President's Annual Report to the Association
July 2009
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 where we currently stand as an Organization and where we are headed. This report also focuses on the progress, accomplishments and challenges of the Association during the last year for achieving our goals and objectives.

As we begin our second decade as an Association, I proud to report that the "state" of the Association remains relatively sound from both a financial and organizational standpoint. More importantly, the Association's commitment and dedication to our founding purposes has not wavered. All the energies of the Association remain concentrated in pursuit of strengthening the bond among Alumni, Community and School and in celebration of our common traditions. You have my pledge that they will continue to be focused in this direction.

Overall this has been another successful and productive year for the Association. 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.

Aside from producing Alumni Weekend, publishing "Reflections", maintaining the quality of the Alumni Website and hosting the Wall and Hall of Fame Inductions, our specific objectives for 2008 involved

The prime efforts of the Association this past quarter were devoted to:

  1. Raffling off the Marriott Time Sharing Property that was donated by Dick Germond '63
  2. Establishing a Memorial Scholarship in the name of Kristina Germond
  3. Implementing 10th Anniversary Celebration activities and initiatives
  4. Participating at Graduation
  5. Developing a strategic Overview of the Association
  6. Establishing an Alumni Veterans Memorial
  7. Increasing Membership

Although the Association encountered some minor disappointments along the way, I submit that the goals and objectives we set out to accomplish this past year were achieved.

Time share Raffle:

Raffle sales fell way short of our expectations. However, we can not loose sight of the fact that this was the most ambitious initiative the Association had even been involved with. Our goal was to raise $50,000 through the sale of 500 tickets at $100 a piece. The timeshare property in Newport Beach California was a donation to the Association by Dick Germond '63 and Kristina Germond. The agreement we made with Dick Germond was that the proceeds from the Raffle would be split 50/50 with the general treasury of the Association with the other half be dedicated to a scholarship in memory of his wife Kristina who passed away this past year. As we entered the last months of the campaign it appeared at that point that we would not even achieve 10% of our income goal. However in the last month of the raffle, extraordinary efforts were made to stimulate sales to the level that was finally achieved. This was accomplished through promotions conducted on our website, telephone and e-mail campaigns and letter writing appeals by several of our Directors. As a results, sales increased by 40%. Despite the lower than expected sales, we should not forget the fact that we did raise over $15,000 and when measured by any other standards this initiative was a major success. Dick Germond deserves our thanks for his generous donation and our gratitude for the leadership he exemplified in making this initiative a success.

Kristina Germond Memorial Scholarship:

Since we did not realize our financial goals I proposed that the majority of the funds raised be dedicated to the scholarship fund in lieu of the 50/50 split. A task force was formed to make a recommendation to the Board on the split of the funds.

Through the efforts of the task force under the direction of Director, Jon DeTemple,our objective was achieved and the scholarship became a reality. This scholarship at the request of Dick Germond will be given to a SHS student who will be pursuing a teaching degree. The task force decided to dedicate $11,000 of the raffle proceeds to fund the scholarship. The recommendation was approved by the Board. Since this will be a perpetual Scholarship Fund a recommendation is being made to the Board to establish the Kristina Germond Memorial Scholarship Committee as standing committee with Dick Germond as the chairman. This proposal will be an agenda topic at the June 2009 Board meeting.

10th Anniversary Celebration:

Overall, our 10th Anniversary celebration and campaign was a success. The goal of promoting and raising the visibility of the Association was started with a10th anniversary logo contest and was concluded with the Association's participation in the Homecoming activities and parade last fall. . In between, our 10th Anniversary was celebrated with our logo appearing at all our activities and on our pre-home page of our Website and by being featured in the Spring issue of "Reflections". In Celebration we hosted a float in the Hometown Day Parade, attended graduation and delivered a welcome message to the graduates and referencing this celebration in every article submitted to the press. However, the "hands down" winner for the most effective promotional effort of our 10th Anniversary and my personal favorite was by far the purchase of the Alumni Banners that were hung along Main Street, in front of the High School and the Credit Union during the year. The banners had a real impact in the Community They left a very favorable impression of the SCSAA. The Association extends Jess Wheeler our gratitude for presenting the ideas and choosing the perfect style of banner that conveyed the correct image of the SCSAA. The banners will become a regular feature during Alumni Weekend and Homecoming. So be sure to look for them.

