It is the time of year when I find myself charged with the task of writing the President’s message for the upcoming New Year. It has now been 16 years since our birth as a club. I have taken pen in hand to scribe my observations, thoughts, insights and wishes for the future of the club.
Speaking as an old timer and founding member, it seems like it was just yesterday that we had our first training sessions and games at Camp Smith. It is hard to believe that 16 years has passed! I have many wonderful memories and made many lasting friendships. I have seen many families come through this club, some with as many as four children playing at one time. Some players have gone on to college soccer, some have returned to share their experiences with the youth of the club as coaches and some are still playing within the club. The parents of these players were (and some still are) very involved in the club. Hard work, dedication and sacrifice were the key to our first years as a club. Sacrifice may be the most important link in continuing the growth process. It was the sacrifices that were made for the players of the club that led to our club’s many successes.
Our teams and players have had many accomplishments over the years. We have had 1 state Champion, 7 league champions, numerous players named to the EHYSL academy and ENY State ODP programs. Most recently the Cortlandt Men’s U-23 team won the first Men’s open state cup in July of 2009.
I am very excited to announce that this year, 2010, we will be forming a real estate search and steering committee. After 8 successful years of fund raising efforts from the HSBC Hudson Valley Classic, I feel we are ready to begin the process of identifying properties that have potential for purchase and development for our own fields. This committee will be comprised of people with expertise in a wide range of fields directly related to the purchase, finance and development of a safe secure soccer complex for the youth of our club. While this is a major step and undertaking for our club and committee, it will take time and dedication before we are able to put the first shovel in the ground.
Once completed, it will expand the opportunities for our club and youth teams. Training times and dates will not have the restrictions experienced in the past. Our fields will not be subject to traffic of heavy vehicles and Saturday’s will finally be ours. Tournament hosting, concession sales and field rentals will directly benefit our club and it’s efforts to keep our registration fees low and our teams better funded.
9th Annual Hudson Valley Classic:
On June 19th 2010 our club will host the annual Hudson Valley Classic! I am very pleased to announce that once again HSBC Bank has generously offered to be the main tournament sponsor! The HSBC Hudson Valley Classic has become one of the best known tournaments in the Hudson Valley. This is directly related to the committee members who have given unselfishly for many years. Some members are entering their fifth year on the committee. We need parents from each team to come aboard and mentor with the committee heads, so we always have a transition of committee members to take over leadership roles. The Classic is our biggest fundraising event. Its proceeds will eventually provide us with the down payment and funding for our own fields, as well as support our rental of indoor space. The success of this year’s Classic is extremely important in addition to the introduction of the real estate search and steering committee. Our Sponsorship committee has a great start with the return of HSBC and I am confident they will exceed all expectations.
In closing, I would like to thank all of you who have given up your time, willingly and unselfishly, to promote the best interests of all our players. Without your support, none of this today would be possible. Many thanks to: our devoted coaches, our team administrators, our parents who keep our fields lined and free of debris, our current committee heads who run the tournament and to all the volunteers who make the tournament happen. Mostly, thanks to the fellow board members who, along with me, have accumulated 50 years of service and dedication to your children and the future of this club.
What once was a dream and seemed so far away, becomes closer to reality and so much easier to see with each passing year.
See you on the pitch! Marty