Guildford Rugby Football Club
Guildford Rugby Football Club

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Chairman’s Letter – 20th April 2020

Dear Fellow Members

I hope you are all well and keeping your families safe.

Over the last month or so, all of us have had our lives completely changed.All of us have lost any normalcy we had.  All of us have had to completely change our days.  Many of us have had to deal with getting our kids into a new school routine and system.  Many of us have had to deal with how to be able to work and keep our families secure.  Some of us haven’t been able to work and are in troubling times.  And some of us have lost loved ones.

As I said in my last letter, its unprecedented times.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and your families.

If there is anything good that comes out of a crisis, it would be that sometimes you see people come together.  Instead of asking for entitlement, you see people ask how they can help.  People give instead of taking.  People lend a helping hand.  Simply, people are kinder.

It is with great pride that over the last few weeks, I have seen that at Guildford Rugby Club.  People have reached out from all areas, asking how they can help, or sent a kind word of support.  People have been generous and made an effort to support the Club in any way they can.

And I can say that because of that support and efforts from all, the Club stands strong in these troubling times.

It is through the work and efforts from many that we have some positive financial news.  First, I am happy to announce that we have been approved and received the funds for a £25,000 grant from Waverley.  Additionally, through the JustGiving site for the Club and fundraising quiz nights Skippy and others put together, this has raised over another £15,000 for the Club.  With other donations, this has all made the financial situation of the Club much stronger.

I can’t begin to Thank everyone who has made the effort to help our Club.  It is a true Thanks to many in all areas of the Club.

Now, with all that said, I do have to add that it doesn’t mean we are through troubling times.  The Board and many worked tireless early on to reduce expenses and costs in every way we could and quickly, so we could get to a monthly operating cost that was minimal as could be without damaging any assets or the future of the Club.  The expense side of it is math and can be accounted for.  However, what is more difficult is to account for the Revenue side, to know how long this will last or how long it will take for revenue to return.  For example, how long does this wipe out outside events and functions, which is a major revenue stream for the Club to support all of our Rugby Play.  Or how quickly and strongly with those events and functions come back.Additionally, not only operating costs, but the Club now also has loans at the end of every year to pay for the building of the facility long ago.

So, from the bottom of my heart, I truly Thank all for the support you have shown for your Club and ask for that continued support in any way you can. The Board continues to work on the financial situation, and will also now start to meet with all areas to plan Budgets and plans to open costs to make sure we are ready and will be in a great position for the start of next season.

We will continue to communicate with you all from many areas to update you on status of the Club, and also to share any ways you can help.

If there is anyone who needs help during these times, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

I will leave you with a personal story.  I don’t usually share personal stories in my Letter, as I feel it should always just be about the Club. But I feel compelled to share.

It was a night earlier on in this crisis.  We were working hard at the time to deal with the financial situation of the Club, and trying to move quickly and take steps to secure it.  I had just lost my Father in law and was dealing with a difficult situation with my wife not being able to be back in US with her family at such a time or be able to Memorialize her Dad.  I was worried about my own Dad, who has been ill for some time, and trying to make sure he was safe back in the US.  I had 500 employees around the globe that I was not only trying to make sure they could function, but to keep safe and figure out how to actually keep paying them.  I was making sure my family was sorted and ok.  Like all of us, I was dealing with troubled times.

I was sitting in my living room on the phone to the US with my head going in many directions and I received a text message from Skippy.  It was a screen shot of the first Quiz night that he had put together and that just started.  That simple text got me emotional.  I looked at all the faces and they were from all areas of the Club.  Some families, couples, players, coaches, volunteers, and even Bric with his shirt off (strong introduction for his new girlfriend!!).

It was a proud moment for me, to see everyone coming together, lending a helping hand, and supporting the Club.  Something I will always remember.

Iam proud to be part of your Club.

All the best to you and your families.

Joe

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