President’s Message – May 17, 2020
Dear Members of VE,
First and foremost, I wish to thank the Ladies Auxiliary for their dedication to our Club and their funding raising and financial support. I was remiss in noting the Ladies Auxiliary in the President’s message in the May 2020 Calendar. Yes, this was an unintentional oversight, but nevertheless, a mistake. In 2019, they donated $9,000 which were used to fund the Air Conditioner replacement for the Garden Room and Pool Heater replacement. The remainder of these funds was scheduled to add Decorative Driveway Lighting for the Clubhouse entry loop. The Ladies Auxiliary also have donated another $9,000. These funds were ear marked to replace the Dining Room window treatments. Due to the financial emergency we are experiencing resulting from the State Mandated Covid Shutdown, The Ladies Auxiliary has authorized the reallocation of their funds for our Club’s ongoing costs. We all express our gratitude to their dedication, work and relentless passion for our VE.
I wish to reiterate to our membership that the dedication of the VE Executive Board continues to meet the demands of leadership for our VE. The Board has had several virtual meetings, as matters and decisions were required. This is foremost in the Board’s oversight of the grounds, the facilities, and the operational costs. We have added a Financial Team, including Board members, prior Board members and past President’s, who have the professional qualifications to monitor VE’s business costs, the contracts, both financially and the legal aspects. Specifically, the purpose of this Team is to monitor all costs, to suspend services, renegotiate contracts, long term loans, and application for Government Stimulus funding.
As I stated in the May 2020 Calendar, our greatest asset, and always will be YOU. Our members and their families. In this period which there is no income, more than a dozen members have already made generous donations to address the ongoing monthly costs for taxes, utilities, insurance, etc. To provide the order of magnitude, these minimum costs still exceed $10,500 / month! If you can afford a onetime donation, or can manage a monthly donation, it would certainly be the financial “plasma” that our VE must have to survive the shutdown.
The Board and House Committee are constantly keeping apprised of the Governor’s Re-Opening protocols and the dates. Last week, “Social Organizations” could re-open May 18th. However, bars and restaurants in Bucks County were required to postpone re-opening 7 weeks later. This projected a potential re-opening for VE in mid-July. Last Friday, Governor Wolf moved that base line date to June 4, 2020. Disappointing.
Also disappointing, is the status of Adult and Youth Soccer due to the shutdown. No games. The soccer season was approaching a memorable and climatic Spring and Summer with the Majors success in the Amateur and Open Cup, competing against professional tier teams, Our Youth teams are also gaining regional and national recognition. As a Club level program, VE Sports has raised our excellent reputation locally, but beyond Southeast Pennsylvania. With the shutdown, the fields must be closed. No activity of any kind, whatsoever. We miss the sounds from the fields, but it will be back!
The House Committee and Executive Board are still looking to a re-opening this summer, and filling each weekend with terrific events, foremost having the grilled food, and the beverages we love, with social distancing protocols utilizing our beautiful Bier Garten and Canteen. Then re-opening the Clubhouse under Covid protocols following our experiences operating the biergarten events.
The founders of our VE called their biergarten, “the Waldesrauschen”. Meaning “whispering woods”, which captures the sounds of the tree tops and leaves waving in the breeze. Add the smell of grilled bratwurst and your cool beverage served up at the “Round Bar”, surrounded by your friends and family,… you have experienced our VE, as our founders intended!
It seems that re-opening is trending as the Covid statistics plateau, and Pennsylvania Counties begin moving from “Red” status to “Yellow” very soon, and eventually “Green”.
Please stay tuned with posts regarding your help on the maintenance of the grounds, and the pool this month. We will get through this time.
Looking forward to sharing the Gemutlichkeit with one another, at our VE soon!
Don Bitterlich, President, Vereinigung Erzgebirge