Bulletin for the week of February 24, 2020

1. SCHEDULE
2. FUND DRIVE UPDATE
3. TIME TO REGISTER FOR THE MIDDLEBURY OPEN-ESPECIALLY YOUTH AND UNRATED FENCERS

1. SCHEDULE
This week:
Middlebury: All practices at Mary Hogan School 6:30-9
Charlotte:
Tues 2/25, Shelburne Town Gym 7-9 (NOTE: change in venue and start time)
Thurs 2/27, Shelburne Town Gym 7-9

Location of Shelburne Town Gym: Park in the lot shared by the town library, fire station, Schip's Treasure thrift shop and old school building (now town offices and police station). The gym is on the ground floor of the old school. Enter parking lot door, turn right into corridor opposite police station, and you will see the gym.

Next week:
Middlebury: All practices at Mary Hogan School 6:30-9
Charlotte:
NO fencing Tues March 3 (Town Meeting/elections). This class will be made up.
Thurs 3/5, Charlotte Central School 6:30-9 (basketball is over, we will start at 6:30 both days from now on)

6th annual Vermont summer foil/epee clinic: July 24-26. An intensive and fun weekend of training with guest coach Paul Sise (from Massachusetts), local coaches Viveka Fox and Geoff Butler, and teaching assistants TBA. For teen and adult fencers of any skill level (including those currently in Level 1 classes) except rank beginner, and advanced youth fencers (ages 11-12 with 2+ seasons fencing and some competition experience). Limited to 20 foil and 20 epee students, must have a minimum of 20 people registered by June 1 in order to hold the clinic. More info and to sign up:
https://askfred.net/Clinics/moreInfo.php?clinic_id=46336

2. FUND DRIVE UPDATE
Here is the money that has been turned in so far:
Sponsorships: $1475 (plus waiting for an additional $75 pledged, so let's say $1550)
Crowdfunding Campaign $898
Total so far: $2450
For comparison: In 2019, sponsorship total was $2675, and in 2018, it was $2590. This was down from $2915 in 2017 and a record high of $3230 in 2016.
The t-shirt (featuring yet another fantastic Adam Glazer design) has gone off the to printer, so at this point we are probably done soliciting business sponsors (although if they don't mind missing the t-shirt boat, we will of course take their ads for the tournament program). However, the GoFundMe campaign (new this year) can continue right up to the tournament. I am hoping we can squeeze another few hundred out of that. And by "we" I mean "all of you". Last time I asked, several of you made a personal appeal to your friends and relatives, and we got a few more donations. But it has now been nearly 2 weeks since the last donation. If you have not yet been part of the crowdfunding crowd, now is the time to do it, please. You can share our campaign via social media, or via email (hit up a few favorite grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc). The important thing is that you make the appeal personal, and include a note about what the VFA means to you and why you hope your friends and relatives will support it. Passive sharing of the link does not work (our link has been shared 200 times, but only 16 individuals have donated, as most of these shares were passive clicks). Here again is the link:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/vermont-fencing-alliance-annual-fund-drive

Three cheers for Rob Zimmerman, Susan Nop and Laura Fetterolf, who between them last week canvassed a whole lot of Middlebury businesses, netting several sponsorships and a big bunch of donated raffle prizes!

Raffle: Our co-czars Karen, Rob and Laura announce that this year's grand prize will be a pair of high-end bluetooth earbuds, perfect for running, working out, or listening to your tournament warm-up music! In addition we have gift certificates from several restaurants and other businesses. Do you have a nice prize to donate? Bring it in to any of the raffle czars or to me, the sooner the better (so we can advertise a complete list of prizes).

Now is the time to sell raffle tickets. Selling them in advance is important to protect ourselves in case bad weather reduces turn-out at the Middlebury Open. Tickets are $1 each, or 6 for $5. Drawing is March 15, winners need not be present. How to sell raffle tickets (including to yourself):
-Use this link to print out as many sheets of tickets as you want:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1863gk7tdm5d9TAZGxQLD8oe3W-CTf0GQ/view?usp=sharing -Cut them up and sell them
-Put money and filled in tickets together in an envelope and turn in to any of the raffle czars or to Viveka. You can do this any time, but if you turn in $50 or more before March 14, you pay no entry fees to fence in the Middlebury Open! (You also pay no entry fees if you raised $50 in any combination of sponsorships and/or crowdfunding).

Concession Stand: Thank you to our Cafe Queen Barbara Greenewalt. Next week's bulletin will contain instructions for signing up to donate food, and/or to take a shift selling food and t-shirts (great job for a nonfencing family member during the tournament weekend). In the meantime, think of your favorite foods to make, such as sandwiches and wraps, baked goods, or crockpot meals (bring in your own crockpot to keep warm). It's not a party if the food isn't good, right?

