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Volume IV Issue II Fall - 2001

Straight From the Gavel
By Terry Dermody, Acting President
"Coming of Age"

Last fall in this column, still basking in the glow of the resounding success of Alumni Weekend 2000, I mentioned that our association had become the Talk of the Town and captured the imagination of the entire community. At the same time I was wondering, if the momentum that had been created would stand the test of time. I repeated my concern for the continuity and perpetuation of the association in this column last spring in an appeal for participation in the election process, and delivered the challenge that the "rest is up to you . At that point we still didn't know if we had aroused enough interest among the alumni community to "transform the vision" into reality. It is now evident that you have met the challenge.

The events of the last year have left me with a true sense that our Association has entered a new phase in the evolutionary process and has finally "Come of Age". These milestone events have demonstrated that your association has arrived and matured. As a result, I am convinced that the vision for the future of the Association is bright and the potential unlimited.

What has given me this sense of confidence and optimism? First, the formal election of a permanent Board of Directors. This was a very significant event because this formal recognition has sanctioned the association as the official representative of the Alumni Community. Through the elections the continuity and perpetuation of the association has been assured the association has positioned itself to vigorously and aggressively engage in new initiatives and fulfill the stated purposes with the support of the membership. I want to thank everyone who took the time to participate in the election process and voted. Your support is appreciated.

The newly elected Board is already hard at work on your behalf. The Standing Committees have been formed and the formal by-laws have been adopted. The board meets 4 times a year and the meetings are open to the entire membership. The next meeting will be held on January 5, 2002 at 9:00 am at the Sidney library. The dates for future meetings, together with a copy of the by-laws are posted on our website at There are still 2 vacancies on the board. Anyone who would be interested in being appointed to the Board to fill the unexpired terms may contact me, or any board member.

Another milestone event for the Association has been the expansion of our website. During the last year Ray Taylor '55 stepped forward and volunteered for the position of webmaster in response to our appeal. Through Ray's dedication and your financial generosity the website has positioned the Association to expand its features and services to the Alumni Community. Some of the features that were added include an expanded alumni directory, events calendar, membership application, reunion announcements and photo gallery. The newest feature is the "Alumni Store" where you can purchase alumni memorabilia and souvenirs. This is a well designed and well conceived site and one of only a handful of high school alumni sites throughout the country. If you have not seen it recently you will be pleasantly surprised. So take a moment to browse the site at and complete the website survey that has been posted for your input. For those of you who do not have internet access at home or work, visit your local library to see the website.

The Alumni Weekend 2001 event answered the question, as to whether the vision of the Association had been transformed, with an overwhelming "YES"! This event exceeded even my most ambitious expectations and erased all doubts. Alumni Weekend 2001 set record participation at every activity. It has been estimated that over 800-900 Alumni and friends joined the festivities. Based on the early feedback we are expecting a bigger turnout for next year, so make your reservations early. Not only was the weekend successful in terms of attendance, but it was also a financial success. The auction alone raised over $3,000 for the benefit of the Association. This will become an annual event and we are soliciting items to be auctioned from the Alumni Community for next year.

The Golf Tournament added over $500 to our scholarship fund in addition, several classes who were celebrating their anniversary reunions, collected additional funds and presented the donation to the association at the Sunday luncheon. I want to formally thank the classes of '51, '56 and '61 for their generosity and support.

Financially, your association is in an excellent position to pursue new challenges due to your continued support. For all of you who were unable to attend alumni weekend this year, be sure to join us for next years' celebration and be part of harnessing the spirit of the collective experience that all of us as alumni or former faculty have shared- growing up in Sidney and attending Sidney Schools. I think we have something special going here. "WHAT DO YOU THINK?"

Being honored with the Community Pride Award was the most significant event of the year for the association and the one that has provided the most personal satisfaction. This award proves that your Association has "Come of Age" and has achieved a special stature. As I said when accepting this award on behalf of the association, "This indeed is an unexpected honor for the Association. We are thrilled and elated to have been selected for this special award and with appreciation I humbly accept it on behalf of all the dedicated volunteers and supporting members of the Sidney Central School Alumni Association.

Particularly gratifying is being recognized by a Community Organization with the stature of Vision 21, who said that the Alumni Association is making a difference and having a positive impact on the Community. This makes us very proud because one of the Association's founding purposes was to foster a sense of common spirit among the Alumni and the Sidney Community. Our commitment to this purpose was so fundamental to our existence that it was symbolized in the Association's emblem. This recognition validates our efforts as Alumni of Sidney Schools to play an integral role in maintaining the vitality of the Community and will only serve to intensify our commitment to this end."

This award belongs to all of you who through your dedication , passion and support have made a difference and contributed to the success and growth of the Association . This award says it all and for this reason I am honored as your President to present it to YOU.

Where do we go from here? What will be the next phase of the Association's evolution? My vision for the future includes our major focus continuing to be the core activities of the association, that is, the publication of our newsletter, "Reflections", and the maintenance of the alumni website, as well as continuing to improve the format of the annual alumni weekend and to have it grow in stature and prominence as the pre - eminent celebration of alumni, school and community.

Beyond that, I see the association developing stronger relationships with community organizations and undertaking joint initiatives for the benefit and improvement of the community such as Vision 21, the Chamber of Commerce the Historical Association, senior organizations and the Village itself.

I see the Alumni Association expanding its involvement with the school. Our involvement already includes awarding annual scholarships. However, I see a alumni sponsored career day, an Alumni job bank both for alumni and graduating students. I see the Alumni Association collaborating with the Board of Education on projects and future fund raising to benefit the school.

I see expanding our charitable activities and seeking 503.c tax exempt status for this purpose.

I see the Association continuing with the Wall of Fame project to honor and recognize alumni for both athletic and academic achievements.

I see our organization creating new ideas to expand the membership, services and benefits to the alumni, for example, an alumni directory has been proposed for the future. I see the creation of regionalized chapters. Most importantly, I see the association reaching out to you, the members, for your input and direction. So, become involved with your ideas and support and help take your association to the next level.

Overall, I see a bright future and an active association for the benefit of all. An association which has "Come of Age"

On a final note, I would like to extend my personal wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving, Joyous Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year.