All concerned; we are in the formative stages in the establishment of the Figure Skating Club of Southern Maryland. This is a long letter so hang in there and send any concerns to the board.
Please keep in mind that we are starting a non-profit business and all applicable business rules and laws apply.
This letter will address what has happened so far; what still needs to happen; and some concerns that have been presented.
1. What has happened so far: we have completed three official meetings, nominated and selected a Board of Directors and Club Officials, which consist of:
- Chairman/President, Tom King
- Vice Chairman/Vice President, Terri Daniels
- Board Member/Treasurer, Jean King
- Board member/Secretary - Jennifer Villalobos
- Official/Test Chair - Nance Simmons
- Official/Membership Chair, Erik Scheibert
We have developed bylaws based on U.S. Figure Skating rules, which were voted on and approved 6 November 2011.
We have obtained our EIN number for tax purposes and have completed all necessary articles for a non-profit corporation. Articles will be submitted as soon as board members sign the necessary forms.
I would like to give a special thanks to Erik Scheibert who is working hard to develop our presence on the internet, Facebook and anywhere else he can find space. In addition to his hard work he has also provided very generous financial gifts to the club to get our presence off the ground. Thank you Erik!
2. What needs to happen: Now that we have completed all the necessary steps to officially act as a club effective 6 November 2011, we must now complete six consecutive months as a club before we can apply for provisional status and be eligible to conduct testing among other privileges. Our provisional status should be obtained in June 2012.
Between now and June we need to focus on fundraising and membership. Fundraising is required to obtain the necessary funds to properly establish the club. We already held two fundraisers that raised enough for the filing fees. We only need a few hundred dollars to get the program off the ground and ready for implementation in June.
Membership - we need to get the word out and build support for our club. Most potential members currently belong to other clubs for testing purposes and we want to ensure that these potential members are aware of our club so that they join us rather than renew memberships at their current clubs. We plan to really bring our club to light via email, web presence, Facebook, blogging, flyers and word of mouth. We don't want to lose potential members because they have already renewed. Membership has to be our main priority during the next six months.
Additional Start-up items – We must complete the following before June 2012:
- Develop a Strategic Plan
- Develop Conflict Management Rules
- Develop Club Financial Plan
- Develop Club Fundraising Plan
- Develop Membership Plan, Forms and establish Dues
- Develop Rink Relationships with Capital Clubhouse and Tucker Road Skating Rinks and develop and sign Rink Agreements
- Recruit coaches to become members of our club
- Purchase two Dasher Boards from U.S. Figure Skating for Capital Clubhouse and Tucker Road Rinks at $115 each (fundraising required)
- Other miscellaneous items that are available at U.S. Figure Skating
3. Concerns - I'm going to try and address the concerns I have been told about and the ones I have heard myself. As you read these please understand that the core of these issues is lack of participation in the start-up meetings.
First - let me be very clear about this, we are forming a figure skating club that is available for all figure skaters and this takes time and must be done by the rules established by U.S. Figure Skating.
- Bylaws - the bylaws were written in accordance with U.S. Figure Skating and are written for the club and not for the rink. The concern is that Tucker Road is not mentioned in the bylaws. This is true, but as I mentioned the bylaws are for the club and not for the rinks. Why is Capital Clubhouse mentioned? Because U.S. Figure Skating requires an administrative base and most of the board members are currently from Capital Clubhouse. Using it as the administrative base is most convenient for board meetings at this time. The bylaws state that the administrative base can change, so in the future, if the board membership shifts then the administrative base should also change to accommodate board requirements. The rinks involved in our club formation will come in play when we establish ice usage agreements with each rink.
- U.S. Figure Skating vs. Ice Skating Institute (ISI) – during the three official meetings held, ISI was not brought up as a concern. Capital Clubhouse is not a member, therefore meeting participates from Capital Clubhouse were not aware of ISI and did not/could not consider it as a concern. Now that ISI has been brought forward as a concern, the club will consider becoming a member but at this time it must be a board voted issue and then placed into the financial plan.
- Synchronized Skating – as with the ISI issue, Synchronized Skating was not represented at the official meetings. Synchronized Skating is not yet offered at Capital Clubhouse, therefore meeting participates from Capital Clubhouse were not aware of Synchronized Skating and did not/could not consider it as a concern. I have researched the issue and both U.S. Figure Skating and ISI support Synchronized Skating. So the club should consider the pros and cons of each and support the existing Tucker Road Team in the future under the best program voted on by the board.
- Testing – although the Test Chair has already done an excellent job of preparing us for testing, the rules simply won’t allow us to test in December. We started with high hopes but we cannot test until we have our Provisional Membership in June 2012.
- Annual Dues – The board will likely recommend around $100.00, with varying levels depending on member participation. We are looking at other clubs and the financial plan to determine a fair price for all that will meet the needs of the club.
Below I have also provided the Qualifications for Club Membership from U.S. Figure Skating which states in the first sentence that we must skate as an organized club for six months prior to applying for a Provisional Membership.
I sincerely hope that I have provided some relief in the concerns your may have at this time. Please plan to participate in upcoming meetings in the next six months, fully support our fundraisers and remember all we want is an established club that fully supports our skaters.
FSC of Southern Maryland
QUALIFICATIONS FOR CLUB MEMBERSHIP Provisional Membership
- The applicant club shall have been skating as an organized club six consecutive months prior to the date of application. A club is deemed to be organized when an election of officers and directors has taken place, and bylaws have been approved by the members of the club. The bylaws should be in a form similar to the sample drafted by U.S. Figure Skating legal counsel, or in such form that will be acceptable to the Membership Committee, and which calls for the election of officers and directors in accordance with generally accepted parliamentary procedures.
- The principal skating headquarters of a club shall be the address of the rink in which the club conducts the majority of its skating sessions/business. This address will be recorded in the U.S. Figure Skating database. A club may only name one principal skating headquarters. (MR 2.04)
- The applicant club shall have made arrangements for exclusive ice time either at a rink or some other place where ice is available for use exclusively by the club (principal skating headquarters). This requirement begins no later than the date of approval for provisional membership. A copy of the ice contract or letter of such agreement shall be submitted at this time.
4. The applicant club shall have not less than 25 home club members, 10 of whom are adult members over the age of eighteen (18) years.
- A payment of $50 shall be included with the application.
- An applicant club may be granted provisional membership by the Membership Committee at any time during the year, if the application has been investigated and approved.
- For the application to be considered for full club membership at the next meeting of the Governing Council, it must be postmarked not later than Dec. 31.
- As a provisional club, you will be able to sanction exhibitions, carnivals and ice shows, hold test sessions, and your club members are eligible to compete representing your club. There are two things that you cannot do until you are a full member club: 1) Host a qualifying competition and 2) Vote at Governing Council.
- Until the applicant club has been approved, members who wish to compete or test should join U.S. Figure Skating through another member club or as an individual member.
- During the six-month formation process, provisional status or the first year after full membership is granted, the applicant club must complete club education requirements as specified by the Membership Committee.