

That system was a success for its time. Now introducing NCRF’s Mobile Cause platform, with our members able to text to 41444, type in NCRF or NCRFANGEL and donate one time, monthly, quarterly, or annually. It is simple.

Here is our angel link.

Or

Text to 41444 with the letters NCRFAngel.

What exactly is a recurring gift?

This is a convenient donation that NCRF donors automatically pay each month — no need to process checks:  each donation is tracked and sent directly to the Foundation accounts through the platform. Sort of like shopping on Amazon: Select, pay, send — transaction complete!

Recurring giving makes donations convenient for our loyal Foundation supporters and NCRA members.

“It is like set it and forget it,” said Past Foundation Chair Tami Keenan, referring to how simple it is to set up.  “A monthly donation is equal to roughly 20-25 pages a month. You can do that many pages in mere minutes,” she said.

NCRF donors can set up a monthly donation that is automatically charged to their credit card, and funds are deposited into the Foundation account. Donors can change their donation amount, their frequency, or their credit card information.

The good news is that online giving makes it easy for our NCRF Angels and donors to make a monthly, quarterly or annual gift. Using Mobile Cause helps to reduce administrative efforts and tracks every fundraising campaign with custom reports.

The NCRF “pledge” system worked well in previous years, with full-time administrative effort to track pledges. Two years ago, NCRA and NCRF leaders chose to embrace the encrypted donation technology offered by Mobile Cause so that members can build their recurring donations into their budgets. This also streamlined the administrative processes to track donations.

NCRA members’ donations at Connect make a difference

Fundraisers happening during NCRA Connect Virtual 2020 raised more than $17,000. This support will help fund the National Court Reporter Foundation’s scholarships, education, and community outreach programs.

Four campaigns were created: NCRA A to Z® Scholarship Fund; NCRF Luminex Raffle, the Zoom 100-Day Challenge Meet & Greet Raffle, and the Work Smarter, Not Harder Training.

For the Zoom 100-Day Challenge, donations of $3,101 were raised for NCRF scholarship funds.

NCRF Trustee Rich Germosen, RDR, CRR, a freelancer from North Brunswick, N.J., and Douglas J. Zweizig, RDR, CRR, an official in Baltimore, Md., along with court reporters Allison Hall, RMR, CRR, an official from Tulsa, Okla., and Jennifer Billstein-Miller, RMR, CRR, a freelancer from Mantua, N.J., head up a Facebook page for aspiring and advancing court reporters.

To spur on the 15-minutes-per-day practice challenge, these mentors kicked up a fundraiser campaign with chances to win one of three Amazon gift cards.

Winners were Donna Urlaub, $125 Amazon card; Donna Prather, $100 Amazon card; and Debbie Krieghauser, $75 Amazon card. All donated their winnings back to student members of this practice group. 

The winners of the Work Smarter, Not Harder fundraiser hosted by NCRA Connect presenter Allison Hall were Elia Carrion and Karen Tyler. Their prizes are training sessions, presented by Hall, in these areas: efficiency/productivity, time management, organization, shortening writing, certification prep coaching, realtime prep/tricks, and practice tips. Her fundraiser brought in $776.

The A to Z Scholarship campaign met its fundraising goal of $5,000, and the Luminex II fundraiser continues through Oct. 2, 2020.

In addition, NCRA asked members who chose to compete in the first virtual realtime contest, the Realtime Literary Lockdown, to donate to the A to Z Scholarship fund. The contest took place on Aug. 5 and raised $2,500.

NCRF: Fast facts about your Foundation

  1. Meet our NCRF Board of Trustees
  2. Check out our Foundation programs
  3. Foundation scholarships
  4. Donating is simple and appreciated. Keep Tuesday Dec. 1 in mind. That is #GivingTuesday, and NCRF will host a major fundraiser online. Giving Tuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.
  5. NCRF Bylaws
  6. NCRF had two booths at NCRA Connect Virtual 2020: The NCRF booth and the A to Z Booth. More than $17,000 was raised during the four fundraising campaigns that NCRF hosted or co-hosted.
  7. The Luminex II fundraiser continues through Oct. 2. To enter the raffle, text 2020Lumi to 41444. One entry is $50, three are $125, and six are $250.
  8. Questions? Email Jill Parker Landsman, NCRF Manager at jlandsman@ncra.org or call 202-262-7878.

Welcome NCRF Trustees

The National Court Reporters Foundation congratulates our 2020 Chair Cathy Phillips, FAPR, RMR, CMRS, new Trustees Doug Friend, FAPR, RDR, CRR (Ret.), and Rich Germosen, RDR, CRR, and our renewed trustees Early Langley, RMR, RSA, and Tami Keenan, FAPR, RPR, CPE, Secretary-Treasurer Kristin Anderson, RPR, Michael Bouley, RDR, Marjorie Peters, FAPR, RMR, CRR, and Cregg Seymour.

To read NCRA/NCRF press releases regarding our newly appointed NCRF Trustees, click here.

Donate to NCRF and you might win a Luminex II

Interested in owning a new Luminex II and supporting the many programs of the National Court Reporters Foundation? Then take a chance and purchase your raffle tickets now for NCRF’s Luminex II drawing by noon Eastern time on Oct. 2. The drawing will be held later that day via a Facebook live event. More details will follow in future issues of the JCR Weekly. The winner will be able to choose from among the colors Stenograph offers.

