Submitted by Arch A., President, The Bellaire Club Board of Trustees

BRAVE NEW ENDEAVOR

THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES MID TERM REPORT 

Greetings, Bellaire Club member. The old by-laws of the club required a general membership meeting quarterly to report on the state of the club and address any new business. These were very poorly attended except when critical issues like non-smoking and losing our lease were on the table. It was my understanding that this requirement was deleted in the revised by-laws, but I have since discovered it is still there like a relative who has extended a stay! I checked with Mary F. and she never called a meeting and I don’t remember any since the move.

What I am proposing is an experiment to meet the intended need of the quarterly meetings, that is to keep the membership informed as to what the board has done and what plans it has for the future. Instead of quarterly, it will be semi-annual. If it proves useful and acceptable, it can be placed on the agenda of our annual membership meeting.

The email list remains incomplete in spite of all efforts to obtain addresses of those members with email addresses. Please ask club members you know if they have received this report. If not, please have them contact me.

In addition, attempts will be made to keep you up to date on upcoming events or any development that effects the club. No, you will not receive videos of cute kittens playing with skunks! Strictly business delivered in as easily absorbed manner as possible.

F-E-A-R

SOMETIMES FUTURE EVENTS APPEARING REAL ARE REAL! 

The new board had to hit the decks a’running with only a three weeks to prepare for our Labor Day event. Board and club members pulled together a last minute triumph for the club. The theme was Fiesta! and the décor throughout the club reflected the joyous spirit of the event.

Rick W. sponsored the fajitas professionally cooked for us by Demeris. Fortunately, because it was about the only thing we did not run out of. We had prepared for our usual 50 to 60, but were overwhelmed when 92 members, friends and guests showed up. In true spirit, the Board, acting as servers, rose to the occasion and worked non stop until every plate had something on it.

Kindred Spirits treated us to a stimulating music session followed by an open mike .

We were then faced with the fixed trinity of Fall and Winter events – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. More food and fellowship. The goal was to provide excellent food, served hot with plenty of tables to sit down to enjoy it in an appealing atmosphere.

For Thanksgiving professional caterer Dinah M. organized the serving line with chafers (portable “steam tables”) holding the traditional goodies provided for us by Daniel Wong’s Kitchen. Tables were set up throughout the club, covered in crisp white tablecloths. The small meeting room was turned into a small banquet room with soft lighting and décor.

Old timers pronounced it the best ever.

Christmas was a smaller version of Thanksgiving with the addition of matching aprons for the servers and an expanded kitchen counter to serve the food, again catered by Daniel Wong’s Kitchen with desserts and some sides provided by club members and friends.

We now have a very workable and easily replicated system for serving and enjoying meals at the Bellaire Club

ONE OF THESE DAYS WE’RE GONNA GET ORGANIZED! 

 Another priority was to get the Board of Trustees organized into a more efficient entity. The first move was to get rid of all of the “at –large” positions and give each member a specific area to manage. Then, in future elections we can elect members to the board who show some experience or expertise in these particular areas. Hopefully, this will produce efficient and effective boards.

This is was we came up with:

  • Robert P. – Vice President and also in charge of the maintenance of the facility along with Treasurer Larry A.
  • Ann N. – Secretary
  • Alice G. – Supplies and  club events.
  • Margaret D. – Literature and chips.
  • Mary H. T. – Intergroup phones and assistant to the Treasurer.
  • Scott T. – Event promotion and general computer activity.

HOME IMPROVEMENTS 

When not planning events, the Board worked diligently to improve the physical plant as well. First on the agenda was a money drop for the coffee bar. The honor system of dropping money in the top drawer had long been “dishonored” and something more secure was needed. Mary H. T’s husband, Darwin designed and executed the drop system in the kitchen counter. Almost immediately an improvement in income was noticed.

At the same time Dawin T. added new chair rails to the main meeting room to protect the walls. Larry A., when he is not busy as our treasurer and running a contracting firm, secured our storeroom with a virtually impenetrable door and designed and executed the portable countertop expansion and handled the main meeting room paint touch up. As Robert P. puts it, the club sure hit a home run with all the bases loaded when he walked into our lives.

Most noticeable of the improvements was the purchase of our professional (straight from a restaurant supply store) glass fronted refrigerator so everyone can now see what they want before opening the door. A bit pricy, but with our new tax exempt status, we got it at cost and on sale. It came very close to the cost of a domestic stainless steel refrigerator that had been considered.  It was personalized with our own club logo through the connections of Mike P. who also installed it for us. The extra one now enhances our front door.

