President's Annual Report to the Association
July 2010
To the Board of Directors and Membership SCS Alumni Association

As President of the SCSAA, it is my duty and privilege to deliver the Annual report on the State of the Association. The prime purpose of this report is to provide to the Association's Board of Directors and Membership the current status of the Organization and the vision for our future direction. This report will document the progress, accomplishments and challenges we experienced in pursuit of our goals and objectives over the preceding year.

As we complete our 12th year as a formal Association, I am proud to report that the state of the Association remains financially sound and focused in purpose. Our commitment to incorporate our founding purposes into every facet of the Association continues as our guiding principal. Each year I comment on how this organization has exceeded my wildest expectations and it was no different this past year. I am still amazed at how much has been accomplished by so few. with so little, so fast. Even though the engine slows down every so often, conflicts arise and apathy takes a ride with us, I am still optimistic for the future of the SCSAA.

I contend that this last year can be counted as another successful and productive year for the Association. It is a year when our goals were realized and a year marked by milestones. I seem to repeat myself every year in my description of the position of the Association but as long as it applies I cannot think of a better way to state it. That is "Each year the Association seems to rise to the challenge and channel its limited resources to sustain the momentum and maintain the standard of excellence in all our undertakings. This past year was no exception".

In addition to our core functions of organizing Alumni Weekend, publishing two issues of "Reflections", maintaining the excellence of the Alumni Website, and producing the Sports Hall of Fame and Wall of Fame events, we established the following specific objectives for 2009-2010:

This represented a very full Agenda for the Association but to sustain our status as a first class organization it was required. Although some of the specific goals still remain in progress I submit that overall we achieved the outcome that we had aspired to accomplish.
As a result of our efforts in reaching our goals 2009 marked several milestones:

These milestones will be discussed in detail in the respective sections of this report


As indicated above membership reached the 1,000 mark for the first time in our history. In last years report I documented the efforts of Debby Puffer and Karen Cycon-Dermody the then newly appointed co-chairs of the membership committee who created an aggressive campaign for increasing membership which enjoyed considerable success. This past year they expanded the campaign and installed a membership table at each venue of Alumni Weekend. Their efforts resulted in a 20% increase in membership dues and reached the 1,000 member milestone. . This was one of the prime factors for the postponement of any discussion for increasing the dues to $15. I applaud their efforts and everyone else should too. But recruiting new members should not involve this amount of work. I will say it again, if everyone who receives "Reflections" or participates in any of the Association's events paid their dues annually, the Association would not have to expend some much of its time and resources in fund raising activities. Just think about it.

The " Wall of Fame" & "Sports Hall of Fame"

Four (4) of our stated goals were related to these two Association Activities. The goal of increasing more grass roots involvement in the nomination process was realized by both of these events. Last years Legacy award winner, the 1964-65 Wrestling Team, was nominated and lobbied for by an outside Alumni Group who successfully made a convincing case to the selection Committee. A similar instance occurred in this year's "Wall of Fame" nominations. The Class of 1970 submitted one of their own for induction, Andrea Wakeman, on the occasion of their 30th Anniversary reunion. They prevailed in presenting a very convincing argument and she was inducted at the ceremony during this year's Alumni Weekend. This is exactly the type of involvement that we are looking from the classes or other interested alumni groups.

It has been our goal for several years to increase the visibility of the Alumni Association within the School. This year this goal came to fruition when the "Wall of Fame" committee produced a Student Assembly to celebrate the official dedication of a "Permanent Wall of Fame" at the Sidney High School. The format of the assembly involved a presentation by me to the Students and Faculty of an overview of the Alumni Association and what it meant to them, motivational speeches by three of our Wall of Fame inductees, Jim Mcintyre '60, Chuck D'Imperio '68 and Brenda Wrigley '72 who presented remarks on how they arrived at being inducted and the role Sidney High School played in their successes. Doug Sheldon '59, chairman of the "Wall of Fame Committee" organized the event for the Association and also presented brief biographies of the other inductees. This Assembly led to the culmination of several of our goals by creating visibility for the Association and inaugurating a permanent "Wall" to display the plaques of our inductees. It also led to a milestone for the Association. Information about the nomination process and bio's on all our inductees for both the SHOF and WOF can be found on the Alumni Website.

