Club Update: July 3, 2020

Dear Member,

This is your Captain’s log update for July 3, 2020. Reporting from the 119 Braintree Street bridge of The Skating Club of Boston. Summer is well underway, July 4th is upon us, and from my vantage point, summer is even almost over. (Sorry. Ever since I was a kid, I have declared that summer was over once the 4th of July arrived. Yes. I was that kid.) I hope everyone is taking some time to have fun with family and friends outdoors, in the good weather, and of course, observing all necessary pandemic precautions.

Summer is Not Over, But…
Time is moving very fast and September will be here soon. That means the Club’s long-dreamed, long-planned, long-awaited move to its new home in Norwood is finally here. Sidewalks are being poured, rinks are being prepared for the first sheets of ice, and this coming week, seats will start being installed in the Performance Center. It’s almost unbelievable to me how fast everything is now moving. We are planning for two sheets of ice to be ready for skating the week of September 8th, and for the final third sheet to be ready the last week of September. Those dates could still change, but now that September is on the immediate horizon, we plan on keeping you more regularly informed of these opening dates. During September, we will be skating in both Norwood and Brighton until Norwood is fully opened. The Fall/Winter/Spring schedule is still a work in progress, but it is now in the final stages of adding in the ice makes and formatting for release to the membership and Club coaches.

The Elephant in the Room
As I mentioned last week, and the weeks before that, the pandemic is not over. We cannot ignore it until there is a proven vaccine. It is in the corner of the room staring silently at us every day. The Club will continue to remain vigilant and do its part to keep our members as safe as possible while on Club property. This includes the Club’s parking lot. I know most of our skaters don’t read these emails, but they are the ones who need to understand this the most. So please share the following with each of your skaters. It’s critical information, and nothing less. What we all do outside of the Club is just as important as what we all do inside the Club. The virus can be transmitted anywhere. So if skaters are only practicing smart behavior while inside the Club, it helps. If they are practicing the same smart behavior in the Club parking lot, it helps a whole lot more. And if we all practice the same smart behavior of social distancing and wearing masks everywhere we go, it helps the most. The greatest risk to the Club remaining open and as safe as possible for everyone to skate is what we all do when not at the Club. Because that is a risk over which the Club has no control. It is a risk upon each and every one of us to manage. That’s what it means when folks from the Governor to myself say that we are now all responsible for our own safety.

Idling Cars
Members sitting out, and skaters working out in the Club parking lot have commented on the dirty air coming from cars idling in the parking lot. Would those members waiting in their cars for skaters please park along Western Avenue on the back of the Club? I think there is plenty of room there, and it would be very easy for skaters to exit through a rear door right to your waiting car. It seems like a simple solution that can work for everyone while we are still in this period of restricting access inside the Club. Thank you!

New Ice Contracting Options
As a reminder, the Club has introduced two new contracting options for the Fall/Winter/Spring season. In addition to our ongoing seasonal contract, we have introduced a new premium contract and a platinum contract option. Each offers more options and added flexibility, including cancellation, which is something the Club’s members have long sought. A summary of the new contracts can be found here. They are also posted on the Club’s website under the Schedules tab.

The Next 100 Years Capital Campaign
For those of you who did not read my email from last week – (no worries, I know viewership can be spotty) – I am asking every Club member to get involved with the capital campaign to finish the last 1.5% of financing for the new facility. To put it more poetically, we have the opportunity to be the shoulders on which the next generation of the Club’s members will stand, just as we have all stood on the shoulders of those who built the Club’s current home in 1938. It is no small thing for a skating club to own its own facility. Of the more than 765 member clubs in U.S. Figure Skating, only three own their own facility. Only one of all these clubs is undertaking to build a facility that is best-in-class for the next several generations of skaters and that will reshape the face of skating in the United States for decades to come. That is us, The Skating Club of Boston. That is our commitment to excellence. We are asking each Club member to donate and name at least 3 seats in the new Performance Center. That’s all it will take to get this done. And donations of 3 seats or more can be paid over the next 5 years. And yes, donations of every size are tax-deductible. For folks donating at least 5 seats, their names will also be included on the Wall of Honor in the new building’s main lobby. I am asking everyone to please join me in donating. If I didn’t believe in the importance and significance of what the Club is doing for both today’s and tomorrow’s members, I would not have made my own commitment. I write this from a deep belief in the Club as an institution and not because it is my job. Please visit thenext100years.org/seatcampaign and help us get this done today. If you want to pay over time, please contact Erique at erique.lheureux@scboston.org. For those members and coaches who responded to last week’s message with your donations, thank you!

What’s Next?
I have the same sage advice from the last few weeks for us all to continue being smart and staying smart. In the Club, in the Club parking lot, and everywhere you go. At 1240 Soldiers Field Road, I want to thank every member and coach for a very good week. There were a few lapses in smart practicing in the parking lot, but we think they were isolated instances and are now rectified. Based on that, starting Monday, July 6th, we are going to allow skaters running their programs to music to skate without their masks. But they must put their masks back on once finished. Or to please leave the rink through a side door if the run-through has left them gasping for breath. (We know it’s still early in this evolving competitive season.) But we must still require masks of coaches and staff at all times, and of skaters when not running their program and when off the ice. Off the ice, Boston has unfortunately been exempted from the Governor’s Phase III re-opening of strength-training facilities. The Club needs to follow suit, and to continue to encourage strength training while outdoors. Many thanks for everyone’s continued patience with this.

If Nothing Else
This bears repeating because it is the crux of our continued success. It’s what we now do outside of the Club that will most affect what we can do inside the Club. Please be safe and conscientious everywhere you go. We want every single member to stay well. We also want the Club to stay open and to fulfill its essential purpose of providing joy and recreation and community to all our members. We’ve got a good thing going with the Club’s re-opening, and it is up to all of us to keep it that way. Please be patient. With the Club, and with your own lives. Navigating the pandemic is no different than skating a senior long free-skate. In a mask and at altitude.

We can do this!

Sincerely,

Doug Zeghibe
Executive Director