Back in 2000, when AREC was revived as a dues-paying club, we made our primary goal to encourage the love of running through our Sunday and Wednesday runs. Our emphasis is on getting and maintaining a regular fun group of runners. What we try to avoid is excluding people because they cannot afford membership. At Team Runners High (also in Long Beach) for example, there are constant threats to exclude runners from updates and team events because they did not renew their membership.
In our first year back, we had about 25 paying members, which received benefits of team T-shirts, newsletters, insurance and a few team events. Last year, we had a similar number, though the majority paid their dues after July 1, when we allowed a rate reduction. At our board meeting in December, the club voted to reduce yearly rates from $25 to $15 and cut T-shirts, club events and paper newsletters from the budget.
The result is that as of press date we have 15 members, most of which were not fazed by the previous cost of $25. We are in danger of not meeting our stated budget goals, which we pared down to the minimum so that membership would not be so high. Some costs like occasional paper newsletters, postage to get a free supply of GU, and other assorted items have been donated. Even at the low cost of $15 per year, if we have enough members, we can add more benefits.
The members of the board are somewhat perplexed by the lack of members yet the profusion of consistent runners. Our next board meeting will be Wednesday, March 27th following the run at Limerick’s. This will be your chance to influence the future of AREC.
I suppose no one will be surprised about the outcome of our elections. Please welcome and encourage our volunteer board members: