2011–12 Commodore's Letter to the Membership
I hope you are having a great fall, one that features woodchips flying, hulls and planks emerging from the shop, runners sharpened in anticipation of the new season. It is going to be a great one.
Coming up this fall is the annual swap meet and meeting Located at the Doubletree Hotel in Westbourough MA. The Date for this is Saturday October 29. The Swap meet starts at 10 am and the Annual Meeting starts at 12.
Going into Last winter, the NEIYA officers had a series of goals (Which I am listing in no particular order
1. Revamp the club's website
2. Improve communication among club officers as well as pushing information out to the club as a whole in a timely manor
3. Have a safe sailing season and educate members on safe sailing practices
4. Hold a cruise in (Rally type event)
5. Hold some great racing events
6. Keep the Hotline and Newsletters going as well as they have the past few years
7. Put together a welcome packet for new members so they have the essential info they need to go sailing
8. Purchase liability insurance to cover the club officers and volunteers.
9. Come up with some sort of Lifetime Membership award for club members that have done great things for the club
10. Keep costs under control as much as possible.
So if those were the goals, how did we do?
John Stanton did a wonderful job creating an awesome, useful website, and spent a lot of time helping us learn how to use it to the fullest. This leads to point number 2, communication. We are now able to post information to the website real time. We now have to reliable means of getting out the information, The Hotline, maintained by Jeff Soderholm, and the Website.
On point number 3, each edition of black ice now has an article dealing with some aspect of safety. At the fall tuning clinic, Jeff Brown and others helped give a great presentation on safe iceboating that was attended by many new and also experienced sailors.
Brian Langley did a great job with point number 4. The club held a nice cruiser oriented event that was well attended a t Long Pond in Lakeville Ma. Plans are under way to make it bigger and better this year.
"T" Theiler did a fine job finding ice and getting in racing in very challenging conditions. In reality, it was a tough season for racing, but you take what you can get. We were thwarted numerous times by the snow and wind gods.
Jeff Soderholm did an outstanding job with the Hotline, in a very challenging year for ice conditions so Point number 6 was done.
A number of us helped develop a packet for new members and Ed Atkeson sent them out as soon a Henry Capotosto got their Dues and membership form, so number 7 happened.
Item number 8 was to protect the officers and volunteers of the club from getting sued. Brian Langley and I, (and others) worked hard to find a policy that would cover our needs and not ruin the club financially. We were unable to get it in place for the 2010-11 season, but I am happy to announce that we now have a Liability policy for the club in place for next year, and presumably for subsequent years.
As far as developing a Lifetime Membership award for club members that have done great things for the club, we have not gotten very far. The fact remains that too damn many club members deserve the award and we couldn't agree on a good way to develop the program. So we failed miserably on number 9.
The last point was to run the club as financially prudently as possible so we would not have to raise dues. Dues have been 10 dollars per year as long as I have been a club member.
Last year we did OK financially. We were able to reduce the mailing costs for Black Ice thanks to the generosity of Marketing Solutions Unlimited in West Hartford CT. We trimmed back the budget for the trophy's and put off all the capital expenses that were not essential. The one place we ran considerably over budget was the fall meeting and banquet. We have always subsidized part of the meal costs to encourage attendance at the annual meeting. Last year saw a lot more participation then we anticipated and we lost quite a bit of money on the event.
This brings us to the next point. Dues are going to increase this year. The IDNIYRA board has decided to increase dues to 20 dollars for the upcoming season, as well as increasing the cost for the banquet to 25$. Of the 10$ increase in dues, ~ 5 dollars will be spent on insurance costs to protect the Club volunteers.
The remainder will go into the operating budget. The 5$ increase in banquet costs means the club is still subsidizing part of the meal expenses, but it is at a more reasonable level. I realize that times are tough, but the club can no longer run in the black without raising dues.
Thank you for your continued support
Eric Anderson Commodore NEIYA