The regular meeting of the Nittany Valley Running Club was held on Tuesday, April 3, at the HiWay Pizza on Westerly Parkway. It was a huge turnout; the tables were starting to snake around the place. In attendance were John Domico, Marty Klanchar, Tara Murray, Duane Serpentine, Kim Gasper, Bob Radzwich, and Mark Fedkin, of our CVIM Boston Marathon Teams, along with guest Cyndy Biek of CVIM; Marty Mazur, Dave Eggler, Bob Boozer, Amy Paster, Jerry Steffy, Pam Scott, Dave DeGroote, and Mike Connelly of the usual suspects, and newcomers Joe Ebeling, John Wilcock, Jessica Charles, Lynn Carey, and Steve Strickler. Despite the fact that it was hot at HiWay and the meeting was crowded and chaotic, we had a great time and a productive meeting.
Amy and Marty K. had to leave early, so we got to their business first. Marty M. gave Amy a rough draft of the Arts Fest 5K and 10K courses. We have to change them yet again this year because we won't be allowed to use the Golf Course Clubhouse Road and because a section of Curtin Rd will be closed. The 10K again be run on both the East and West Campuses, using the IST Building to cross Atherton. But the start and finish lines will be near the IM Building because the Kids Races will be at Medlar Field. More details will be coming shortly.
We next discussed raising dues for the first time in many years. As it turns out, our current dues barely cover our membership dues and race insurance through the RRCA. Add to that the Newsletter, Club meetings, and other expenses, and the dues money is more than gone. The money we make from the Arts Fest and Half-Marathon races not only covers our various worthy and successful community and youth running programs, but also partly subsidizes our membership costs. We are proposing to raise the dues by $2 this coming membership year (July 2007), and may raise it again to $10. We will put this before the Club soon.
Next, John Domico and Cyndy Biek talked about the impact that the NVRC Boston Marathon Team fundraising has on the operation of one of the Centre Region's most worthy charities, the Centre Volunteers in Medicine. Last year, the NVRC Boston Teams raised $55,000 for CVIM. This represents a full month's operating expenses for CVIM. And our sponsorship of CVIM reaps benfits for the NVRC in terms of national exposure ("Hey! Who were those people in the red team shirts? Man, they're fast!") And this year, team member Nate Harkins gained a slot in the elite top 50 starters, so the NVRC will be getting even more coverage!
Next up, Mark Fedin and Scott Brooker gave short talks about their respective youth running programs. Mark Fedkin runs the Nittany Youth Track and Field Program with John Schmidt. The program is a great succes, with many of the elementarty and middle school kids competing in regional meets and having a ball doing it. Mark has given the Club officers a report of his Club's expenses from last year and proposed needs for the coming year. Nittany T&F requested $800. Scott Brooker thinks that the Penns Valley school districtwill soon approve a middle school running program, so the need for a Club sponsored program for the older kids in PV will go away. But this is a success for NVRC. Because of Scott's hard work and some financial help from the NVRC, running is getting to be a bigger sport in PV. Scott's request for this year amounts to $150. Treasurer Dave Eggler had to leave early, before he could give a Financial State of the Union Address, but it is likely the requests will be approved.
Kim Gasper is going ahead with plans for her Bellefonte Red Raider Rally Run for kids. Kim is also hoping to direct a special novelty race for couples to benefit Dave Emory, a soldier from Bellefonte who was seriously injured in Iraq. More details on this will be reported as they develop.
Marty M. reported that PSU running coach Beth Alford-Sullivan has proposed two summer All-Comers Meets. They will be in conjunction with two sports camps. Dates and details will be forthcoming. Scott Brooker wondered whether there would be interest in the Club is throwing another All-Comer Meet with PSU approval and using their facility, but without their direct help. Marty will contact Beth about this. Mark and Scott will discuss whether this is something their respective Youth Clubs would host.
Let's all wish Jerry Steffy a hearty "get well". Despite the cold he's been battling for several weeks, he has started up the very successful Beginner's Group Tuesday Evening Runs. He brought some of the first night's crew in to meet the Club. Jerry also delivered the names of people who have ordered NVRC singlets. We'll let those people know cost, delivery date, etc, as soon as possible.
Finally, Mike Connelly and Dave DeGroote have offered to help Marty M. revamp the NVRC web site. Keep an eye out!
Next Meeting: June 5.