Participation at 2008 Graduation:

For several years we have been trying to get a place on the program. This year our objective was realized. I drafted a simple letter to the graduates being the first to welcome them as Alumni. The letter was read by Superintendent Sandy Cooper. It accomplished our purpose of increasing the Association's visibility with the younger classes and hopefully will lead to a greater participation in the future. It also helped advance our founding purpose of "School".

Strategic Overview:

Over the last several years the Board has routinely postponed discussion on an item that has occupied the final position on our agenda, entitled "our long range plans and vision of the association". Stated another way "are we on the right track and where are we going from here". I have always believed this is a discussion the Board must have so that we are all on the same page, however time has always been an obstacle. As we mature as a Board, it becomes even more important to address this item. This is the reason why this was established as a specific objective this year. One of the prime roles of the Board is to help set the direction of the Association and to identify potential initiatives that advance the purposes of the Association. Basically I envisioned a brain storm session to formulate ideas on where the Association should be headed, how do we get there and is our vision on target or do we need to expand our vision to fulfill our founding purposes. That is, to take a break away from the day to day operation of the Association, take a deep breath and focus on the big picture. The big picture also includes taking a look at our organizational structure and to create ideas and stimulate discussion for future consideration. This was Director Jim McIntyre's first assignment as a Board member when he joined the Board. I saw the opportunity to move this agenda item forward since he had a clean slate. The purpose of the Committee was not to develop the Strategic plans of the Association on their own but to take an objective view of the Association and to develop the ideas that could serve to facilitate the brainstorming session with all Directors involved from which a Strategic Plan would evolve. Although, I can not say mission accomplished, Jim has made extraordinary efforts in moving this forward. Already, one of the ideas that has evolved has been enacted. We welcome your thoughts and ideas as we develop our strategic plan.

Alumni Veterans Memorial:

When the idea for a veteran's memorial was presented to the Association, it was immediately embraced by the Directors, as an initiative for advancing our founding purposes. Director Jim McIntyre had a very strong interest in this initiative and was appointed as chair of this sub-committee. The cemetery Association approached us to partner with them because it was their goal to establish a veteran's park inside the cemetery. The Association is open to working with the cemetery association as long as the Association is allotted a place in the park for our memorial and our memorial is distinct and separate from any other veterans memorial erected in the park. Also, the Association was clear that we will not be the chief source of funds for developing the park. Our participation would not involve fund raising on behalf of the cemetery association. We agreed that we would make a donation to the overall project but would not serve as the chief fund raiser. Towards that end the Association made a $1,000 donation towards the development of the park. The sub-committee is starting to develop ideas for the design of our memorial and once that is complete will be conducting a fund raising campaign to be used exclusively for the Alumni Veterans Memorial The sub-committee has also begun research for names to be included on the memorial. We will be reaching out to the entire alumni community to support this project over the next year.


As stated on numerous occasions, membership dues are our chief source of revenue. Membership dues are stagnant which has negatively impacted our budget. While we have been citing increasing membership as one of our greatest challenges we have not been as effective in this areas as possible.. Increasing membership became one of the top goals last year. This prompted two industrious members of the membership into action. As a result, one of the most successful activities of the last year was the membership "e-mailathon" conducted by membership committee members Debby Puffer and Karen Cycon Dermody. They were reminded by the Jim McIntyre strategic planning presentation that re-confirmed that one of the most critical challenges for the Association is to increase paid membership. They brushed off the idea to contact all prior members who had allowed their memberships to lapse that had been sitting idle for the last two years. Over 600 people were contacted by them resulting in 147 new paid members. That translates into almost $1,500 I want to congratulate the membership committee particularly Debby and Karen for this extraordinary effort. For their efforts, they were appointed co-Chairs of the membership committee to bring membership to an adequate level. Currently membership is less than 20% of the alumni roster, which is not nearly sufficient to sustain our long term financial needs.

All our core activities and events enjoyed relative success in 2008:

Alumni Weekend:

By all standards Alumni Weekend was a success although the turnout was down at most venues from previous years. The feedback was overwhelming positive. The consensus was:

The low turnout was also discussed by the Reunion committee and the consensus was that the current economic situation causing higher travel costs was the driving factor influencing the attendance. Ideas were advanced for refining some of the events, expanding others and adding some new ones which has submitted to the 2009 Committee for review and consideration.

Alumni Weekend continues to maintain its status as the key component of the Association from which other components were derived and fostered and it is deserving of our full support.


