messing family picture
1996 1997 1999 2006 2007

Dear Friends and Family —

It's hard to believe it's the end of 1996 and a year has flown by since we last wrote our holiday greetings.

The Messings have been so fortunate to have had another wonderful year. Lauren is now 11 and in the 6th grade at middle school. Sam is 9 and a 4th grader. We won't go into Howard and Colleen's ages however — but Howard is in his 23rd year at MEDITECH and Colleen is still busy with her years of volunteering.

We've had some memorable trips as a family (Aruba, New York City, Florida, Vermont, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Myrtle Beach — and as a couple to San Francisco and St. Simon's Island, Georgia).

Lauren is enjoying her flute accomplishment, Nobles Day Camp, Milton Academy Saturday Program, art classes, tennis. She has been taking ballet classes at the Boston Ballet School for the last couple of years. Several months ago she decided to audition for the Nutcracker. She is very excited to have been selected and will be in 16 performances. Her role is that of the cavalry — with an elaborate costume. We can't wait to see her on stage at the Wang Center!

Sam's had a busy year as well — Odyssey of the Mind, baseball, soccer, Nobles Day Camp, and a successful year on Westwood's swim team (he came in third in the region in his age group in the backstroke this summer!) To no one's surprise, he has acquired his father's interest in aviation. If a plane passes by, the two of them will stop whatever they are doing to look up! For his birthday present, Howard flew Sam down to Washington D.C. in our plane to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum — they spent 8 hours there!

Howard has been very busy at work. While he has actually logged less miles than last year there have been more, shorter trips. MEDITECH continues to grow (over 1600 employees — when we met 17 years ago there were under 100). There are many exciting developments — a new product line is being introduced, installations of systems at the 350 hospitals owned by Columbia Healthcare are proceeding and the company has about a year's worth of orders in hand. He's particularly excited about a new product being developed that will help actually guide the delivery of health care as well as involve patients in their own care.

Last month, Howard became the chairman of the Westwood Information Systems Advisory Board, and he's on the Temple Beth David Board of Directors. Flying and computers are still his passions. He continues as Colleen's private desk top publisher!

Colleen had a very busy year finishing up her 2 year term as PTA Co-President and her last year as Co-Girl Scout leader. She is president of the local P.E.O. chapter, a member of the Sheehan School Council, and corresponding secretary of the Westwood Educational Foundation(WEF). She co-chaired last spring's town wide elementary school fundraising Comedy Night. This fall she chaired West/Fest — a fundraiser for the WEF that became a town wide ’happening‘ - with hundreds of attendees, pony rides, hay rides, civic association booths, and many other activities that helped boost our local civic pride! Aside from all this, she still finds time to play tennis and bridge at least once a week.

(Note from Howard: While I'm proud of all that Colleen does for our family, friends and town, she has had another huge accomplishment this year that we're all proud of: she has lost 42 pounds. She looks fantastic!! It has been a lot of hard work but she has been determined!!!)

We've enjoyed wonderful visits with friends and family — dinners, parties, celebrations, weddings, reunions — along with some very sad times with friends in our town. For the most part, it'—s been a happy and healthy year for us.

We wish you all a great, healthy, happy, joyous 1997 and we hope we get a chance to see each and every one of you in the coming year!

Colleen, Howard, Sam & Lauren