3. TIME TO REGISTER FOR THE MIDDLEBURY OPEN-ESPECIALLY YOUTH AND UNRATED FENCERS
Why "especially youth and unrated fencers"?
a. The experienced competitors already know that the Middlebury Open is not to be missed, and most of them have already signed up.
b. I need to organize volunteers to ref the youth and unrated events. It is very much extremely helpful to know well in advance who is coming (and extremely stressful to be scrambling for refs and equipment due to a flurry of late registrations).

The 27th annual Middlebury Open is March 14-15 at Middlebury Union Middle School.

Everything you need to know about fencing in the Middlebury Open, especially if it will be your first tournament.
a. I encourage almost all fencing students to get involved in our fun, friendly local tournament scene as soon as possible. (The only exception being those younger children who do not yet have the maturity to handle losing without getting upset or frustrated). Would you join a tennis or softball league only to practice and never to play in any games? Tournaments are our games.
b. Youth events are open to kids born 2007 or later. Competitive membership is not required for youth. Any and all kids can just sign up and show up. Youth events are intended to provide our youngest fencers with a supportive, fun, learning experience.
c. Unrated events are open to -you guessed it - unrated teen and adult fencers only (born 2006 or earlier). Fencers earn letter ratings through competitive success, ranging from E (modest local success) up to A (sucess at a national or strong regional event). All competitors start out as unrated, so these events are for beginning to intermediate level competitors. We will be holding separate mens and womens unrated foil and epee events. As long as we have at least 6 competitors of each gender, the winners will earn E ratings. So far, the women are outpacing the men in early sign ups. Come on guys, get yourself signed up!
e. Unrated fencers are very welcome to participate in veterans events (for those born 1971 or earlier) and open events (for all fencers born 2006 or earlier). The one exception might be, if the popular Open Epee event reaches the cap of 54 and has a waiting list, I may ask local fencers who are also doing both unrated and veterans epee to give up their places.
f. Loaner equipment will be provided free of charge for all who are signed up by March 10 and who don't yet have their own.
g. Entry fees if registered on AskFRED by midnight, March 10: $15 for your first event of the weekend/$5 per additional event. After March 10, the price goes up to $20 for first event/$10 per additional event. Those who raise $50 or more before March 14 pay no entry fee (but I still need you to sign up early).
h. All teen and adult competitors (those born 2006 or earlier) must be Competitive members of US Fencing. If you are currently a noncompetitive member (Level 1 students and anyone else for who this is your first tournament), you will need to upgrade at least several days in advance of the tournament. The upgrade fee is $65, and is good for all tournaments through July 31. If you know your log-in details (member number or user i.d. and password), you can upgrade on-line at www.usfencing.org. If (like many newbies) you can't log in, the easiest way to upgrade is over the phone, at 719.866.4511 (in CO, so 2 hours earlier there). Tell them you are a Green Mt Division fencer who would like to upgrade from noncompetitive to competitive status, and they will be able to take your credit card over the phone and make the change immediately. Note that this is not necessary for the Youth events (kids born 2007 or later).
i. Invite your friends and family to come watch you fence! There will be bleacher seating and a free program booklet explaining the rules of the sport and some of the club's history. 2020 Champlain Cup t-shirts will be on sale ($15 each, limited number in each size, when they are gone they're gone, I will not take reservations or pick them up for anyone, but you are welcome to ask a friend to get one for you if you won't be there), along with food for sale, and the raffle drawing on Sunday.

Here is the event schedule for the weekend. Mark your calendars now!
Saturday March 14 (Foil)
9 a.m Youth (Y10Y12) Foil, Veterans (VetCombined) Foil
11:30 a.m Unrated Mens Foil, Unrated Womens Foil
1:30 pm Open (Senior Mixed) Foil

Sunday March 15 (Epee and Saber)
9 a.m Youth (Y10Y12) Epee, Veterans (VetCombined) Epee
11:30 a.m Unrated Mens Epee, Unrated Womens Epee, Open (Senior Mixed) Saber
1:30 pm Open (Senior Mixed) Epee

To register, get directions, see the event times, see who else is coming:
https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=45053

New to using AskFRED? You will first need to create an account. List your club as Vermont Fencing Alliance and your division as Green Mt. Once you are in the database, it is very easy to sign up for future tournaments. If you are having trouble figuring out how to create an account, look here for directions:
www.vtfencingalliance.org/old_posts/HowToUseFRED.htm