MEETING SCHEDULES

New printed meeting schedules have finally appeared. As so often happens, just in time to miss the addition of a brand new group! But they are going fast and updates will be made at that time.

THE LITTLE RED DUMPSTER THAT COULD 

Robert Frost’s proverb: good fences make good neighbors could also apply to dumpsters as well. Up to a point. We had a sweetheart agreement with the Pizza place to use their dumpster. That worked well until the Chicken People started using it for their overflow which caused Pizza to spray paint possessive epithets and lock them out as well as us. They have a new manager that turned into a “Pharaoh who knew not Joseph” situation.

 We now have our own.

Cute, Adorable, but finally “The Little Red Dumpster That Could” seemed to stick as the name for our newly acquired dumpster. We got the company name from another small dumper in the alley. Turns out the owner is in the program and we got a good price. (We ARE everywhere!)

WHY ETHEL! I CAN SEE MY FACE IN YOUR FLOORS! 

Those of us who can remember the ugly, dirty carpet in the old location can be thrilled by the improvements in flooring in our new location. But not without necessary maintenance. VP Robert P. has worked diligently to keep them clean and sparkling for us and is now aided by professional cleaners who come in periodically to make sure our floors remain beautiful and maintained for years to come.

NEW MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

(Meat in the seats means bucks in the baskets!) 

The New Membership Drive headed by Margaret D. brought in 16 new members and old members who brought their dues up to date. We certainly plan to add that to our calendar of events.

VALENTINE’S DAY DANCE

(The sweet smell  of excess!)

To say our Valentine’s Day Dance honchoed by Alice G. was a huge success would be the very least anyone could say. Even some of our biggest detractors had to admit it was an outstanding event from the salsa lessons to the raffling off of the 50-inch TV that Margaret D. obtained for us.

Adrienne W. and her husband transformed the place into a romantic wonderland to stimulate the eye at every turn. The small meeting room was filled with a spread of luscious sweets to tempt the palate. The main meeting room rocked the whole evening with the sounds produced by a professional DJ ever sensitive to the tastes and daring of the dancers. Outside guests enjoyed the coolness of the night and the warmth of good company.

Apparently some could have danced all night, because the only complaint heard was that it ended too soon!

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE (TO COME)

Primary on the agenda is to organize the Noon Meetings as a regular group. In the old club we only had the Sunday Noon Meeting and Ann N. maintained a small Thursday meeting. When Jane E. took charge as president of the board, the Friday Two Dollar Meetingwas added. Since the club had only three months to live, it was decided all funds would go to the club. When we moved, people began showing up at noon, so we started noon meetings every day, continuing the policy of giving all funds to the club to defray expenses.

Now that we seem to be well established and on our feet once more, it is thought to be time to reorganize the noon meetings asThe Noon Groups of the Bellaire Club. A plan is being devised and will be presented to the groups soon.

Victoria H. has suggested that negotiations with PayPal so that members could pay their dues, make contributions, etc. in that manner.

Club stationary to be printed so that thank you cards could be sent to donors and new members welcomed.

And those damn screeching chair glides on the chairs in the small meeting room! If they drive you as crazy as they do me, they have been on the agenda of every board meeting since September. And will continue until the problem is solved.

Next month we will celebrate the 33rd Anniversary of the founding of the Bellaire Club. Tentative plans are for a Homecoming theme with Texas barbeque provided by Bellaire Brisket Bar-B so familiar to old club members. Speakers at noon and at the regular6:30 Speakers Meeting. Poker, games, visiting and catching up with old friends. Possible entertainment by Killing Floor, a Texas Blues band. Details when they are finalized.

CONCLUSION (Finally!)

This was overheard in the hall during the Labor Day Fiesta: The Bellaire Club rocks!

This overheard in the hall during the Valentine’s Day Dance: The Bellaire Club sure knows how to throw an event.

Best of all a phone call was taken by Alice G. the Monday following the dance in which someone wanted to know our meeting schedule. He had been to the dance and said: I didn’t know you could have that much fun in sobriety.

In a recent meeting I said that the original Bellaire Club on Cedar Street had the reputation as being the best place to sober up.

Rick W. responded that The Bellaire Club is the best place to stay sober!

The Board rocks!

The Bellaire Club rocks!

Let’s keep it rockin’!!

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