"Reflections" remains the most popular undertaking of the SCS Alumni Association and it maintained its status in 2008. Some of the best issues of the last 10 years were published this past year. Everybody loves "Reflections" and looks forward to its publication each spring and fall. However, it is becoming a struggle to keep "Reflections" fresh and innovative. Essentially the entire paper is creation of two individuals, the Editor and Assistant Editor. This has become very stressful. The number of contributors to the paper has fallen off significantly over the last several years. There just seems to be an expectation that the paper will continue to appear in the mail and maintain its standard of excellence. There is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the best publications of its kind but time is beginning to take its toll. Maintaining "Reflections" at the level we have all come to expect is a major challenge of the Association and its membership . We all need to get involved.

Alumni Website:

56,500 hits and counting. The Alumni Website has become an integral component of the Association.. It too is a very popular activity of the Association and is a great source of information. . The Website has been serving as an effective tool of the Association in promoting our events and activities. It was the website that was responsible for our success in raising money for the Flood victims and in raising $15,000 through the sale of raffle tickets. The Alumni Website has all the current information pertaining to our scheduled events. All our events are documented in the photo gallery section. As technology has advanced so has our website. The latest popular tool of the website is "pay pal" which allows you to pay your dues on line ( No excuses now not to pay) and a convenient way to participate in our latest fund raising activity. If you have not been on our Website you will be amazed. And to think this is all done by the single efforts of our Webmaster, Ray Taylor. Our biggest challenge here is how to clone Ray.

Honoring our inductees:

The Alumni Association has provided the means through the "Wall of Fame" and "Sports Hall of Fame" to pay tribute to our Distinguished Alumni and Educators and recognize our talented athletes. What we need now is more participation from the membership to assure that we get a good cross section of our alumni base represented. So far we seem to have plenty of names of candidates but the real question is have we missed some quality candidates in the process? This is why it is especially important that we hear from all of you on possible nominees.

Recently, we have been working with school officials to locate the proper place of distinction in the school to display the plagues of our "Wall of Fame" and "Sports Hall of Fame" inductees for posterity. As soon as this is completed, we have planned an unveiling ceremony followed by a student assembly to introduce some of our "Inductees. This will definitely serve to strengthen our relationship with the school

Financial Status:

Our fund balance as of December 2008 was $35,600 up from $27,000 in 2007.We are financially OK for now. However it must be recognized that the entire increase in funds are restricted funds to be devoted to the Kristina Germond Memorial Scholarship Fund. So the truth is that from an operational standpoint we continue to operate at a small deficit which we will need to be addressed at some point in the near future. Some of the drivers of the deficit are:

  1. A drop in membership dues
  2. A substantial increase in the mailing and printing cost of "Reflections"
  3. An increase in the entertainment cost of Alumni Weekend
  4. An Increase in our publicity costs
  5. The various costs associated with creating first class events and a first rate Organization
Future Challenges (and threats):

Most of the challenges facing the Association, you have seen before but they continue to confront the Association without permanent resolution. The majority of the challenges or for that matter threats to the Association involve either the scarcity of financial or human resources.

What are our financial threats and challenges and possible financial solutions?

As stated above we can not continue to maintain a deficit over the long term without jeopardizing the financial integrity of the Association. At the same time, we have created a first class organization that requires a certain level of financial needs to sustain it at this level. So the revenue side is where we must primarily focus our attention. Some of the issues that need to be addressed and debated by the Association for increasing revenue involve:

  1. Developing an aggressive membership campaign to focus on increasing our membership base
  2. Consideration to increasing dues to $15
  3. Instituting a cover charge for our Saturday Night entertainment at Alumni Weekend
  4. Developing alternative fund raising ideas to supplement or replace dues as the prime source of revenue
  5. Finding popular items for the Alumni Store that will expand revenue through the sale of merchandise
  6. Seeking endowments for the Association
  7. Other: You fill in the blank

All of these potential solutions mentioned will be explored as to there viability and others will also as they arise. The Association through the Board of Directors does not have all the answers. We have over the past year and will continue to conduct surveys to seek your opinions. As I mentioned in previous columns, we are a grass roots organization and have been most successful in executing ideas that were submitted by our base. So let's hear from you.

What are our Human Resource Threats and Challenges and potential solutions?

