While there have been amazing stories of community support, engagement and kindness during the recent COVID-19 crisis, there have also been a number of sad instances when individuals, businesses and even those trying to help, have been attacked on social media and their integrity called into question.
Sadly the Club has been one of those organizations. We teach the kids at Club not to throw stones. We also teach them that kindness is always the best option and rather than respond to the stones being thrown at the Club, I wanted to take this opportunity to outline where the Club is at and what challenges are still facing us.
The Club’s budget is always precarious. This year our goal was to have $200 in profit at the end of the fiscal year. Thanks to some incredible innovation in the past three years we have managed to meet increasing operations costs through fundraising and kept costs as low as possible for our families. However, the Tahoe Brewfest, our largest fundraiser has been postponed until the end of September and will be a much smaller event than we budgeted for. That is a loss over $125,000 from our budget. We also got word yesterday that the Governor of California has proposed a $100 MILLION cut to the grant that funds after-school programs – including ours. We don’t yet know what reduction that will bring to our Club but assume it will be a loss of at least $50,000.
Currently we are petitioning the School District to allow us to reopen this summer. However, the safety guidance that we will operate under means that our ratio will go from 1:20 to 1:10. This means we will need to hire more staff and due to space, be forced to admit fewer members than in prior summers. That also means reduced membership fees. There is also a big question mark over the school year. If our schools have to operate under modified schedules, the Club needs to be able to respond and possibly be open for longer and employ more staff – all without any help from the Government.
Conservative estimates suggest that the Club could be down by as much as a quarter of a million for the 20/21 fiscal year. For an organization with a profit margin of just $200, it is no understatement to say that we are fighting for our survival.
So when we are singled out on social media it hurts. When the ethics and priorities of the staff and organization are called into question, you can’t help wondering if the fight is worth it. Thankfully the answer to that is a resounding YES. Our kids are worth it. Our community is worth it. And we will continue to fight for the ability to make a difference in their lives. I hope that you will join us in that fight.