Class involvement in the Association:

It is my contention that the strongest link between the Association and the membership is through the class representatives. Recognizing this fact, we have directed our focus towards developing relationships with the various class representatives. Every anniversary class representative is invited to join the Alumni Weekend Committee to become part of the planning, decision and organizing process. More recently, I established the President's "Keep in Touch" Award to recognize the efforts of Classes who have created a strong communication network with their classes and utilize this network to promote the Association. In this role the Class Representatives are in effect our Ambassadors and play a critical role in keeping their classmates informed and in disseminating information about the Association. I am continually encouraging Classes to join the competition and contend for this prestigious award. To date this recognition has been awarded three times. The winners have been the Class of 1961, Class of 1959 and the Class of 1963. Who will walk away with this award next year?

Mission Statement:

Last year we finally were able to direct our attention towards formalizing a strategic plan. To guide us in the long range planning process it was first necessary to compose a formal document that stated the objectives of the SCSAA. Although our purposes as an Association are clear, the goal here was to reduce our purposes into a concise statement of who we are, what we do and where are we going. After nearly a year in the making the SCSAA Mission Statement was completed through the committed efforts of Jim McIntyre, our Vice President for Strategic Planning. I am pleased to officially introduce to you the SCSAA Mission Statement:
To celebrate life-long bonds as SCS Alumni, recognize extraordinary individual achievements, and draw upon its collective strength to advance Sidney educational excellence and our community's pride and well-being.

To identify potential Board Members:

This has been one of our specific objectives for the last several years and this past year we made some progress. As such I made it a personal goal to appoint four new Board members over the next year; one at each of the 4 Board Meetings. So far we are on target. At the beginning of this year, Betty Spinelli '65 joined our Board and I have several additional candidates under consideration. I expect to be able to propose a Board Candidate at the October 2010 meeting. However this does not end our search, we still are looking for additional candidates, so if anyone has an interest, please contact me. Finding committed candidates still represents one of our most difficult challenges.

Enhancing the visibility of the Association:

To elevate the prominence of the Association among its constituency, maintain its vitality and spur its growth, it is important to keep the Association visible and the focus of attention. Towards this end we created an informational brochure about the Association to distribute at all the events and activities. We also use the local media in our pursuit of this objective. Last year we published over a half dozen newspaper articles in the local press and we had promotional commercials for Alumni Weekend broadcasted on WCDO and WDOS. In addition, our participation in the Chamber of Commerce Expo and the Hometown Days Parade keeps the Association visible to the Public.

This is another reason why we have been strongly promoting class involvement in the Association that was discussed earlier in the report. This has been an effective means for enhancing the visibility of the Association. The Student Assembly held this past year played a similar role with the students and faculty and we plan to continue them in the future. As we look forward, it is our hope to establish local chapters to bring the Association to you and gives the Association a local presence and visibility throughout the country. We will be intensifying our efforts the next year. If anyone might be interested in forming a chapter you are invited to contact me.

Establishing an Endowment Scholarship process:

Two years go Dick Germond' 63 endowed the SCSAA Kristina Germond Scholarship in memory of his wife. It was decided by the Board to form an Endowed Scholarship Committee to develop a process for others who might have an interest in creating an endowed scholarship fund. Dick Germond was appointed the Chair of this committee and assigned with the task of designing the process. Over the last year Dick and his committee achieved this objective by writing the policy and procedures involved for establishing an endowed scholarship. An informational brochure outlining these procedures has been recently printed and is available to anyone who might have an interest in forming a scholarship.

Restructuring the School Relations Committee:

The SCS Board of Education holds a standing position on the SCSAA Board of Directors. When the position was first established the Board of Education designee was the automatic Chair of the School Relations Committee. Over time it became apparent this relationship could create a conflict of interest and it was proposed that the Committee should be restructured to remove this potential conflict. After considerable debate a proposed amendment to the SCSAA By-laws was presented and approved by the Board. This restructured the School Relations Committee removing the Board Education liaison as the Automatic Chair and allowing the President to make the appointment in the same manner as for the other Standing Committees.

