By Charlie Parsons – 2021
In her History of the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire, Part I, Judy Fry mentions a time when the clubs “finances hit rock bottom”. It was a rather brief noting of a hard time. In the years between 2010 and around 2017 whenever the club wanted to make a major expenditure, a story of that time would be retold with the admonishment for the club to be careful with it’s finances. Having heard this story on a couple of occasions I got the feeling that it deserved more than a brief and passing note in the history. I see it as the most important event in the club’s history second only to the formation of the club. Here is a retelling of the story and I hope it will give you a feeling of the importance of that meeting.
In the early 1980s the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire was at a very low point. Being early in the year the membership was only a few of the more dedicated members. Surely as events were held the membership role would rise but herein lies the problem. As the year began the club’s treasury was nearly non-existent. There was no money to pay for the insurance and other items needed to run an event. With no events there would likely be no increase in membership.
So it was that a club meeting was called to discuss the issue and in fact the future of the club. The meeting was held on the back porch of a home owned by member Dave Patton’s parents. In attendance were Dave Patton, the Young brothers, George and Drew, Paul Giblin, Dave and Doug Valliere, and a few others.
As the meeting progressed there was considerable talk about the state of the club and what could be done. Could funds be raised? Should this be the end of SCCNH? Over the past twenty years many clubs have been lost to history. After much debate it was decided that those present would all contribute, from their own pockets, the money needed to move the club forward. While the intent was that the money would be returned in future event discounts most of the members never tried to recoup their contributions. It was the feeling of those at the meeting that when you cared about something, such as this club, you did what was necessary to keep it going.
That decision, for those members to make that personal financial sacrifice, with the possibility of never getting their money back, is one of the greatest moments in the club’s history. Obviously it was a good decision. As of this writing in 2021 the club is in great shape, the treasury is healthy, there is a good number of members and events are held regularly. As further testimony, the club regularly makes donations, financial and other to other organizations.