Dear Alumni Member and Supporters,
I recently attended a rugby match between Canada and the USA in Hamilton. (It ended in a tie). At one point in the action I noticed there were three players on the field who had, at one point in their careers, played for our club: Phil Mack, Taylor Paris and Andrew Coe. I suspect there are very few rugby clubs in Canada who could make that claim. It got me thinking about the literally tens of thousands of players who have donned the green jersey over the years, and the success we have had since the founding of our Club sixty-seven years ago.
But the success of the Club has come not just from the players, but from the hard work and dedication of volunteer members who have spent countless hours behind the scenes making sure the Club runs effectively and operates on a sound financial footing. But, as always, we need the help of our past players, our alumni, our friends and supporters to continue to make this happen.
We play our senior team home games at Fletcher’s Field, and as a part owner we continue to subsidize the facility. We play our Junior home games at Austin Drive and the Town of Markham has recently raised the rent for that facility. Recently Rugby Canada increased player registration fees which are difficult to pass on to players as dues are already a barrier to young players wishing to register. We have undertaken extensive renovations of the Austin Drive clubhouse, and although many donations of labour and materials were received we still incurred substantial costs. I invite you to take look at the improvements which include: new floors and tiles for the men’s and women’s showers, refurbished washrooms, a new floor in the bar area, new external doors, new kitchen area and painting throughout.
In addition, we must provide medical assistance for all our teams, and insurance rates continue to climb. We need new equipment every year, and with three senior men, two senior women, and five junior teams that is a considerable expense. In total, we need in excess of one hundred thousand dollars a year to operate the Club on a sound financial footing.
It is simply impossible to raise sufficient funds from the players’ annual subscriptions to cover all these costs, and we rely heavily on sponsor support, and alumni donations to make up the difference. I am sure many of you can identify with the issues, some of which I have outlined above, and I hope you will consider supporting the Club and its players as we continue to build on the success we have had in the past.
In the past you have been able to make your donation via Rugby Canada who issued a charitable receipt. Unfortunately, the CRA have disallowed this practise and donations now have to be made direct to the Club instead. I do hope this will not dissuade you in your support.
Martin Sumner (email@example.com)
Past President, and Director Alumni Relations