Director Archive sandy

Director's Report

October - December, 2005

Sandra Hildreth

I attended the Board of Director’s meeting of ADK on Sept. 10 in Lake George. Like many other directors who were there, as well as many of you, I wanted to know the answer to the question “how is the Club doing?”. “REALLY GREAT!” “It’s an INCREDIBLE IMPROVEMENT since 2002.” “We are in SOLID SHAPE.” As you might have read in Adirondac, the Lillian M. Slater Trust donated $200,000 to ADK this year, as the trust was liquidated – which appears to be a tremendous donation, but it also means the Trust will no longer be funding the Education Department’s highly successful intern program anymore. About half of the money will be earmarked to fund the intern program for 2005 through 2009. The rest may be used at the Club’s discretion. Membership has declined (which means a reduction in dues revenues for both the Club and chapters) although it is believed the decline has leveled off and may slowly be starting to rise. Without including the generous $200,000 donation, it is projected that the Club will end the year with about a $30,000 operating deficit. However, a great deal of the debt that in 2002 seriously threatened the Club has been reduced.

I wanted to give you as honest an answer to that “how is the Club doing?” question as possible. Now let me express it another way. Suppose a family had been heavily in debt – huge credit card balances, large unexpected expenses, one parent lost their job, an uncertain future – only everyone worked hard for several years, cut back on expenditures, turned down the thermostat, didn’t go on long expensive trips, and paid off some of the credit cards. By 2005 this family has some money in the bank, an affordable mortgage, the kids have new shoes and supplies for school, and there is only a balance on one credit card. They are financially secure and have a bright future. That’s where ADK is – if everyone continues to work as diligently and with the same conservative fiscal planning that the outstanding leadership of the Club has managed to do over the past four years. That is “how the Club is doing.”

A few other highlights from the Board meeting: ADK is continuing participation in the lawsuit involving the Clean Air Act; discussions with the State have resumed over the future of the High Peaks Information Center and parking area; the bunkroom at the Loj is going to be converted to single beds; the Club will make a greater effort to get new member information out to chapters, possibly on a weekly basis, so that they can be contacted directly and invited to chapter events; each chapter had been given out a supply of business cards at the June board meeting, donated by the Genessee Valley Chapter, that were intended to be given out at businesses when on outings in the Adirondacks – as a gentle reminder that hikers and paddlers do contribute to the local economy – it was suggested they could also be given out to other hikers; the Outings Committee has had a good year in 2005 and a great selection of affordable trips scheduled for 2006 (check in the back of Adirondac or online at adk.org under recreation/Adventure Travel); and trail work contracts with the State have been signed for 2006. Of special interest was the mention of the ADK High School Trails Projects – the Laurentian Chapter was recognized for our efforts in recruiting and sponsoring local high school students (see the Education Report below for feedback from the students we sponsored.)

Harvest Moon Madness is November 5 – the wonderful location limits the number of people who can attend, so if you would like to participate in this great event that generates important funding for ADK’s programs, make your reservations early, as the even has sold out the past several years! (see Adirondac or information elsewhere in this newsletter)

I will conclude my report by once again encouraging you to be as generous as you can to support ADK and all the things you love about this organization. The Club has survived a financial crisis due to strong leadership and wonderful volunteer support and donations. We are not asking for your support because we need money – we are asking you to help support what you believe in. Please contact me if you would like more information.