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  #1  
Old 02-27-2004, 03:44 PM
SmartBlondeGPhB SmartBlondeGPhB is offline
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Gamma Phi Beta Crescent Catchers

The Badge Task Force (now known as the "Crescent Catchers") is a group of Gamma Phi Betas who since the fall of 2002 have worked to educate our members on our badge policies, strengthen those policies, and track badges that show up for sale on ebay and other secondary markets.

We will also have quite a bit of information at Convention 2004!

The following is the text of an article that will be appearing in Fall Crescent in regards to the Badge Task Force. If you have any questions, or would like to join us and help out, let me know.

In IIKE,
Melanie Kelsey
Chair, Badge Task Force

Gamma Phi Beta Badge: Not just another piece of jewelry

In the Fall of 2002, a small group of members shared their growing concerns about our badge being sold on eBay. After a couple of days and numerous emails, the Badge Task Force was formed and immediately set out to determine why our badge was being sold on eBay and what, if anything, could be done about this disturbing trend.

After surveying our membership during the Fall and Winter, it became apparent that a major root of the problem was inadequate knowledge about our badge. Even recent graduates did not seem to retain the basic facts they were taught about our badge as new members, if they were taught anything at all.

What do you remember about our badge? Your badge is a symbol of your Gamma Phi Beta membership and it means much more than what a stranger sees. It symbolizes our four founders, the ideals of our sorority, and the bonds of sisterhood that have continued to grow strong since 1874. Only initiated members of Gamma Phi Beta are permitted to wear the badge, thus making it even more precious. It should be kept safe at all times.

The badge is to be worn at all events where ritual will be performed. It is never to be sold, loaned, or given to another party and is to be returned to International Headquarters by any member who resigns from our organization. It should also be returned upon the death of a member, unless it will be worn by a legacy. All members should make their families aware of what they want done with their badge in the event of their death, to insure it will be kept in the Gamma Phi family.

Do you want to replace a lost/stolen badge? What does International Headquarters do with the badges that are returned by members who resign? They sell them to other members who are looking for a replacement badge. If you are interested in obtaining one of those badges, contact IH to see what is available. Be sure to specify that you are looking for a replacement badge.

Are you interested in assisting with our cause? We are always looking for more members to assist our cause in any way possible, especially with a financial contribution. If you are interested in joining our group, or would like to contact the Task Force for any reason, please send an email to our Yahoogroups site at GPhiBBadges-owner@yahoogroups.com. If you are requesting to join, all members need to be approved so be sure to send us your name and collegiate chapter for verification purposes. We will then add you to the group.

Do you want to bid on a badge? The Badge Task Force also tracks badges on eBay. If you are interested in bidding on a badge that you see on eBay, please contact us at the email address above. Prior to purchasing any badge, we attempt to locate the original owner to allow her the opportunity to purchase it herself as well as to check if it was stolen. We are not discouraging you from bidding, but by knowing who is bidding we can (hopefully) avoid Gamma Phis bidding against each other and raising the bid price unnecessarily.

Do you frequent estates sales and the like? Sadly, eBay is not the only place our badges are showing up for sale. If you frequent flea markets, estate sales, antique shops, or other secondary marketplaces, you will be surprised how many you might find. Any badge of “historical significance” can be donated to the Foundation for a tax write off and other badges, not meeting the criteria, can be returned to International Headquarters to be returned to the original owner, or sold to a member looking to replace her badge.

Have you lost your badge? The Badge Task Force has developed a database to track lost/stolen badges so we can try to reunite badges found on a secondary market with the original owner. If you have lost your badge, and would like the information added to our database, please send an email to the address above with a detailed description of your badge including the inscription on the back and your current contact information. In addition, if your badge is/was stolen, it is crucial that you file a police report with the exact description. If your stolen badge ends up on eBay, the report makes it much easier to get your badge back.

Look for more information in the upcoming months. In addition to our ongoing monitoring and rescue efforts, International Council and the Badge Task Force are working on improved badge education for our members.
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Last edited by SmartBlondeGPhB; 07-10-2004 at 10:26 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2004, 10:31 PM
SmartBlondeGPhB SmartBlondeGPhB is offline
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Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if I find a badge on ebay?
If you find a badge on ebay, please contact the Crescent Catchers at the email listed below. If the badge is one that the group is going to bid on, they do not want other Gamma Phi’s bidding on it as well to drive up the price.

