What the Heck is a TMAC?

As many of the “old time” Tanglewooders (and Woodettes) know, long before there was a Tanglewood there was a Buttonwood.

John Greytek had put a lot of effort in developing “the community down the road” and was looking for a new challenge.  That challenge was Tanglewood!

One of the ideas that John was most proud of at Buttonwood was a MAC – the Master Activities Committee.  One of the “movers and shakers” of the group was a creative Mid-westerner named Bruce – Bruce Ortberg to be exact.  He, supported as always by his wife Janet, cobbled together a number of formerly independent groups into one forward thinking organization that planned and conducted a myriad of activities in the senior setting.  That group  continues today.

John had  planned a 1200 home community together with a recreational vehicle area that would be the envy of Central Florida; but he was a builder, not an activities person.

When John left Buttonwood, Bruce and Janet moved to Sun ‘N’ Lake.  Six months later they got a phone call from Greytek.  He needed help, and persuaded the Ortbergs to become one of the pioneer settlers in his new community.

Bruce began to gather ideas from the first residents to begin the development of an activities program that would suit their needs.  First came the Coffee Committee and their leadership of Monday Morning Coffees.  The Tennis groups and the Special Events Groups followed closely on their heels.  In no time at all, almost ten activities had developed and the foundation of a TMAC – Tanglewood Master Activites Committee had begun.

By Laws were written and adopted; and with John’s financial help the group was incorporated as a 501C3 corporation.  Monthly meetings were initiated, and officers were elected.

A retired Cape Coral banker, Russ Shaneyfelt, was enlisted to help set up a financial plan that is followed to this day.  The key premise of the program was that “any and all money raised by TMAC and its committees would be returned in some manner for the benefit of the residents.”  Russ, often called the “Conscience of Tanglewood”, saw to it that this tenet was followed.

Currently, TMAC is made up of 26 committees.  Each committee acts independently and provides prescribed services.  Each has a chair, co-chair, secretary, treasurer, (or a combination of the latter positions).  Either the chair or the co-chair must be a full time resident.  The chair of the committee serves on the TMAC Board which meets the third Wednesday of each month in the Main Hall.  All residents are encouraged to attend these meetings.  At each meeting, the chair or his/her representative reports to the total committee and outlines their current and future activities to those present.

TMAC officers are elected by the member chairs.  They include a Chairperson and a Co-chair.  Once again, one or the other must be a full time resident.  The Chair appoints a Secretary and a Treasurer.  The Chair can only serve two consecutive terms if so elected.  He or she may be re-elected to a subsequent term, but must wait a year before seeking office again.  Current TMAC officials include Howard Salles, Chairman; Bruce Eberly, Co-Chair; Shirley Kabet, Secretary; and Marilyn Schoppenhorst, Treasurer.

Some commttees are able to raise money from their activities – e,g. Special Events, Dance, and Special Meals.  Others are limited in their ability to support themselves.  The By Laws require the Treasurer to take back any and all excess sub-committee funds each February.  The funds are then redistributed to non-income earning groups for their operations – e,g, Decorating, Table Games, etc.  Some groups are exempt from returning monies because of ongoing commitments such as deposits and advances to entertainers.

A common misconception is that TMAC has an influence on the operations of the community.  In reality, the group’s only charge and purpose is to provide a varied and entertaining program of activities for the residents of Tanglewood.

Every resident has an opportunity to contribute to the operation of a TMAC committee.  In January of each year, sign up lists for each of the 26 groups are placed in the Hall for your participation.  In February, those who have expressed an interest are invited to a meeting of that committee for the purpose of selecting their leadership for the year.

Those chosen as Chairpeople then meet to select an overall TMAC Chairperson and co-Chair; and it starts all over again!

Watch for additional information concerting TMAC in future publications.

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