I have been talking about the "burn out factor" for several years now. Our current corps of volunteers can not continue to function at such an intense pace forever. There has been some fallout but for the most part the reason the Association has been able to sustain is because our core group has been able to persevere. But how long can this continue. Possible solutions could be obtained by:

  1. Attracting general Volunteers to serve on all our major committees to minimize the "burn out factor" and provide a source of new and creative ideas.
  2. Identifying potential new members for our Board of Director
  3. Identifying potential candidates to serve as "Reflections Editor" or as an "Assistant Editor and Webmaster or Assistant Webmasters. . We are severely understaffed in these areas and the current staff can not continue at the extraordinary pace that is required. If we lost any of these key positions it would deal a devastating blow to the Association.

We have recognized this situation for a number of years now but it has not received the attention by the Board and membership that it demands. Our quest for developing effective solutions will take on a new sense of urgency. It would be great if some of you could become part of the solution.

Expense cutting as a means to reduce our deficit:

So far we have focused our attention on increasing our revenue and increasing our human resources as a means to attack our deficit. The deficit could be balanced by addressing the other side of the equation: the expense side. I take pride in the way we have been able to control expenses for the most part. However, as we introduced new initiatives and grew in stature as a first class organization so did our expenses. In this years budget we were able to reduce the deficit by postponing some of our initiatives and purchases. We have taken a hard look at all our expenses have tried to implement expense reductions were we could with out sacrificing the high standards that we have established. The Association grew in a systematic fashion not haphazardly. We did not introduce a new initiative until we had the necessary resources to take it on. Each activity and events initiated by the Association are part of the original vision. It is reached the point that we can not reduce our cost much further without eliminating or scaling down some of our activities and events. It can be done but not in my opinion without sacrificing the quality of the Association or taking a whole new approach to the delivery of some of our services. We are open to creative suggestions on ways to reduce costs without becoming something we don't want to be.

One idea presented was to deliver "Reflections" electronically and eliminate the paper version" and the associated costs. The cost to publish "Reflections represents about 20% of our expense budget but to the majority of the Alumni Community. "Reflections" is the Association and making such a major change could negatively impact the organization. But it is an idea and will be an issue to be included in our strategic plan debate. This is just one idea I am sure there others worth considering so give us your suggestions and ideas. But for the most part we are running a fairly lean organization. There is not much we can eliminate further without sacrificing the essence of the Association.

Lets be honest here, the simple solution to our finances is if everyone who is reading this paper would send in their $10 dues and if turns out that indeed only 800 (estimated current paid membership) of you read the paper then we have been fooling ourselves and could significantly cut expenses by eliminating over 3,000 names from our mailing roster. I personally do not think this is the case I think at least several thousand of you read and enjoy this wonderful publication. If all our readers could validate the purposes of Association by sending in you dues right this second, our problem would be solved. As mentioned above we now have "pay-pal" capabilities. Drop everything right now and go to our website and use your debit or credit card to pay your dues. This way the Association would not have to spend anymore of its limited time and resources on trying to rectify the financial situation by organizing membership campaigns, debating dues increases and other time consuming measures just to survive. The Association could focus its full attention on fulfilling and advancing our founding purposes of Alumni, School and Community and the fun things associated with them. Wouldn't that be great??

Other threats and challenges to the Association:

While under no circumstances we can not deviate from our mission and founding purposes, we must find creative ways to refresh the various activities, events and initiatives from time to time or else the hidden threat of "boredom or complacency" could seep into the Association. Although it sounds obscure, it is a very real threat to the Association.

If our most loyal supporters ever became bored with our activities and stop attending we could lose all the momentum that we have built over the last 10 years. While our goal is to create events and activities that continue to inspire and excite, we have noticed that participation is down in some area .. We recognize the danger this presents and actions need to be taken to reverse the trend. So we are making a concerted effort to refresh and update some of the major events this year with particular attention to Alumni Weekend. This is easier said than done especially because of the deficiency of volunteers needed to implement the changes. But that being said the limited number of volunteers that who have stepped forward are committed to make it happen.

In a prime effort to refresh our events, some of the changes that will be implemented at this year's Alumni Weekend include:

Most of these elements have been implemented to some degree but not soon enough to have an impact on this year's membership goal.

So for those of you who have been faithfully attending Alumni Weekend over the last 10 years you will experience a new look to the Weekend.. We hope that our efforts will remove the hidden danger of boredom and recreate the excitement that you had when you attended for the first time. To sustain this momentum, I repeat our urgent need for new and creative ideas and a new generation of volunteers.

If you value what is being done in your name as Sidney Alumni, register your approval with your membership and service to the Association.

Can I count on YOU???

Respectfully submitted,
Terry Dermody `65