13 Feb Letter from the President – February 2020
February 6, 2020
I hope everyone has been enjoying the mild winter that we have had so far. On a Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, it was so warm that we could have opened the bar, sent an email around and probably had 50 people join us for late afternoon pop-up cocktails! Sadly, we didn’t because we were there for a committee meeting. While we all know that the real business of the Seabright Beach Club is conducted at the bar, the rest of it is usually conducted during winter. The running joke among your Board of Governors is that all the work gets done in the winter. This year is no exception. We have a lot to tell you about, so we’ll get right to it.
We have a new chef! His name is Richard (“Rich”) Nardelli, and he is a 1991 graduate of Johnson & Wales University’s culinary program. He has relevant local experience, having worked at the old Red Restaurant in Red Bank and at Shadowbrook in Shrewsbury. Rich is happy to make the full range of beach club offerings – from grilled cheese sandwiches to Sunday night surf & turf. By the way, the key detail of that last meal is not the surf & turf; it’s “Sunday night”! We will be resurrecting our weeknight and Sunday night dinner schedule this summer. Rich has a broad network of shore area contacts and is eager to build out his team so he can provide a consistently high level of service for lunches, dinners and private events. We all look forward to having him join us this summer.
The Board of Governors has decided to raise dues and initiation by a modest amount to keep pace with rising labor costs. Our annual dues will increase by $100 to $1,075 for members under age 30 and to $2,400 for those over age 30, and our initiation will increase by $500 to $12,500 for married couples and by $250 to $6,250 for single members. Please remit your dues by March 1, 2020.
The hourly minimum wage is increasing by another $1.00 per hour this year. We are also required to have two lifeguards covering the adult pool at all times. As a result, our payroll costs increased by $44,500 last year, and we anticipate an additional increase this year as we pay higher wages, hire a third manager and expand our kitchen staff under Rich.
Given that we revised our tax position last year, our dues are just $50 more than our dues were (admittedly, with taxes) two years ago. That said, we view this dues increase as prudent, necessary and essential to running a beach club that has always planned for the future while continuing to turn a slight profit every year.
Now it’s time to celebrate our 125-year history! Our 125th Gala will be Saturday, June 27th, followed by a family-friendly brunch on Sunday, June 28th. We have so many surprises and special touches planned for that weekend – and all summer – that I am not going to give anything away yet. But … just to give you a sense of the prevailing mood in the room as we plan everything,
the 125th Planning Committee can’t wait for the summer to start.
We want to be fair and transparent about our invitation policy for the 125th Gala. We are going to have a tent set up (weather permitting) on our beach for both events that weekend. The gala will be limited to 500 people which is what the tent can hold. We will implement the following invitation policy for the gala, which is a 21 and over event:
– Every member and First Season Guest in good standing is invited
– Any member who is single may invite one adult guest
– Any child (who is over 21) of a member who is included on their family
registration form for 2020 is invited (but may not invite a guest)
If we can open up the invitation list later this spring, we will, and the next group to be invited will be legacies. We will start a wait list once we reach 500 guests. During June, we will finalize everyone’s tables.
Here’s what to expect: invitations will be sent out on April 1, 2020, and we ask that everyone reply by May 1, 2020. As these dates approach, we will flood your in boxes early and often with emails reminding you of what’s approaching. This will be the most over-communicated gala in club history – an easy claim since we didn’t really have email back in 1995.
Please send us any old photographs that you have: parties, swim meets, kids eating ice cream, or Sunday dinners. All of it! Gedney Webb, who is on the 125th Planning Committee, has graciously agreed to curate our photography collection, and he can be reached at email@example.com. We are especially interested in photos from the 1950’s to 2000. We plan to use a lot of these photographs during the gala weekend and throughout the summer, but we need your help. Please go through some of your old photo albums and relive the glory days of SBC past. We would love to share these memories with all of our members and continue to preserve our wonderful and special history.
We have a new, updated website at www.seabrightbc.org that we hope everyone starts using. This will have lots of information about the 125th Gala as well as all other beach club activities. The password is the same for everyone, and it’s SBC2020. Over the coming weeks, please take some time to visit the site.
If winter weather ever does arrive, please remember that it will be gone soon and, more importantly, Memorial Day is fast approaching!
Brett Lawrence, President