Club Update: April 17, 2020

Dear Member,

This is your Captain’s log update for April 17, 2020. Reporting from the (remote) bridge of The Skating Club of Boston. I thought of adding the number of days we have been closed to the weekly Captain’s log update, but it reminded me (and likely anyone who lived through it) too much of the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis. We have enough discouraging news grabbing our attention! But perhaps some signs of encouraging news as well, with the slowdown in the number of new cases and not reaching full capacity at our medical centers.

Club Closure
For no reason other than what I read and watch on the news, I am expecting the state shut down of non-essential businesses to extend until the middle of May. But I have no firm information indicating as much. To put it another way, your guess continues to be as good as mine. But in anticipation of our re-opening, we are sourcing forehead thermometers and face masks, and looking at solutions for decreased density within the building. This is actually our second attempt at forehead thermometers. We could not get our first shipment to operate, despite several members assisting us with understanding the instructions printed in Chinese. Thank you, members! We are now waiting on an order from a different supplier. Another member has offered to assist us in securing face masks. Thank you again! Our Club community is abundant with resources, and we continue to be extremely grateful to you all.

Construction Closure
We have some inside information from folks in the construction industry (who are much larger than us) indicating that the state may re-open construction sites in the early part of May. If so, I would fully expect that to be with ongoing restrictions of some type and level. But if true, the Club’s construction managers have well-positioned the project to be able to take full and immediate opportunity of the easing of restrictions. They have already established a single point of entry for workers, established a screening health station checkpoint, are adding a licensed, on-site nurse and establishing conditions and restrictions on all sub-contractors that also vest them in the success of keeping the site safe and open. If we can re-open the site in early May, we would be looking at the start of the fall season launching the Club’s next chapter in Norwood.

Government Grant
Through its relationship with Dedham Savings Bank, the Club was extremely fortunate to have its application for the Payment Protection Program accepted and funded late this week. Literally at the last moment before currently allocated funds for the program ran out. Many thanks to our Finance Director, Suzan Springer, and Finance Committee member, John Frieling, for their assistance with understanding the grant rules and preparing the application. The rules were constantly changing, even after the applications were submitted. Per the terms of the grant, this is money the Club will use to continue to keep its management team fully employed and secure through this crisis. Your donations of contracted ice time have been very important for that, and for paying the electricity to keep the Club ice open and viable. Given the age of the refrigeration pipes, we have real cause for concern if the frozen material surrounding them for decades might thaw. They could easily fail and we’d be unable to create a new sheet of ice. Again, a heartfelt expression of gratitude to everyone who has been able to donate their contracted ice time. We continue to appreciate all the financial and personal support you have been providing during this time. We know this continues to be an unpredictable time for everyone.

New Club Website and Scavenger Hunt
This morning an email went out to the membership announcing the launch of the Club’s newly-designed website, including a link to immediately begin exploring it. Not everyone in a family receives the Club’s emails, so I encourage those who received it to share the email and the link with the other members of your family who skate. We have also designed a fun online scavenger hunt for adults and kids alike to comb the site for answers. A few questions may be intentionally challenging, but there are prizes of $25 Starbucks gift cards to the first 20 members who answer all questions correctly. To begin the hunt, click here. Happy hunting and good luck to everyone! With the Starbucks open across the street, once the Club re-opens, you can enjoy your beverage rink side. Because Club rules will still not allow beverages on the ice. 😁

NEW Instagram Live Series!
Tomorrow (Saturday, April 18th) at 1:00 pm, Club members on social media are invited to tune into the all-new The Skating Club of Boston Instagram Live series with host, Jimmy Morgan. This week, Jimmy’s first special guest will be the 2020 U.S. Junior Champion and ISU World Junior Championships Competitor, Max Naumov. Follow @SkatingClubBos on Instagram, and join the conversation. And be sure to leave some questions in the comments that you would like Jimmy to ask Max. It should be a lot of fun!

Contracting Ice Options
Soon, we will be announcing on the Club website new options for contracting ice at the Club. We are looking to meet member interest, and to offer some added flexibility and options for the next fall season beyond what currently exists. This is just one more step in improving the membership experience in our new Norwood home.

The Next 100 Years Capital Campaign
The Next 100 Years Campaign continues, and we are thankful for all of the support from our members and Club alumni. We continue connecting with members and donors in a variety of ways, and we are grateful that current and past members are choosing to donate at this time. Maybe it is the added time at home, or just looking forward to better times in the new facility. We are grateful no matter what! Supporting the Campaign is one of the many ways to stay connected to and help the Club during this time. If you haven’t read or heard about The Next 100 Years Campaign and the opportunity to name a seat in the Performance Center, please click here to read more about it and consider the opportunity for you and your own family and loved ones.

I read a short article in the New York Times this week that referenced the global resilience now required for everyone to persevere through this crisis. We are all experiencing that here at home, whether through our job, homeschooling children, frustration at the limitations of our space, and the frustration at the imposed restrictions on our personal choices and freedoms. But I immediately thought of our Club community, and how incredibly well-positioned our skaters are to rely upon their resilience. For resilience is one of the greatest requirements and achievements in a competitive figure skater. It takes resilience to get up from the ice, time and time again when training, trying and seemingly (only seemingly) failing. It takes resilience to skate out alone on empty ice, listen for your music and skate a program that only you can make succeed. It takes resilience to enter your next competition after a disappointing skate or placement at your previous event. It takes a special brand of resilience to be a juvenile or intermediate lady and perform the program of your life and still not make it to the final round of competition. Possibly year after year. The competition for these ladies is that fierce! I don’t think there is a tougher or more resilient group of skaters in the entire sport. But it is not just the young ladies. Look at the Club’s Olympic Silver Medalist, Paul Wylie. Its two-time National Pair Champions, Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir. Its National Silver Medalist, Ross Miner. They all demonstrated incredible resilience and perseverance in their skating careers. And in the joy of eventual triumph. Such personal triumph comes in many ways, and at many times. Some long after we have left the sport.

Skating is a sport of many wonderful things, including resilience. Skating grants so many incredible opportunities and experiences for character growth and maturity at an early age, not just resilience. Traits that sustain us our entire lives. I find my own resilience through tough times such as these is rooted in my years skating at the Club. I encourage all of you who may have never skated, to look to your children and their skating friends. They are already professionals at resilience, and role models for the rest of us.

Stay safe, sane and resilient everyone!


Doug Zeghibe
Executive Director