President's Annual Report to the Association
July 2003
To the Board of Directors and Membership SCS Alumni Association

Last year I reported that the Association was well positioned to pursue the founding purposes of the organization and accept the challenges of the future. This sense of optimism has been confirmed as witnessed by the continued growth and the significant accomplishments that were achieved during the 2002-2003 year and has renewed my confidence in the future of the organization. The Association was able to capitalize on the solid foundation that had been built over the last several years and expand the scope of the organization. It was a year of initiatives. It was another year of milestones . It was a year of Community Recognition.

Some of the major milestones of the year included:

These milestones were the culmination of the several of the initiatives that were identified as part of our strategic plan introduced last year and representative of the Association's effort to expand the scope of the organization consistent with purposes of the Association. Each of these milestones will be elaborated on further in the report.

Each year I mention that a good share of the time attention & resources is devote to the core activities of the Association and this past year was no exception. A brief summary of these activities are described below:

Core Activities

Reflections continues to retain its popularity. Again this past year, two issues of 'Reflections were published and mailed to almost 4,000 Alumni. Finances allowed the Association to continue to send each issue to the entire mailing roster and to send to each paid member by first class mail. Last year I made an appeal for additional volunteers and contributors to work on 'Reflections' because of my concern that the existing volunteers and editor were being stretched to their limits. Regretfully, this appeal was not answered and my concern intensifies. Not only should this be a prime focus for the Board but for the entire membership. We need a strong show of support to be able to continue this activity and maintain the standard of excellence.

'Annual Alumni Weekend'

Building on the successes of the past, this year's Alumni Weekend was the largest ever and has achieved recognition as one of the major Community events of the year. Over 800 Alumni attended this years activities and there were representatives from the Class of 1928 through 2003. The popularity has reached the point were many Alumni return each year to participate. One of the highlights of the Weekend was the keynote address made by Fred Videtta, Class of 1928 on his memories of the Pleasant Street School. The record attendance validates the format of this event by giving Alumni from ALL generations the opportunity to share their common experiences of School and Community. Alumni Reunion Weekend has served as a source of support for the Association both from a financial and recruitment standpoint. As in the past this event is the result of the dedication, passion and creativity of a group of Association volunteers and they deserve our congratulations.

These activities are:

'Alumni Website' ( )

It is evident by the increase in visits during2002- 2003 that the Association has done an excellent job in promoting the site and it has become a valuable tool for the membership. Ray Taylor has continued to improve the site and maintain its standard of excellence. One of the newest additions is the Guest Book which has received considerable usage and has brought additional users to the site. I suspect from some of the inquires I receive that many of the visitors are not aware of all the features of the site and have not had the opportunity to take full advantage and realized full enjoyment of the site. Possibly we can add a tour of the site to familiarize users of all the information available on the site. Also, It is critical that all the e-mail addresses that are listed on our mailing roster are added to the Directory on the Website to make this a more effective tool.


Last year I reported paid membership of about 400 and committed the Association to double that figure. Current paid membership is at 679. While we did not achieve our goal of 800,I am relatively pleased by the increase. A mailing to previously paid members reminding that their membership expired was instrumental in producing the increase. It is apparent that the decision to increase the dues last year to $10 did not negatively impact membership. I am still disappointed that only about 15% of eligible Alumni become paid members. I am still baffled by this statistic because I know there are more than the 679 paid members who enjoy receiving 'Reflections and the activities of the Association. I challenge the Association and especially all of you who receive the benefits of membership who have not joined the Association to become a member this year. I am pleased to report that this is the first year that membership dues have been able to fund the core events and our reliance on additional fund raising was reduced. But if membership does not grow this may only be temporary and then some of our activities would have to be abandoned. While it is our ultimate goal for everyone on the mailing roster become a paid member , I am committed to the goal of doubling the paid membership in 2003-2004. One interesting statistic regarding the paid membership roster is that many Alumni who initially join do not renew their membership. One explanation is that many join in their reunion year and send payment with their reunion reservations and then fail to renew their membership. This is an area where we can focus our attention and will be placed on the agenda for the Membership Committee to explore in the coming year. Increasing membership is a priority of the Association and will receive our full attention.

Financial Condition

Financially the Association is sound. Our cash position has doubled from the same term last year. We currently have a cash balance of $11,040.19 as compared to $5,500 for the same period in 2002. A large portion of the increase can be attributed to the decision to raise dues from $5.00 to $10 and the growth in membership. However, a large portion still comes from additional fund raising activities and not from membership dues. This places an excessive burden on the organization and creates a potential danger to the long term financial health of the organization. Our fund raising activities should be reserved for special projects and not for the general operational expenses of the Association. It should remain our objective to operate the core activities of the Association with membership dues. From an operational standpoint the Association conducted the business of the Association within in the budget. A copy of the Financial Statements are being distributed to the Board and will be posted on the website.

As mentioned above several milestones were achieved as a result of certain initiatives undertaken during the year, a further explanation of these initiatives are described below:

Alumni Center:

One of our goals during the last year was to locate a permanent facility to serve as a meeting room, information center, office and to house the archives and records of the Association. An exploratory committee was established to determine what was available. After several months our persistence in this effort was rewarded and found us in the right place at the right time. A room in the Civic Center became available and it was offered to the Association. The Board accepted this offer and the Association and is now permanently located in Room 319 of the Civic Center. The 'Alumni Center Committee was formed to serve as the manager of this facility. The room was transformed and was officially inaugurated at an open house during Alumni Weekend. It is our expectation that 'Alumni Center' will be open several days a week and available to the Alumni & Public to view the displays. Also, as we move forward we have budgeted to acquire the latest computer equipment so we can conduct our operations from this facility and expand our services to the membership. The fact that the Village assisted and accommodated the Association in this pursuit validates the declaration 'it was a year of community recognition."