The Luminex II, valued at more than $5,000, was generously donated to NCRA by Stenograph to help raise contributions to support its many programs, ranging from grants and scholarships to educational programs about court reporting and captioning and more.

Raffle tickets cost $50 each, three for $125, or six for $250, and they can be purchased by texting to 41444 with the message 2020Lumi.

“NCRF appreciates Stenograph’s generosity in donating a brand-new Luminex II for our 2020 raffle opportunity,” said Tami Keenan, FAPR, RPR, CPE, Immediate Past NCRF Chair and a retired court reporter from Battle Creek, Mich.

“This is a highly anticipated fundraiser each year. We also appreciate  those who donate to NCRF by buying raffle tickets. Stenograph’s and our members’ donations make it possible for NCRF to administer our vital training programs, community outreach, and scholarships. Our nonprofit activities are escalating all the time, and such generous funding helps make that possible.”

Remember, your chance to enter ends Oct. 2, so text now. You might be the lucky winner.

For questions or more information, email ncrfoundation@ncra.org.

Creating a strong future: Donations to Foundation programs, the industry, take off

For our generous NCRA members, donating to the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF) is personal. Our members give because they are advocates for the NCRF mission, among them scholarships, training, community outreach programs, and support for the NCRA A to Z® Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program.

NCRF Trustee Rich Germosen, RDR, CRR, a freelancer from North Brunswick, N.J., and Douglas J. Zweizig, CRR, RDR, an official in Baltimore, Md., along with court reporters Allison Hall, RMR, CRR, an official from Tulsa, Okla., and Jennifer Billstein-Miller, RMR, CRR, a freelancer from Mantua, N.J., launched the Zoom 100 Day Meet and Greet Raffle campaign and raised $3,101. With more than 165 Facebook members, these court reporter mentors offered a challenge for other court reporters to practice for a minimum of 15 minutes each day.

The camaraderie proliferated. The group’s recent challenge was to donate to NCRF, with campaign funds going to support scholarships. Three gift cards, bought by the leaders, were offered as raffle incentives.

Since Hall presented at NCRA’s Connect Virtual 2020, she established her own Work Smarter, Not Harder training raffle, to spark more NCRF donations. She raised $751, and her expert training program will be a prize to one lucky donor.

In addition, NCRA asked members who chose to compete in the first virtual realtime contest, the Realtime Literary Lockdown, to donate to the A to Z Scholarship fund. The contest took place on Aug. 5 and raised $2,500.

The NCRA A to Z Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program fundraiser to provide scholarship opportunities for students raised $4,255 during NCRA Connect. Donations are still being accepted. To donate, simply text 41444 with this message: A2ZFUND.

One NCRF fundraiser that is still ongoing is a raffle to win a new Luminex II donated by Stenograph. The drawing will be Oct. 2. Find out more about how to enter.  

Call for nominations to NCRF Board of Trustees

By Michael Bouley

Who have been your guides and angels in court reporting?  We all have them.
The National Court Reporters Foundation is looking for a few good Angels to serve on its Board of Trustees.
At NCRF, we give back by paying it forward. The Board of Trustees oversees the Foundation’s
activities and investments:  Student scholarships, The Veterans History Project, the Santo J. Aurelio Award for Altruism, the new Career Launcher series, and much more!  
It feels good to play a role in such great court reporting causes.
Apply yourself or nominate a colleague today. The deadline has been extended to Friday, May 29.

Michael Bouley, RPR, is a freelance court reporter from Henderson, Nev., and an NCRF Trustee.

Taking a walk on the brighter side: Advancing to our new tomorrow together

By Tami Keenan

Tami Keenan

Hello, you wonderful Angels! On behalf of the NCRF Board of Trustees we hope you, your family, and friends are weathering this pandemic. Unbelievable, isn’t it?  Life has changed so drastically in a snap. How are you coping with it, with remote jobs, being an essential worker, children off school who still need their education, our elderly and challenged family members who need care, loved ones in nursing homes? The list goes on and on.  

My husband, Reggie, and I take our dogs over to the local boat launch every afternoon because apparently there are different smells that erupt each day that our canines must investigate. Recently, my dear friend, who is my standing lunch date on Fridays before the stay-at-home order, called me while I was down there and pulled up in her car to see me. In the past, we would hug when we first see each other and hug when we leave.

No hug this time, not even a touch of the hand. Many of you who know me know that I’m a hugger and a handshaker; not sure about new rules on hugging and handshaking after this is over.

When is after anyway? We all have so many questions. No one has all the answers.

One answer I do have is this:  NCRF still continues to administer our programs. Now’s a great time to transcribe a veteran’s oral history and earn PDC credit. You can access the Legal Education course “Making the Record” on our website on this page.

Familiarize yourself with it; when you’re comfortable about it, you’ll be ready to present it. Volunteer to help with the online NCRA A to Z® Intro to Steno Machine Shorthand program. Volunteer to be a mentor for an A to Z student. Get involved.

The NCRA conference is still on the horizon for Aug. 6. NCRF will be there, and we will have Foundation and Angel activities, awards, and scholarships. Keep reading to see what you are invited to.

Take care, my friends, be safe! Hope to see you in Orlando. We need you to join us there. Stay healthy so you can help us advance our industry, advance our foundation, and advance our world.

Tami Keenan, FAPR, RPR, CPE, is the Chair of the NCRF Board of Trustees.