- FINANCIAL STATUS OF THE CLUB & BUDGET IMPLICATIONS OF COVID-19
It has occurred to me in these very interesting times that more than a few of you might be wondering "are we as a Club 'safe' financially?" The short answer is "yes." As it turns out, our particular model in how we run ourselves as a Club is sort of unique and ironically turns out to be perhaps the best model possible in a pandemic. This was not by design, of course, as no one really saw the pandemic coming, but is a reflection of our more than a century history as a Club and judgments and precedents made years if not decades ago as to "how we do things" by our prior Club leaders. Thank goodness for them and for their wisdom!
We do not have a bar, so there was none to shut down and no loss of liquor sales revenue, on which we undoubtedly would have grown dependent. We do not have a restaurant, and so we have no loss of food revenue, nor the attendant personnel issues were we to have been forced to furlough or lay off preparing and serving employees. We do not have a gas dock and so are unaffected by oil prices being inverted. We are not dependent on lavish weddings or similar social events for revenue. We have no mortgages or loans at all. We have NONE of those problems. My point, to be clear, is NOT that we are smarter than other Clubs with different models and histories (we are not, and they are assuredly our good friends), but my point IS that, as it turns out, how we "run things" allows us to deal with the present Club pandemic issues, which are substantial and novel enough on their own, WITHOUT being driven or channeled towards certain actions or points of view because of financial pressures. Our own model, in which we count primarily on OURSELVES with respect to herculean volunteerism, and run our "base" operations with a small group of talented and dedicated full-time employees, allows us to now simply function largely as planned so long as our members pay their dues and slip fees when due, which (and this is a credit to the high character of our members) has simply not been a problem for us as this Spring will soon turn to Summer.
In anticipation of one question some of you might have, our wonderful summer social events (which we will miss dearly if and as we cannot have them, none more than me in my final Commodore year!), are largely self-funding (meaning we largely pay for them, one by one, with our a la carte purchase of tickets for them as the season progresses), so the lack of a few or more of them, although a real kick to morale, does not harm us financially to any significant extent.
So, simply note that, as we all face our other personal and family very many new and real worries, the overall financial health of the Club is in good order. And, when you have the chance, make sure to tell our employees and Committee heads and members how much you appreciate all of their efforts on behalf of all of us. As was the case with Superstorm Sandy not that long ago, everyone once again is "stepping up" in a big way. Most clichés of course are based on underpinnings of truth, even when repeated ad nauseum, but, with all of our continued efforts and intentional good faith to ourselves and our employees, we will get through all of this together, and better times are not that far ahead of us.