Completion of 501.3.c. tax exempt filing:

Although less dramatic and tangible as the other milestones , completing the 501.3.c filing is nevertheless as important to the Association and the ability to expand the scope of the organization. As the organization began to grow and expand , it was recognized that if we were going to attract contributions for special projects that it would be necessary to have a tax exempt status. The initial problem was that this is an expensive and exhausting project. The Finance Committee was assigned the task to produce the results in the most cost effective way. It was to determined that to minimize the cost, the majority of the work and research would have to be done by the Association with minimal participation from the legal advisors. It was a difficult battle but we prevailed and the filing was submitted to the IRS in June with expected approval by October. We were able to keep the cost at half the normal cost and below the budgeted amount. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Finance Committee.

'Sports Wall of Fame'

The Sports Wall of Fame is Official. As the vision of the Association was being transformed an Alumni Wall of Fame was one of the activities that was most suggested and had the popular support of the Alumni Community. In response the Wall of Fame Committee was one of the original 'Standing Committee of the Association. Creating a 'Wall of Fame' was an entailed process. Last year, it was decided that the 'Wall of Fame would be divided into two divisions. The 'Sports Wall of Fame & Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame. To move the process forward, the Committee recommended that the first two year inductees to 'Sport Wall of Fame' be comprised of those Alumni and Coaches who had been inducted into the 'Section 4 Hall of Fame'. This would give us the opportunity to launch the 'Sports hall of Fame while the future selection process was being developed. This recommendation was approved at the April Board Meeting. The induction ceremony is scheduled to be the Friday after Thanksgiving at a banquet to be held at the Sidney Elks Club. This will be fund raiser for the Association with the recommendation of the Committee to have a portion of the proceeds to be donated to the Sidney High School Athletic Department. The ' Distinguished Alumni Wall of Fame is still in Committee and it is expected that this can be launched at the 2005 Alumni Weekend Luncheon. I want to congratulate the Committee for their dedication, hard work and passion they brought to this project and for transforming the vision. Through their effort we have created something that is a source of pride to the Association.

Pleasant Street. School Project

Our efforts to acquire the Pleasant Street School is the activity that consumed much of the focus and attention of the Association beyond the conduct of our core activities. This initiative was considered a milestone because it represented the first time the Association undertook a project of this magnitude and also because it elevated our position in the Community as the Village Government & Community organizations sanctioned our organization as the official spokesperson for this property on behalf of the Community. This recognition was awarded to the Association because of our the commitment, passion and the way we approached and responded to this opportunity. I will not spend any time on the details because this was well documented in my column and Ron Wischhusens article in the spring 2003 issue of Reflections. To summarize; there was an agreement with the then owner to donate the property to the Association once a feasibility study was completed .However, since those articles were published there has been some interesting developments. As reported in my remarks at the Luncheon during Alumni Weekend our involvement with the School was stalled in May when the owner placed the Property for sale on e-bay and it was sold. It appeared that the Association was pushed out of the picture. However, since that time contact has been made with the new owner and we were invited to participate in the project on an advisory basis. This development has instilled us with cautious optimism that the project has at least of chance of succeeding. It also presents the possibility that the building could ultimately end up in the hands of the Association. To be prepared for this, we are in the process of developing a fund raising campaign for this contingency As of this writing a meeting has been schedule with the new owner for September 13th. A progress report will presented to the Board at the November Meeting. . I appeal to any Alumni who would be interested in this project and could assist the Association financially to contact the Association. As stated previously this project could be the Alumni Community's legacy to the town.

School & Community Relations Committee

As symbolized in our logo, School and Community have always been integral components in the vision of our organization. The whole purpose of the Association was to strengthen these relationships for the benefit of all. These separate Committees were formed to reinforce our purpose and to allow us to concentrate our efforts on each group and expand our involvement with each one.

School Relations Committee:

Currently our principal activities with the School include awarding Scholarships to graduating Seniors and holding our reunion Luncheon at the Transportation Center. This past year we awarded four (4) $300 scholarships and it is expected that next year this could be increased.
Some of the initiatives in the planing stage from this committee are :

In addition it is expected that we will be making a considerable donation to the School Athletic Department from a portion of the proceeds from the Sports Hall of Fame Dinner.

Community Relations Committee

Our major involvement with the Community to date has been :

The Committee is in the process of developing new initiatives and will be meeting with the Community organizations to discuss them.

I strongly believe that as these committees grow the relationships will become stronger.

Final Comments

The SCS Alumni Association has enjoyed extraordinary growth in the first 4 years of its existence. But with growth comes challenges to sustain success.

Some of the major challenges I see confronting the Board and the Alumni Community as we head into the future are:

As stated in my opening remarks, I have a sense of confidence and am very optimistic to the future. I am confident that the Board and the Alumni Community is up to the challenge and will prevail.

Overall, I am very satisfied and pleased with the accomplishments and growth of the organization in 2002-2003. This never could have been achieved without the dedication and commitment of the Board, Officers and the many volunteers who have served the Association. I am proud to be associated with all of you and I salute you.

Respectfully submitted,

Terry Dermody '65