Dear TVCC Members,
Since I joined TVCC in 2010, my passion for the club, its members, and paddling has grown exponentially which sparked my involvement beyond any measure I could have anticipated.
As I enter my final term as President, I want to highlight an important issue.
TVCC has 700 people associated with the club, whether as an active member or a one-time event attendee. As a club, we have received community recognition for hosting extraordinary events such as Paddle School, Rescue Rodeo and the Ocoee Race. Unfortunately, this is achieved through the commitment of about 50 members, or 7 percent of the membership. These 50 people organize and execute all the events and general day-to-day business.
This trend over the last few years does not support our overall mission statement.
With growing membership numbers comes bigger and better event expectations. These goals and expectations cannot be achieved by only 50 people. As a working professional, I understand that everyone has time constraints which may not allow them to serve on the TVCC Board; however, there are countless other ways to contribute to the club, even on a limited time budget. One simple way to contribute is to volunteer for event(s) which occur throughout the year. These events are scheduled far in advance and your support can be something as simple as offering to coordinate a happy hour or running the table at the Ocoee Race After Party. The current TVCC Board members are going above and beyond their original time commitments to ensure the integrity of TVCC remains intact. Ultimately, this leads to burnout. Instead of Board members focusing on a particular improvement of the club, they spend their term(s) ensuring our events run flawlessly. Speaking from experience, it becomes a challenge to make time for everything and can lead to spiteful attitudes which result from this “self-first” attitude that some members chose to take. The idea of a volunteer organization is not to take advantage of others enthusiasm to the point where they are worn out, but rather is to create a fun and fulfilling environment that everyone benefits from.
The solution is simple.
If each active club member picked a single event each year, and truly gave their time by either working the day of or helping with the planning and execution, suddenly, events like Happy Hours, River Clean Ups, and Training Trips are no longer a burden to the that small seven percent. Instead, if these events are run by the general membership, as they were intended, then this general membership has a vested interest in the club. With active participation, we gain the ability to host a larger array of events, draw from a wider spectrum of ideas, and provide more opportunities for everyone to enjoy. If all active members picked only one event, this would be 75% more contribution to the club and that is exactly what will ultimately lead to success for the club.
Call to action.
In summary, I’m asking each of you to please take a moment to reflect on if you are truly doing your part to make this club enjoyable by all members. If you waiver in your response, or answer no, then I again would like to challenge you to help in as little as one event. Henry Ford once said “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” As a group of individuals, success is a challenge, but with the help of many, we can continue to grow this great club which will continue to build the community of paddlers throughout the region. We have something we can be proud of today, but if that 50 active members becomes 200, TVCC will not only be sustainable for the next 50 years, we will grow and leave a legacy that our future generations can be proud of!