President's Letter, Winter 2011-12
Dear Fellow Thames Club Members,
I hope this finds each of you rested and re-charged from the holiday season. In my opinion our Thames Club never looks lovelier than in December. The festive decorations, laughter and "gay apparel" of attendees at our holiday parties are always both joyful and triumphant. As our hardworking staff take the tree down and store the ornaments, it is time to turn our focus to a New Year which will include the dedication of our new library, the revitalizing and updating of the Thames Club website, First Fridays, and many more great events. These events will include opportunities for introducing new friends to all the benefits of Thames Club membership, as well as the ongoing fellowship of our current members.
Please join me in welcoming two new member families who were recently elected to membership in the Thames Club. Emily Higgins sponsored the application of her friend Dr. William Clarkson and his wife Gay Clarkson. The Clarksons live in Waterford . Dr. Clarkson is professor of civil engineering at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London. I sponsored my friend Alex Demetrio, who lives in Madison with his wife Christine and two children Emma and Jack. Alex is the manager at UBS in New London.
Finishing details of our beautiful new library are underway, thanks to the efforts of Cami O'Donnell, Dave Goebel and Nick Utz and Chris Manner among others. The chandelier is up, and donations of additional books are arriving, probably even as I write this. If you have books at home that you think might be of interest to fellow Thames Club members, please see Paula Guido for more information. Watch for a date of the official dedication in the spring, which promises to be a terrific evening.
During 2011, the Thames Club unfortunately lost a net of 20 members, bringing our current membership to 121. Because our club must cover operating expenses from the dues of our members, the Executive Committee voted to raise dues by $33.33 per each four month billing cycle, or $100 per year. We recognize that in these difficult economic times, this decision should not be made lightly. In an effort to help grow membership and offer a means of potentially off-setting the dues increase, the board also authorized a new incentive program. Beginning in 2012, the primary sponsor of each new member will now receive a $100 credit toward the sponsoring member's club dues. The club will continue to pay for first time visitors to the club at lunch or First Fridays who are potential members. Please think about neighbors, co-workers or friends who would benefit from membership at the Thames Club, and bring them in for an event. If together we can increase our membership in 2012, we will hopefully avoid increasing dues again anytime soon.
I am pleased to announce that the Thames Club now has reciprocity with Mory's, located in New Haven CT. Mory's was founded in 1849, and serves lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. Their entertainment schedule features a wide range of very talented acapella singing groups, many of which are based at Yale. For more information, please see their website: www.morys1849.org. We are working to actively increase the number of clubs with which we provide reciprocity. Please see me or Paula if you would like to suggest specific potential reciprocal clubs.
Recapping our Fall events, The Thames Club hosted very popular First Friday events in October and November. Another successful Road Rally took place in November, thanks to the efforts of Bill and Brenda Kramer, and Chris Manner. Past President Jack Scott provided his traditional master of ceremonies expertise for the annual Thanksgiving dinner and dice game. The first half of the bowling season wrapped up nicely, thanks to the organizing and scheduling wizardry of Jim and Pat Giordano. Over 70 members and their guests enjoyed a very festive Christmas Party on December 10th. Over 75 members and guests attended the delicious Member Appreciation Luncheon on December 19th.
The 2012 calendar starts off with First Friday coming up fast on January 6th. I hope to see you there, or around the members' lunch table soon. Happy New Year!
Thames Club President 2011-2012