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COMPEX 2010 To Honor Boy Scouts, Kate Smith & Philately

by Randall Sherman

Philatelists from around Chicago and the Midwest ought to "Be prepared" to enjoy themselves at COMPEX 2010, which will be held over the Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30, 2010. This is in part because this year's theme for COMPEX, the Chicago area's premier spring philatelic event, is "Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America." But beyond the Scouting theme, this 53rd annual edition of COMPEX will have a wide variety of ways for collectors of all types, as well as the general public, to have a great time at the show.

COMPEX, long a highlight of 's spring philatelic season, will again be held at the Forest View Educational Center, which is conveniently located at 2121 S. Goebbert Road in Arlington Heights, Ill., just north and east of the Arlington Heights Road exit of the Jane Addams Tollway/Interstate-90, and less than 12 miles northwest of Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Both admission and parking are free at COMPEX 2010! The site is also served by public transportation, with two PACE Bus lines (Route #208, from the Chicago Transit Authority's Purple Line Davis St. Station in Evanston and Route #606, from the CTA's Blue Line Station in Rosemont) bringing collectors to just a couple of blocks from the show site each day. The show hours are on Friday, May 28 and Saturday, May 29, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 30.

Various features of the show will focus on the theme of the Boy Scouts of America centenary, including the USPS show cancel and the show's cachet. A number of the exhibits will have Scouting as their theme, allowing the public to see a wide variety of philatelic material connected to Scouting and events in Scouting's history.

But COMPEX 2010 will be much more than a philatelic show about Scouting. On the opening day of the show (Friday, May 28), COMPEX and the U.S. Postal Service will hold a Second-Day Dedication Ceremony for the new 44-cent Kate Smith Stamp (that the USPS will be releasing nationwide on May 27) in the auditorium of the Forest View Educational Center. This will mark the seventh time in eight years that a ceremony for a new U.S. stamp issue has been held at COMPEX. As in prior years, those attending the ceremony will receive a free Ceremony Program marking the event. COMPEX Vice President - Publicity Randall Sherman noted there would be an opportunity following the ceremony for collectors to obtain autographs of the ceremony's participants. The autograph session is extremely popular, particularly among those school children who attend the first day of the show as a school field trip.

The planned Kate Smith Stamp Ceremony is just one of a series of events and meetings that will be held at COMPEX 2010, which will again be one of America's most diverse philatelic shows. At least ten other philatelic meetings and seminars are scheduled to be held during COMPEX 2010. These events include meetings of four of the COMPEX member clubs. The Chicagoland FDC Society will hold a meeting on Friday at 2 pm (and will also host a Regional Meeting of the American First Day Cover Society at 11 a.m. on Saturday, to preview the August 6-8 AMERICOVER 2010 Show that the AFDCS will hold in Oak Brook, Illinois, out in Chicago's western suburbs). The Scandinavian Collectors Club (Chapter #4) will hold a meeting and auction at 1 pm on Saturday. The Germany Philatelic Society (Chapter #5) meets at 2 pm that Saturday, while another COMPEX club, the Baden-Powell Philatelic Association of Illinois, meets on Sunday at 1 pm. Other local clubs that are scheduled to hold meetings at the show are the Illinois Postal History Society and the Jack Knight/Chicago Air Mail Society. Other national philatelic organizations scheduled to hold meetings at the show include the Space Topics Study Unit and the British North American Philatelic Society.

In addition, the Chicago Philatelic Society, whose roots date back to the 1880s, will hold its monthly Membership Meeting (#2837, dating back to 1886) at 3 pm on Saturday, May 29. That meeting will feature a philatelic program by Bob Glass (who is also the COMPEX Exhibit Vice President) on the "Uses of the German Worker Series of 1947-48." All of the meetings at COMPEX 2010 are free and open to the public.

The exhibition area at COMPEX 2010 features more than 2,000 pages of exhibits from young exhibitors and from members of the nine local clubs in the Chicagoland area that stage the show; the Austin Philatelic Club, the Baden-Powell Philatelic Association of Illinois, the Chicagoland FDC Society (Chapter #6 of the American First Day Cover Society), the Evanston-New Trier Philatelic Society, Chapter #5 of the Germany Philatelic Society, the Chicago Chapter of the Israel-Palestine Philatelic Society of America, the North Shore Philatelic Society, Chicago Chapter #4 of the Scandinavian Collectors Club and the United Nations Collectors of Chicagoland. Representatives of the member clubs that comprise COMPEX 2010 will be on hand throughout the three days of the show to assist those attending the show, to answer questions about their clubs, and to offer information to prospective members.

In addition to a number of Scouting-themed exhibits on display, COMPEX 2010 will also feature a 10-frame (160-page) exhibit of "Fire Engines on Stamps," another 10-frame exhibit titled "American Military Heroes of World War II," a one-frame (16-page) exhibit titled "Bill Mauldin," featuring First Day Covers of the 44-cent Bill Mauldin Stamp issued less than two months ago (on March 31), and a three-frame (48-page) exhibit of "Barack Obama Election & Inauguration Covers."

COMPEX 2010 also features a bourse of 58 dealer booths, including philatelic dealers who come to the show from across the nation, catering to every philatelic need collectors may have. The show will have booths for the U.S. Postal Service and the United Nations Philatelic Administration, both of which will be open on all three days of the show to sell their current stamps and related items.

Among those attending the show who will certainly appreciate the presence of a stamp ceremony are a number of First Day Cover cachetmakers, who will be participating at a three-day Cachetmakers Bourse to be held as part of COMPEX 2010. At this Cachetmakers Bourse, the participants sell the cachets that they have created for a wide variety of issues. Such Bourses have become a popular feature at many major shows, and COMPEX is pleased to offer a Cachetmakers Bourse that will operate throughout the entire length of the show.

COMPEX will also feature a number of activities of particular interest to young collectors and to all who are new to the hobby. According to COMPEX 2010 Youth & Education Vice President Jim Ashby, the show will include at least 10 frames of exhibits created by young collectors. In addition, Ashby and other COMPEX volunteers will be manning the show's Youth Booth throughout the three days of the show. In addition to the show's special activities (such as the Kate Smith Stamp Dedication Ceremony), young people who stop by the Youth Booth during COMPEX 2010 will be given free stamps, supplies, copies of various donated philatelic publications and other related material, in order to better assist them in getting started in a hobby that they can enjoy throughout their lives.

The COMPEX 2010 show cachet will depict a modified version of the 1960 Canal Zone stamp that was issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, and is to be cancelled with the USPS show cancel. The cachet will be on sale at the show for $2 apiece, or a set of all three days of the show for just $5. Mail orders for the show cachets should add $1 for shipping and postage costs, and can be sent to: COMPEX Cachets, c/o Stamp King, 7139 W. Higgins Ave., Chicago, IL 60656. In addition to the current show cachets, there will also be past COMPEX Show Cachets and Directories available for purchase at the COMPEX Booth, which will be located at the entrance to the fieldhouse.

COMPEX 2010 is certain to have something that will interest and fascinate anyone who attends the show, even for those who have never collected stamps. Please make your plans now to attend and see COMPEX 2010 for yourself! For additional information, please contact Randall Sherman at shermanrandall@hotmail.com

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