Delivered by Vice President Terrence McCauley in President Jason S. Weingartner’s absence, January 16, 2003.
As you will see, our club continues to grow in every way thanks to the dedication of our officers and members. The state of our club is strong.
We grew from 48 dues paid members on January 1, 2002 to 185 dues paid members as of January 1, 2003. Our single largest increase came at our Spring Fling Membership event, which was attended by over 90 people, brought in 34 new members and raised the club over $1,500. These efforts were spearheaded and organized by our Membership Chair, Theresa Kelly.
We grossed over $32,000 in fiscal year 2002. That is an increase of 771.08% from the previous year’s gross of $4,150. This is due to the efforts of our Treasurer, Dennis Cariello and our Fundraiser Chair, John DeVito, who has just been called up to active service in the Persian Gulf to defend our Country.
We have had an increased media presence with two articles in the New York Sun, one for social reasons and the other political. We also had a story written in the Cybercast News Service.
We have also been approached by various news organizations and groups for participation and quotes. This includes the Donohue show, the New York Post, radio stations, etc.
Our presence on campaigns has increased with the introduction of “YR Nights” where we gather en masse to assist a candidate at least one night a week. Such candidates we have helped include Marty Golden, the new state senator from Brooklyn, Andrew Eristoff, Gail Hilson, Jim Farrin and many more.
Former club president Anton Srdanovic ran for Congress and the YRs played an important role in that campaign where he received a higher percentage of the vote than the three previous Republican candidates. Because of these efforts, we have made a name for the club as a real grass roots organization. Thanks are due to Dan Butler, our Campaign Chair, for these great efforts.
Our Newsletter, The Record, has been live and available in electronic and print format, with copies being mailed to alumni. Because of its presence on the Website, our hits have increased dramatically. The organization and production of this has been time consuming and thanks are due to our Publications Chair, Rick Brownell.
We have had numerous and fun social events over the year. Participation has been impressive and some joint functions have been planned with other Young Republican groups like our brothers and sisters from New Jersey. We have gone to art galleries, seen movies in the park, celebrated Bastille Day and our December event was photographed in the New York Sun. Thanks to Nichole Wright, our Events Chair for such a wide array of events for us.
We have participated in two New York Cares Day events that have seen impressive turnout from the club. We have volunteered numerous hours and thanks for these efforts need to go to our Community Outreach Chair, Amanda Fernandez.
Communication between the New York Young Republican Club, Inc. and the local colleges of New York University, Columbia University, and Fordham University has increased dramatically over the last year. This culminated in a massive effort at Columbia University this previous fall, including all three colleges. A candidates’ forum was organized and interest was substantial and additional forums are in the planning. Thanks for these efforts to our College Chapter Liaison, Charles Petz.
Speakers this previous year have included former Deputy Mayor, Rudy Washington; Gov. Patakis’s chief economist, Stephen Kagan; Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow, Steve Malanga and Former Parks Commissioner, Henry Stern to name a few. Meetings have also included debate forums and panels discussing the outcome of the recent elections. Thanks for these efforts belongs to Seth Elliott, our club liaison and future member of the New York City Council as he embarks on this great campaign this year.
Our Website continues to be our best advertisement. New features, such as the classified section, the newsletter, our newsroom and links to sites that raise money for the club and offer members great savings like Barnes and Noble and Readers Digest have been added. Thanks for this belongs to our Vice President, Terrence McCauley, Publications Chair Rick Brownell and Fundraising Chair John DeVito.
Our email list has increased from over 300 names to close to 1000. Communications to the members remain consistent, comprehensive and more importantly, not overbearing. Messages are returned as promptly as possible, which sets a great example of how serious an organization we are. Thanks for these efforts and so much more go to our club Secretary, Kimberly Morella.
Our presence at State and National Young Republican meetings has increased greatly, making us one of the largest, if not the largest New York State County delegation at these meetings.
Our 90th Anniversary Dinner at Bayard’s was a huge success, netting the club almost $2,000. Alumni came from California, Florida, and Washington DC to name a few locales. Curtis Sliwa was our Master of Ceremonies, Mayor Bloomberg greeted everyone, and our Keynote speaker was former Chief of Police, Bernard Kerik. The importance of this event was in reestablishing a relationship with our alumni after years of silence. This was also symbolically important to the Republican Community as a whole, proving that this organization is capable of successfully putting together a high-end event. Thanks for this dinner goes to the entire Host and Dinner Committee, but special thanks goes to Leslie Hamway, who has left us for the city of Brotherly Love and who spearheaded these efforts.
Our Fall Celebration was another success with great turnout and the club raised over $1,000 with help from the Ted Kennedy pinata.
We have signed a sister club agreement with Forza Italia Giovani, which is the Italian version of the Young Republicans. Representatives of their organization has come here and participated in our meetings and activities. When Forza Italia has their Congress we will send over representatives to it. We are also in communication with other Center-Right youth organizations from France, Nepal, and Australia.
We are currently in discussions with the other Young Republican club to merge the two organizations back into one. A combined organization would indeed increase the influence and ability of the New York Young Republican Club, Inc. We are hopeful that negotiations will be mutually beneficial and successful.
Looking forward, there is no reason why membership could not reach 300 dues paid members by January 1, 2004. This club will continue on its pro-growth plan. We are planning ambitious fundraising efforts with alumni by reinstating the honor roll that the club successfully used to raise money in its hey day of the 50’s and 60’s. We also will look forward to playing host to Republicans , young and old, who will be coming here for the 2004 RNC Convention. We are planning on hosting some great events. I hope that the members of this great team continue in their efforts for the club. I also hope that some other members become more involved and assume greater leadership roles.