In other matters relating to School relations, we awarded four scholarships to deserving Seniors in addition to the Kristina J. Germond Memorial Scholarship and a letter from the President was read at Graduation by the Superintendent, welcoming the graduates as our newest Alumni.

Recruitment Efforts

Our recruiting objectives are an on going process. This has been and remains one of the greatest challenges of the Association. This has been the subject matter for many of my columns and mentioned in numerous articles in "Reflections" It has also been mentioned in my remarks at almost every Alumni Weekend and communications with the class Representatives. . This year our efforts began to show results. We developed a campaign incorporating the use of E-mail Broadcasts which have produced some favorable responses. The campaign will heat up at the end of the summer when we will be sending the following recruitment message in our Broadcast:

Our volunteers are the fuel that drives our engine. The Association exits because of its volunteers:
Currently we are interviewing for:

If you have a strong interest or just a curiosity, please e-mail me, call me or contact any of our Board Members who will direct you accordingly. I hope you will be able to step forward and offer your services. We need you!!!

Financial Condition

The financial position of the SCSAA remains sound. We ended our 2009 fiscal year with a fund balance of $34,221.36 compared to a 2008 Fund balance of $35,600. As noted in last year's report $10,000 of the fund balance is dedicated to the Kristina Germond Memorial Scholarship Fund..

Although the 2009 P&L position produced a deficit of $1,379 it should be noted that this results was 30% better than the anticipated 2009 budget deficit of $4,350.
This result reflects the achievement of our specific objective to reduce the deficit in 2009. The driving forces in achieving this objective of reducing the deficit were:

Several cost reduction initiatives are being undertaken for fiscal 2010 which should further results in reductions of the deficit. Our core activities enjoyed relative success in 2009.

Alumni Weekend:

(This report covers the period up to July 1, 2010. Alumni Weekend 2010 will be included in the 2010-2011 Annual Message)

Overall Alumni Weekend 2009 was a success. Financially it produced a surplus. Not only were we able to cover all our expenses and fund our scholarships but we were able to contribute several thousand dollars to the general treasury and all while having a good time. To keep things fresh we tried some different venues. The Saturday Social was held at the Moose Club and the March of Classes was moved to Alumni Field. We had good attendance at all the events with the exception of the Luncheon. Although the Luncheon attendance was low by our standards it did exceed the 2008 attendance. This is a situation that needs to be further evaluated. The Golf Tournament was sold out again and the Moose Club was packed. Some of the success can be attributed to our very charming Caricature Artist who was the main attraction at the Friday Night Ice Breaker and the very popular Band "Splash who will be back again this year.

As Always the Pancake Breakfast was successful and the March of Classes continued it s popularity. The consensus is that Alumni Field should become the permanent home for the March. The Wall of Fame Ceremony was again a first class event with first class inductees. Our Chairman Doug Sheldon again creates a very memorable afternoon. That being said there are those who feel the Luncheon is the wrong venue for the WOF event. Some believe the Luncheon has become more formal and less social. I am not sure that is the case but it is something that will be fully evaluated. Every year we have been able to report a success but how many more years can the same volunteers continue to produce a weekend at this level of excellence without the burnout factor setting in. Volunteers are desperately needed to staff the Alumni Weekend Committee.


Reflections remains the "heart and soul" of the Association and probably the most popular activity. In 2009, some problems arose in the relationship with the printer. The quality of the printing deteriorated and the working relationship with the printer became more difficult. The editor made it an objective to find an alternative; this objective was realized with the Spring 2010 issue when Sidney Favorite Printing was reappointed as the printer. Not only was the editor able to achieve an understanding in the expected standards but was able to negotiate a reduction in the printing cost. It needs to be stated for the record that is becoming more difficult with every issue to maintain in the standard of excellence because of the lack of a sufficient number of participants involved in the production of the publication. This trend caused a reduction in the number of pages for one of the issues this past year. This trend must be reversed.

