Season’s Greetings to All!
I hope everyone is keeping the spirit of this wonderful time of year alive in spite of dealing with the increasing complications of the expanding pandemic. I am praying you and your families all remain healthy and can share good times if only remotely thru these strange mods to our lives and we can all look forward to better times in the spring. Those involved certainly did their part to keep the true meaning alive with their heartfelt support of our Christmas Charity. Very meaningful as we support those most affected by these trying times. Also, some are stepping up to support our restaurant by buying Holiday gifts and indulgences thru the bar.
Understandably, restaurant/bar business has fallen off drastically as people restrict their interactions and concentrate on doing their best to balance the season with safety. We have put forth a budget that would get us thru at least March with the help of our SBA EIDL loan. As usual, we are then cash strapped and hope the dues and a rebound based on vaccines puts us back on track. This is definitely a gamble.
For the past several years, our board has emphasized a plan to be independent of the restaurant – then more able to be creative in our business plan – and out of debt. We got about half way there with a decent summer while still restricted. Our hats should be off to our manager, Jen Miller, and Deb Strouf and the Galley Committee. For years, we have fallen behind in building any equity as we kept our dues unrealistically low. I and the board have committed to keeping up with the increasing costs of doing business while keeping our club still a bargain across the Great Lakes. Our proposed $30 increase in dues for full and retired members should not cause too much sticker shock and we are always committed to working with anyone who has financial problems.
That said, we have very little cushion and need to be extra diligent in building our finances back up again. While our loan is long term like a mortgage with small payments, we have to be ready for that in our budget before next winters lull. While I hate to again ask for extra donations as it is the same stalwart members who always step up, it would help if we all could pay early if we renew in March and a little extra. I, for one, will pay what I think is still reasonable for the things I value in our club, $500 to start.
I am thankful for the support I have received trying to run a business with volunteers who have gone above and beyond. I am thankful for the fellowship and collegiality we all have in sharing our passions for our lake and sport and lifestyle. I hope we can all soon have a drink together to a great 2021.
Ron Otto, Commodore