Bulletin for the Week of February 11, 2019

1. SCHEDULE
2. GOOD LUCK TO OUR JUNIOR OLYMPIANS
3. FUND DRIVE UPDATE - PLEASE SELL RAFFLE TICKETS!
4. REGISTER NOW FOR THE MIDDLEBURY OPEN-ESPECIALLY YOUTH, UNRATED AND VETERANS


1. SCHEDULE
This week:
Mon 2/11, Mary Hogan School, 6:30-9 as usual
Tues 2/12, Charlotte practice scheduled as usual, but with a winter storm warning, there is a chance of cancellation. Be on the lookout tomorrow for an update.
Wed 2/13 and Thurs 2/14: NO fencing

Next week:
Mon 2/18, BRIDGE SCHOOL, 6:30-9, Level 1/2 class and open fencing, with guest instructors Geoff, Deb and Adam. Note location change.
Tues 2/19, Charlotte, 6:30-9, Level 1/2 class and open fencing, with guest instructors Geoff, Ray, John and Leslyn.
Wed 2/20, BRIDGE SCHOOL 6:30-9, Level 3 class and open fencing. I should be back (weather gods willing).
Thurs 2/21, Charlotte, 7-9:30, Level 3 class and open fencing.

Note: If winter weather occurs while I am away, I will not be able to send out an email. If in doubt as to whether there is practice, please check school closings. If CCS is closed (or cancels after school activities) there is no fencing (check their website, they usually have a pop-up warning if there is a closure). In Middlebury, the schools are already closed that week, so I will give Geoff a list of the people who have been coming regularly on Mondays, along with their emails. If in doubt, call or text Geoff at 703-507-6742, or email coachgeoffbutler@gmail.com.

The week after:
Mon and Wed Middlebury practices at Mary Hogan, as usually scheduled.
Tues 2/26, SHELBURNE TOWN GYM, 7-9, Level 1/2 class and CS practice. Note location and time change.
Thurs 2/28, SHELBURNE TOWN GYM, 7-9, Level 3 class and open fencing. Note location and time change

2. GOOD LUCK TO OUR JUNIOR OLYMPIANS
Best of luck to the Green Mt Division Jr Olympic Team as they head to Denver, CO this week! All 7 of this year's team members are VFA Competitive Squad fencers: Isidora Bailly-Hall, Ryan Bagley, Robbie Kite, Will Nop, Henry Weston, Peter Wolosinski, and Alex Yaggy (in addition, Isa Kaplan, Max Barron, and Seamus Greenwood qualified, but elected not to go). The Jr Olympics are also the Junior and Cadet National Championships and the final qualifying tournament for junior world team, so the competition will be fierce. This is an exciting opportunity for our young fencers to learn, grow and take on a real challenge. If you will be 13-19 years old next season, I encourage you to consider trying out for Jr Olympics at our annual Teen Fencing Day qualifier in November. Perhaps you will be on next year's team! Want to follow our fencers in Denver? Results will be posted daily here: www.usafencing.org/2019-feb-jos

3. FUND DRIVE UPDATE - PLEASE SELL RAFFLE TICKETS!
Thank you again to everyone who got sponsors or are sponsors. Thus far I have received $1655 in sponsorships, with another $500 pledged (if you made a pledge, please get your check in to me) bringing us to $2155. A little short of the $2500 goal, but not bad, largely due to some generous donations from larger sponsors. If you have business sponsors that have not given me ads yet, please remind them to send them to me by Feb. 22. In some cases, I can re-use last year's ads, but need the sponsor to tell me to do that. Congratulations to Kelley Trombley, who had the most sponsors (8 of them). Kelley gets 12 free raffle tickets as a thank you.

Now the focus turns to the raffle! Our grand prize will be a fitness tracker that counts your steps, monitors your heart rate and tracks your hours of exercise in various heart rate zones. These things are great both for athletes in training (like fencers!) and folks who want to meet more modest fitness goals. In addition, we will have lots of other fun prizes (list coming soon, please donate stuff if you have things that would make nice prizes). Drawing on March 3, winners need not be present. Were you too shy to approach strangers and ask for $25+? Or too busy to knock on sponsor's doors? I bet you could sell almost anyone a $1 raffle ticket! Friends, family, buy them yourself - it's all good. We need to sell a lot of raffle tickets before the Middlebury Open itself. That way, if bad weather reduces tournament turn out, we still raise the money we need. Here is the link to print your own raffle tickets:
RAFFLE TICKETS
Print as many as you think you can sell!