How do I get in touch with the Crescent Catchers to contribute to the cause?
The Crescent Catchers can be contacted at GPhiBBadges-owner@yahoogroups.com. They are always looking for additional contributors to the cause!

Who do I contact if I lost my badge?
Please contact the Crescent Catchers at GPhiBBadges-owner@yahoogroups.com. Be sure to provide your name, contact information and a brief description of the badge. In addition, if the badge has been stolen be sure to contact your local police department. In the event of a burglary, it is imperative that you keep the police case number (and report) in a secure location where it can be easily located in the event that the badge later turns up on ebay. The official police report will be necessary in order to convince ebay to end the auction.

What do the Crescent Catchers do with the badges that they recover from secondary markets?
The first thing the Crescent Catchers do when they find a badge on ebay is attempt to contact the original owner. If the original owner cannot be found, has passed away, or does not want the badge then we make a decision on whether to bid on the badge or not. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to purchase every badge that we find on a secondary market so we prioritize our purchases.

The Crescent Catchers bid on those badges that are deemed to be “historically significant” by International Council for donation to the Foundation Museum. The money spent to recover these badges comes from donations by the individual members of the group.

The Foundation will give members an IRS tax receipt for badges donated to the Museum. The value of the badge needs to be determined by the donor and/or donor’s personal tax preparer. The Foundation will give “soft credit” for the amount paid for the badge and it will be credited as an “In Kind Gift” but will not be reflected in the member’s annual giving levels.

What is “historically significant”?
The following are the current criteria of a historical badge as determined by International Council:
• Badges produced prior to 1945
• A collegiate chapter charter member
• All jeweled badges
• Grand Council and International Council badges

If the badge is not produced before 1945 or a Grand Council/IC badge at least two of the above criteria must be met.

I lost my badge and would like to replace it. Do I need to go through our official jeweler to do it?
No, you do not. Replacement badges can be purchased from the stock of badges that International Headquarters has on hand that have been returned by members who have resigned their membership in Gamma Phi Beta. When a member purchases one of these badges, it will be sent to the jeweler to be polished and re-engraved with the member’s name and information. Contact Member Services at International Headquarters for more information. In addition woman who are joining Gamma Phi Beta as Alumna Initiates are eligible to purchase their badge through this process.

I am a new member, can I purchase my initial badge from the stock of returned badges at International Headquarters or in a secondary market like ebay?
No, all new members must purchase their initial badge from the stock of new badges being offered by the official jeweler unless they have received special permission to wear the badge of a relative.

I want to have a Badge PACE for my chapter, where can I get information?
At this time, official information for a PACE program is being developed by the member –at-large department. Once it has been developed, it will be distributed to all chapters for their use. Prior to that time, no PACE program is to be given to the chapter.

My mother/aunt/grandmother/other female relative has passed away, what should I do with her badge?
A member’s badge is to be returned to International Headquarters upon her death, unless it is being kept for a potential legacy.

What should be done with my badge upon my death?
A member’s badge is to be returned to International Headquarters upon her death, unless it is being kept for a potential legacy. All members should have a stipulation to this effect in their will so that their family will know their intentions. The Crescent Catchers have developed a form that can be sent to any member that will very easily list the member’s wishes.

Are members supposed to return their badges upon termination of their membership?
Yes, the badge shall be retained by the member as long as international disciplinary action (international probation, suspension or expulsion) or resignation of membership does not occur. At such time that international disciplinary action or resignation occurs, the badge will be returned to International Headquarters. When a collegiate chapter member resigns, or has her membership terminated, it is imperative that the chapter representatives make all possible efforts to retrieve the badge from the woman.

It is my badge, why can’t I sell it on ebay if I resign from the organization?
Gamma Phi Beta policy states that members are expressly forbidden from selling membership badges at any time through any means, including but not limited to electronic auction houses.

If you have additional question, please contact the Crescent Catchers at GPhiBBadges-owner@yahoogroups.com
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2004, 11:10 PM
SmartBlondeGPhB SmartBlondeGPhB is offline
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More Basic Info

Summary
The badge of Gamma Phi Beta is an outward symbol of our Sorority and, as such, it should be more important than other pieces of jewelry a member owns. The Badge Task Force was formed to look at the specific problem of our badge showing up for sale on eBay (and other secondary markets such as estate sales) and what, if anything, we could do to minimize the occurrences. We found that a lack of knowledge is the largest cause of the problem.