Alumni Website:

The Website has become a major resource to the Association. This was substantiated by significant increase in the visits. Over the last year it received over 10,000 hits bringing the total to over 68,000.. The website has been serving as an effective tool for promoting our events and activities and for documenting all of these events in our photo gallery section. More and more we are utilizing the technology to host our e-mail broadcasts. You can now use the pay pal feature on our site to pay your dues. If you have not been to the website lately you will be amazed. And to think this is all done by the single efforts of our Webmaster, Ray Taylor. Where do we find another Ray? Tell me is it you?

Pleasant Street School:

Now this is a subject you haven't heard about in the last several years. As reported several years ago our efforts to save this special building were disbanded; not for a lack of interest but due to a lack of standing in the building. There remained approximately $1,500 in the "Save the Pleasant St. School" Fund. In order to close the Fund it was proposed that we seek permission from the contributors to allow us to commission a local artist to make a painting of the School to serve as a symbol of our efforts. Permission was granted and the painting was created. As a thank-you signed framed prints of the original painting were presented to each of the major contributors. This original hangs in the Alumni Room and this now officially brings this project to a close. Our objective was not achieved in this instance but we gave it a good fight. The Association has extra copies of the prints which are being held for sale at the price of $25. In addition to the School the artist also painted the signature hole (#2) at the Sidney Golf Course to be made into prints for souvenirs at the 2009 Golf Tournament. Extra copies of these prints are available for sale at a cost of $20. These two items have become core items in the expansion of the Alumni Store along with our knitted "Christmas Ornaments".


I would like to acknowledge the special contributions of:

As you can see the Association does not remain idle. When we are not organizing our major and more visible activities and publishing "Reflections" we are busy addressing the issues and searching for solutions for the Challenges confronting the Association which I have described below. Keeping the Association on track is a full time endeavor for a group of part time volunteers. This can stretch everyone's time to the limit. How has it sustained itself to this point? Only because of a group of dedicated volunteers who find the strength in their passion and commitment to the Association and its mission. I want to personally thank them for getting the job done. You have my respect and admiration. To keep it moving forward we are going to have to replenish our volunteer force which is one of the key challenges mentioned below.

Challenges, Issues and Concerns

I usually like to end the President's Annual message with some brief comments and observations relating to :


Our challenges for the most part have remained relatively constant and are a continuation of the challenges that we have been facing over the last several years but as we move forward we need to intensify our efforts to prevail in conquering these challenges. . The following matters will receive our highest priority in our 2010-11 Agenda:


From time to time various issues arise within an organization, some controversial and some more benign that require full discussion and debate among the Board and the membership:

One example from past years, was the debate over sending "Reflections" to only paid members. As you might recall this ended, after considerable debate, with the decision to continue to send the paper to the entire Alumni roster. This decision was controversial and some felt unfair. But the decision was arrived at with full participation from all the interested parties.

There are several issues that fall into a similar category that have arisen that will need to be addressed by the Association:

There are no clear cut answers to these issues and will require some intense debate before any decision would be made. I am sure other issues will surface that will require similar attention.

Future Goals and Objectives:

Earlier in this report I touched on some of the areas that we would be channeling our time and resources to in 2010-2011. In the way of summary I list them below as a declared goal:

  • Creating an electronic dues reminder
  • Creating Alumni Chapters
  • Moving forward with the Alumni Veterans Memorial

As we mature as an organization the biggest trap that we must avoid is complacency or "taking the Association and its existence for granted" Complacency is a major concern, maybe it's our # 1 concern. Complacency could contribute to lowering of our "standards of excellence" and cause us to veer off course and away from our founding purposes. Complacency will result in fewer volunteers, less participation in our events and activities, fewer contributors to "Reflections" fewer members and fewer of everything required for a viable Association. Complacency takes the form of waiting for someone else to take charge or get involved. Complacency can spread fast and inflict great harm. Complacency is something that needs to be avoided.

Now that I have presented the dark side of the equation, on a positive note you might have noticed from this report that the Association recognizes the danger of complacency and we are taking every measure we can to avoid being invaded by the menace of complacency.

I am optimistic that we can overcome this concern and preserve an Alumni Association to be enjoyed by Alumni for generations to come. This can not be done without your help. What do you say? Are you up for it??

Respectfully submitted,
Terry Dermody `65