Our September board meeting—the first since our annual planning retreat in May—covered five important topics: our journalism contest, policies for payment of luncheon fees and for mixer guests, introduction of FGCU interns and their project, a new fundraising opportunity, and appointment of a nominating committee. I’ll take them in order.
Our journalism contest deadline is now extended to Dec. 15. A generous donor stepped forward with additional money so we can expand our prize offering. Now, instead of awarding one prize of $500, we will increase the first place prize to $750 and offer $250 for second place and $100 for third. Both the deadline extension and the greater rewards should make the contest much more attractive to Florida journalists. For full details and entry forms for this competition, check the NPC website.
After the tremendous success of our July event—“A Lytle Celebration”—which utilized Eventbrite for the purchase of all tickets in advance, we discussed whether to use this payment method for our luncheons. It is a boon to our tireless check-in crew. For now, we offer these options:
- Use Eventbrite to make your reservation and pay by credit card or PayPal;
- Pay in advance by check mailed to our treasurer Connie Kindsvater;
- RSVP via email to Rhona Saunders and pay at the door by cash, check or credit card.
One word of caution: understand that both NPC and the Hilton discourage walk-ins. To help our members understand the importance of reserving in advance, the board decided that anyone who does not RSVP but just shows up as a walk-in the day of the luncheon will have to pay an additional $10 ($35 for members; $38 for spouses; $50 for guests). Make a reservation so you don’t have to pay extra.
Speaking of disincentivizing, the board also wishes to discourage inviting guests to our mixers unless they are authentic prospective NPC members. The restaurants hosting our mixers donate appetizers (usually) because we are the Press Club of Southwest Florida. Asking them to provide free food for our next-door neighbors who have no intention of joining our club is a bit cheeky.
A Scoop Xtra recently came to your inbox to announce a project we’ve talked about for years. At long last, we are putting wheels under it. As a benefit to our members, especially those still active in their careers, we will have a members only page on our website. It will list biographical information and a headshot of all members who wish to participate.
Since this is a major undertaking we couldn’t get any member to volunteer to spearhead—can’t imagine why—we have turned it over to two Florida Gulf Coast University seniors in the journalism program. Brooke Blythe and Nicholas Idler, our interns during the fall semester, will edit and organize the 100-word bios our members send them and then post them to our website. In some cases, they will even write the bio and take your photo. In case you missed the e-blast about this, send your bio and .jpg photo sized to 5”x7” to NPCBios@gmail.com.
Use the same email address to contact Blythe or Idler about interviewing you, writing or editing your bio or snapping your photo. Do this pronto because Brooke and Nick will only be with us until early December.
Thanks to the generosity of Jeff Lytle, we have three great prizes we’ll raffle to raise money for our scholarship fund. With seven—wow, seven!—journalism students receiving scholarships this year, we want to make sure we always have enough in the fund to support them. Look elsewhere in this issue of Scoop for full details on the raffle. Don’t miss out. Bring your check to purchase raffle tickets to the October and/or November luncheon.
Finally, at our annual meeting/holiday party, we hold an election of a slate of officers and governors. Six weeks prior to that (it’s Dec. 4 this year, so that means by Oct. 23), we have to let the membership know who has been slated. The nominating committee for this year consists of Karla Wheeler and Jeff Margolis from the board, and Marisa Cleveland from general membership. If any of them contacts you about serving your club, please be kind. Their task of determining who would be good candidates for office can be daunting, so just cooperate by saying yes. If you’re asked, it’s because the committee believes you would be super in that position. We need good leaders to receive the baton from those who have already served their terms. The committee members know who of the current officers and board have said yes to another term, so you’ll know with whom you’ll serve.
Our next board meeting is Thursday, Oct. 9. If you know of a topic we should discuss for the good of the club, be sure to let me know before then.