BIGFORK GUN CLUB
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
May 19, 2013
|Dear Bigfork Club Gun members,
June 3rd is an important day for us all; as per our club and corporate bylaws, the faithful will be called to the club house at 6 p.m. for the annual general membership meeting. Here each member attending will have a direct voice and vote in the club's business and, more importantly, will be electing a new slate of officers and board of directors for the next 12 months.
Bigfork Gun Club is a successful and well-respected shooting facility not only here in the Valley, but also around the state. We've successfully applied for and received grant monies from such sports groups as the NRA and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks for range improvements. We grown significantly from the initial handful of shooting enthusiasts who pulled together enough resources to enjoy some trap shooting and being able to sight in hunting rifles in the Fall. Our membership today is just shy of 400 men and women who, with a host of regularly attending non-members, take part in trap and skeet, small-bore and high-power rifle activities, various handgun events, cowboy action shooting, Hunter's Safety field days, DFWP's Becoming an Outdoor Woman, plus efforts to establish various shooting-sports opportunities for our junior boys and girls.
All this is realized through the voluntary efforts of dedicated members. Outside of basic fees to cover costs of targets, materials, repairs, training materials, etc, and any other approved expenses associated with our programs, no one takes home any regular wage or salary. While the BOD may approve some modest level of compensation for time and energies expended in special training events, most of what we do is done because we love the sport of shooting, and are extremely proud of our facility and what we've accomplished.
With this increased growth and success, however, BGC is approaching a fork in the road: what is essentially the same number of officers and directors when the club had only about a one hundred members is now trying to meet the wants and needs of four-times the shooters. We're putting out a simple request: HELP! Inside this growing membership, there MUST be some folks with a few hours of free time to donate to the good of the facility. Many hands make light work!
Will we need to increase annual fees by, say, $20-$25 to allow hiring outside help in completing some maintenance and administrative needs, or do we have the resources already available from within our ranks?! We understand and accept that a percentage of our membership simply want to pay and play, buying their memberships and coming out only to enjoy the range offerings. That's OK. But bottom line, as we continue to grow and expand, there are certain basic needs and functions that have to be met. What can and are you willing to do for the overall benefit of Bigfork Gun Club?!
While the club needs the help and resources of more worker bees generally, there also will be several openings in the lineup of officers and directors. Become a club leader and decision maker, if only for a year! As a director, you need only be interested in the well being of BGC, have been a member for at least one year, and try to attend as many of the monthly directors meetings as you can. Ideally, the BOD should include at least one representative from each of the various interests and disciplines. We've also thought that the BOD size should be about five to seven members to help in making quorum requirements each month. You need to be present at the June meeting to accept a nomination and to be elected.
The elected officers include chairman, vice chairman, secretary, treasurer and chief range-safety officer. Probably the most involved of these are the secretary and CRSO. The latter, however, comes with specific qualification requirements including various NRA certifications. The current and out-going CRSO, Don Bissell, is authorized and qualified to provide that necessary training.
The secretary... a very important position: note-taking at meetings and publishing the minutes on a timely basis; currently also charged with maintaining membership data. A new secretary, however, wouldn't be thrown into the deep end of the pool. The out-going secretary, Pat Losee, and our dedicated web wizard, Beverly Rheaume, have it all pretty much assembled and running. Beverly has graciously offered to spend whatever time and assist in helping a new officer come up to speed on this.
This opens the door for a new voluntary position that would be of huge and tremendous help to our member-run club. Is there someone out there with some time and computer skills, an organized mind with an eye for details, who enjoys meeting new people, who would be interested in heading up a membership committee of one or more helpers? Signing up new members at the meetings, making the annual membership renewal happen in the Spring would be some of the those duties. Again, help and guidance would be provided. Here's an easy one: we need someone to write names of those nominated on the big board in front of the gathering during the coming elections.
OK, enough of all that... now for some fun stuff. We're having a members-only fund-raiser raffle for such neat items as a brand new Ruger LC9 pistol courtesy of Friends of NRA, a nifty desk organizer, and prints of the late Elmer Sprunger's wildlife painting depicting elk crossing a river in the mountains.
Sales of a total 250 chance tickets will begin at the June meeting; $5 a ticket or six tickets for $25. The drawing is planned for September, if all the tickets are sold by then.
So, come out and become an involved member; with many folks doing just a little bit here and there, no one individual or group needs get worn down to the knees trying to keep our great shooting club running smoothly and well. See you in June!
L. D. Gross, chairman