Background
In October 2002, a Task Force was formed to research the issue of our badge showing up on eBay. It began when three members were conversing through the Gamma Phi Beta Bulletin Board regarding concern that our badge was increasingly showing up for sale on eBay and ending up in the hands of collectors. A group soon formed to determine why this was occurring and what, if anything, we could do about it.

In researching this problem, we first focused on the attitudes our members have about their badge as well as the information they remember from their new member education period. We began by surveying our membership in late 2002 to gauge where the root of the problem was so we could better focus our efforts and recommendations. Trying to buy every badge that shows up on the secondary market is not the answer, it is far too costly and we really have little control over it. We must work from within our organization to change the attitudes of our members and keep our badge in the hands of Gamma Phi’s from the beginning.

It soon became quite evident that the largest problem we needed to overcome was a lack of knowledge on the part of our members about most aspects of our badge, including what should be done with the badge upon a member’s death. Our members know what type of attire to wear with it (no jeans), and when not to wear it (when drinking), but they do not know (or remember) much else.

Accomplishments

1) We have set up a procedure for tracking badges as they appear on eBay and attempting to find the original owner.

2) We have developed a database of Gamma Phi Beta’s who are active on eBay so that we can track who is bidding and attempt to keep members from bidding against each other.

3) We have created a list of members who have lost their badge or have had it stolen. With this information we can try to reunite badges that we find on eBay with the original owner, if possible.

4) We have an auto-response sent to members who contact IH through the Web site. A number of members have contacted IH through the website regarding badges they see on ebay. In conjunction with Megan McDermott at IH, we developed a response that Megan automatically sends out when she gets these types of inquiries. The response thanks the member for letting us know and directs them to the Crescent Catcher email address.

5) Historical Criteria has been set. The following criteria has been developed and adopted by International Council (spring 2004):

Badges produced prior to 1945
A collegiate chapter charter member
All jeweled badges
Grand Council and International Council badges

If the badge is not produced before 1945 or a Grand Council/IC badge at least two of the above criteria must be met.

6) There is a segregated forum on the Gamma Phi Beta Web site Bulletin Board for all Badge Task Force information. This has helped us keep control of the issue when we have badges appear on eBay and members want to bid on them. It also gives us one place for posting messages when we are looking for the original owners.

7) We have changed the name to “Crescent Catchers”. The educational aspects that were recommended have been passed on to the departments and the Crescent Catchers now focus on badges found on ebay.

8) Improved Educational information from IH
The Alumna Initiate material has been updated.
The Senior Celebration material has been updated.
Information will be included in the fall officers packet. Information has been added to New Member Manual (collegian).

9) Badges that have been “saved” by the Crescent Catchers

As of May, the Crescent Catchers have rescued 49 badges, of which six are historical, at a total cost of $2.206.49. Three badges have been returned to the original owner and two have been donated to the member's respective collegiate chapter for a President's badge.

In addition, we purchased a badge from Gamma Chapter (early 1900’s) directly from a collector who contacted us. We also discovered a badge on ebay which we learned had been stolen from the original owner a number of years ago. She pursued the situation with both the Kansas City Police Department as well as with ebay, but unfortunately was unable to have the auction ended due to a lack of official documentation on the robbery. We were, however, able to purchase the badge in the auction and return it to the member.

At convention we presented the President of Beta Pi with one of our most recent purchases (a Beta Pi badge) to be used as their President’s badge.
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2004, 04:12 PM
SmartBlondeGPhB SmartBlondeGPhB is offline
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Link to the newsletter that we handed out at Convention.

http://www.gammaphibeta.org/uploads/...0810124250.pdf

It's in the Member's Only section so you may need your member number to view it.
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  #5  
Old 08-11-2004, 04:41 PM
sageofages sageofages is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by SmartBlondeGPhB
Link to the newsletter that we handed out at Convention.

http://www.gammaphibeta.org/uploads/...0810124250.pdf

It's in the Member's Only section so you may need your member number to view it.
Nope, you don't need a member number! I am reading it right now Exellent information and use of images.
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Proud to be a member of the Macon Magnolias - Phi Mu + Alpha Delta Pi

Last edited by sageofages; 08-11-2004 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 08-11-2004, 05:20 PM
wrigley wrigley is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by sageofages
Nope, you don't need a member number! I am reading it right now Exellent information and use of images.

co-sign

It was well written. I liked reading the stories about the pins finding their way back to the original owners.