Remember, anyone who raises $50 or more in advance of the Middlebury Open pays no entry fees (easy way out here: buy $50 worth of raffle tickets....). Thus far, the following people are on the list:
Alex Y, Judson Y, Henry W, Deb H, Ethan C, Isidora BH, Leslyn H, Jesse L, Justin B, Karen C, John C, Kelley T, Jay T, Kirin B, Luke B, Will N, Susan N, Peter W, Ryan B, Tom P, Torrey H, Viveka F, Don S
Think you should be on this list? Please let me know.

One final way to contribute to the 2019 fund drive: Make food for the Cafe VFA refreshment stand at the Middlebury Open, and/or volunteer for a shift as a food seller. Always popular: hot dishes (bring in a crockpot), baked goods, sandwiches and wraps. Our joint Cafe Queens Barbara Greenewalt and Vicky Skidd will be organizing the effort. More info coming up soon, but it's not too early to start planning what you might make.

4. REGISTER NOW FOR THE MIDDLEBURY OPEN-ESPECIALLY YOUTH, UNRATED AND VETERANS
Here are some good reasons to sign up this week for the Middlebury Open (March 2-3):
-It's much more fun to play than to sit on the sidelines. Our unrated and youth events are perfect for first-time competitors. The environment is supportive, loaner equipment is available, and we really welcome (and need) new faces in the Green Mt Division.
-As the organizer, I need to know the maximum number of people possibly coming. So if you are still unsure whether you can make it but think there is a good chance you might, please go ahead and sign up. I would prefer that to dealing with a flurry of last-minute sign ups. There is no penalty for withdrawing later on, and meet fees are charged at the door, so you don't lose any money by signing up now.
-In fact you save money! Meet fees go up (significantly if you are fencing in 2 or more events) for those who register after Feb. 25. Why risk forgetting to do it and missing the deadline?
-Youth fencers who already have 2 stickers in their passports - this is your first chance to collect the 3rd tournament sticker and participation prize.
-Veterans, this is the only veterans event in the Green Mt Division this season. We welcome all fencers born 1979 or earlier, from the newest of newbies to grizzled strip warriors. Everyone needs to play with kids their own age sometimes.
-Unrated fencers, we will hold separate male and female events if we have 6 or more of each gender. So far, none of the U events (mens and womens foil and epee) has 6 people. Unrated events are meant to be the "entry level" events for new teen and adult fencers, as well as a good opportunity for those with a little more experience to try for that first E rating. Without new first-time competitors coming in to the Champlain Cup league, it will wither and die. You don't have to be an expert, or a cut-throat competitor, to enjoy our local U events. Rated fencers will be volunteering their time to officiate and help you learn how tournaments work. Please thank them by signing up. I can not think of a single teen or adult fencer currently in Level 1 or 2 classes who I don't think is ready for this.
-Sign ups lead to more sign ups. People from other clubs may be holding out, waiting to see if this is going to be a big enough tournament to be worth the trip. Other folks may be waiting to see if there will be enough other people like themselves (i.e. youth or veterans or newbies). By putting your name on the list early, you help recruit better attendance. And in the end, we need a good turn out for this tournament to be a successful fundraiser as well as the blow-out celebration of fencing we intend it to be.

Teen and adult fencers (born 2005 or before) must be competitive members of the USFA in order to participate (required for insurance purposes, and to make this a sanctioned tournament in which ratings can be awarded). An upgrade from noncompetitive status costs $65 and is good through the rest of the season (until July 31). If you know your log-in i.d. and password, you can make the upgrade at www.usfencing.org (click on membership, and "manage your profile" to sign in). If you do not know your log-in details, call the national office at 719-866-4511. They will not only make the upgrade over the phone, but they will help you reset your password so you can log yourself in in the future.

To register, get directions, see the event times, see who else is coming: https://askfred.net/Events/whoIsComing.php?tournament_id=41587

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