Dear CFA Members and Friends of Cornell Football,
I’m writing today to update everyone on the CFA and our goals for 2017. We began the year with plenty to get accomplished and only a year to get it done. It has been an interesting year-to-date and progress is being made on our 2017 agenda as detailed below:
- Run a successful Ben Mintz Golf Outing
- Create two non-traditional revenue events
- Joe’s Stone Crab Benefit Dinner in February 2017
- Tribeca Grill Benefit Dinner on September 19th, 2017
- Increase our dues-paying membership to 600 by 12/31/17
- Introduce new and enhanced membership participation levels by the 4th Quarter of 2017
- Enhance the current player experience
- Provide budgeted financial support for the program
- Five scheduled board meetings for the 2017 calendar year
- CFA tailgates and CFA Awards Day celebration
Here is an update on the agenda items above:
- 2017 Ben Mintz Golf Outing: This year’s event was held on July 28th & 29th and was hosted between the Ithaca Country Club and Cornell’s Robert Trent Jones Course. The event’s attendance was down from last year, netting nearly $70,000, and many positives were achieved. One of the biggest positives of the outing was the level of attendance from young alumni (10 years and less). Young alumni comprised up to 25% of the field and that exceeded expectations. Ithaca Country Club and the Yacht Club did a fantastic job with their respective venues and their meal service. Our overall net was less than last year, but all in all, a successful event. The ’71 gang showed up in a big way as they always have and Pat “Spanky” Hansen won the Closest to the Pin Contest during the Shootout. Dan Leonard’s committee did a great job with planning the event and fun was had by all. We’ll be surveying the membership looking for feedback on the event next month.
- Create two non-traditional revenue events:
- Joe’s Stone Crab: The event was held in early February and was limited to the first 40 registrants and it sold out in advance, netting over $95,000 for the CFA.
- Tribeca Grill, September 19th, Manhattan, NY: This will be our second event and should be a big night in NYC! There is room for 100 attendees and this will be a big revenue event for the association. If you are not able to attend, please consider sponsoring another attendee or supporting this exceptional Cornell gathering.
- Membership: We set a goal of 600 dues-paying members by the end of this calendar year. We are well on our way to accomplishing this feat as we currently stand at 579 and the season is just kicking off. We have over 30% of the current player parents that have joined as members and our young alumni levels are off to great starts as well. We may even hit 700 members by the end of the year.
- New membership levels being planned: New membership opportunities will be available this Fall which will offer enhanced benefits depending upon the level of membership.
- Enhancing the current player experience: The CFA has contributed to a number of items not currently in the Football budget, but are part of enhancing the student athlete experience, such as sponsoring the NYC Mentorship Day, supplementing the funding for Career Day, 1st Inaugural Senior Player Reception, motivational clinics for the coaching staff and team, as well as support for the Thanksgiving team dinner and after game food for players. All told, these initiatives provided funding in excess of $50,000.
- The CFA has contributed $125,000 worth of budgeted support to the program for the University fiscal year of 2017 and looks forward to working with the University by supporting the 2018 operating budget at a mutually agreed upon level of financial support.
- We have held three board meetings this year-to-date (January, April and July) with two more scheduled the morning of the Harvard game at Cornell and the Penn game in Philadelphia. These meetings facilitate the CFA’s decision making processes and provide the transparency that we feel is important to a growing and vibrant organization.
- We will be hosting tailgates in conjunction with the Cornell Football Parents Group again this year at each home game. We will also be hosting the CFA Award ceremony and the ’71 Championship Team at the tailgate on Tanner Terrace before the Harvard game, October 7th. These activities will continue to promote a familial atmosphere, camaraderie and will be done with attention to detail so as to make all feel welcome in our efforts to support the “Big Red”.
Throughout this past year, the Board members and I have met and talked with many former players and friends of Cornell Football. Ultimately, the conversation gravitates towards getting involved with the CFA. And for every membership candidate we visit with, we know there are at least 10 former players that we haven’t communicated with. When we finally do connect, everyone wants to know what role the CFA plays in supporting the Cornell Football program. Hopefully, the items as mentioned in this transmittal give us all a better understanding of the important role the CFA plays in supporting great fellowship and our football program. Please “get involved” and support the CFA today!
In closing… The CFA organization belongs to the members and we want more membership and involvement from anyone truly interested in improving the Cornell Football program. Beyond simple membership, there are opportunities to serve on one of six different committees, serve on the Board of Directors, or help sponsor events throughout the year. The team’s showing with a 4-6 record last year has us all excited for an even better season this year. If you are looking to get on board, send us an email and we’ll find a way to get you involved and “in the game”!. If you’re not a member of the CFA, please join now and help us reach our new goal of 650 dues paying members by 12/31/17!
Let’s Go Big Red and look forward to kickoff at Delaware on September 16th! Be there!
Doug Pratt ’84