I love happy endings.
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Old 08-11-2004, 11:12 PM
Sister Havana Sister Havana is offline
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That was a great read. What you are doing is wonderful!
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:14 PM
gphiangel624 gphiangel624 is offline
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An odd occurrence happened in my office on UCR's campus today...

When I came back from lunch, my department's intern (also the advisor for Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity on campus) and asked me if I could help him with something one of his members found. He showed me a badge, very obviously a Gamma Phi Beta badge in good condition, and asked if I knew what it was. I laughed because he said that he and 2 of the fraternity members had been looking on every internet site they possibly could to figure out if this was a badge belonging to a greek organization; I told him it was a Gamma Phi badge and he was intrigued that there was Hebrew writing on the crescent. Since he can read and speak Hebrew, he tried to decode what it said and asked me why it says "locusts" on the crescent. I laughed even more. Now the fraternity, being a traditionally Jewish fraternity, is really interested in why we have Hebrew writing on our badge.

Even better, I looked at the inscription on the back of the badge and discovered that it belongs to one of the collegiate members of the chapter at UCR, who had told me last night at initiation that she lost her badge.

I'm so impressed by people who can be honest enough to find something of value and try to find out who it belongs to before going and selling it randomly. The owner of the badge is going to write a thank you note to these men and hopefully that can help increase good relations with the (new) fraternity as well.

Just thought I'd share!
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Old 03-02-2005, 03:24 PM
SmartBlondeGPhB SmartBlondeGPhB is offline
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Exclamation Please Read

Due to recent developments, I feel the need to post on here (rather than the gamma phi website) a few key things that need to be made more clear to people.

1. All new members, collegiate and AI, MUST purchase a badge directly from IH. PERIOD. Buying one on ebay does not fulfill this requirement and you will just end up with two badges.

2. If you find a badge on ebay, read the FAQ's that I have posted above. Nine times out of ten, we already know about the badge and have already made a decision on whether we are going to bid on it.

3. If you want to bid on it for yourself, let us know. You will not know whether we are going to bid on it, unless you ask us.

4. If you decide to bid on a badge just to "keep it in the family", don't. You cause more problems for us than you know.

5. Don't contact the seller and tell them that badges are supposed to be returned to IH. They have no obligation to do that and you just upset them.

6. If you are a regular ebay bidder, send us your ebay id (not on this thread).
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Last edited by SmartBlondeGPhB; 08-20-2008 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 07-26-2006, 07:17 PM
GeekyPenguin GeekyPenguin is offline
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Lost your badge?

If you are a sister who has lost her badge, when you email the Crescent Catchers, please give us all the information you have.

Typical E-mail
Hi, my name is Frances Moss and I initiated at the Alpha chapter and lost my badge on campus. Please let me know if you find it. I miss it so.

Really helpful E-mail
Hi, my name is Frances Moss and I was initiated at the Alpha chapter in 1874. My badge was lost somewhere in Syracuse around 1906. It is a larger badge with pearls on the Phi and a gold Gamma and Beta. The back was inscribed with an Alpha and F.E. Haven '74.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:31 PM
SmartBlondeGPhB SmartBlondeGPhB is offline
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Please don't post actual information about badges you have found for sale on Greek Chat. The last thing we need is to attract MORE attention to a badge that is up for sale. If a collector hasn't seen it, we don't need to tell him/her about it.
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Last edited by SmartBlondeGPhB; 01-17-2008 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:58 PM
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SWTXBelle SWTXBelle is offline
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I'm sorry! Lesson learned!
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Old 01-21-2008, 06:52 PM
bejazd bejazd is offline
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SmartBlondeGPhi, do you have any updates for us on the Crescent Catchers you can share?
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:19 PM
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SWTXBelle SWTXBelle is offline
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I think she might . . .
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Old 01-22-2008, 12:38 PM
SmartBlondeGPhB SmartBlondeGPhB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bejazd View Post
SmartBlondeGPhi, do you have any updates for us on the Crescent Catchers you can share?
Like what?

We won't post our successes on here for the same reason we don't post information about badges that are for sale on ebay. Collectors know enough about us, they don't need to know everything we do and how we do it.

Basically, the Crescent Catchers currently spend their time keeping an eye on ebay and other other online auction businesses for badges that meet the historical criteria. When one is found, we go through the steps outlined earlier in this thread. We have been able to reunite a number of badges with original owners and have also donated a few back to the museum. Most of the badges that have shown up recently however have not met the historical criteria as set out be Council.

I will say we were recently able to retrieve the badge of a charter member of one of our early chapters.
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