Gabby Gabbard Speaks: As a new strange season begins, I have a few things to say: Number 1; we should all thank Earl Ball for a huge donation that will help save shuffleboard.
My next point is what can we do to help, this year I will not accept prize money I will donate it to the host club or to my own club, friends face it I don’t win very often but if we all chip in we can make a difference, all club memberships are likely to be down this year, I encourage all of you to find new members and to encourage all to participate in tournament play. Expenses for clubs go up. please let’s all try to give a little more than we take. if nothing else share this post with your friends and shuffleboard players. Thank you so much, and always have FUN!!
NOW; why should we all thank Earl???
Stan has asked me a number of questions as concerns the above statement by Gabby. First, let me address the rest of Gabby’s statement because he is right on track. Everybody can not do everything but everybody can do something!
I, very much, want us to be successful with our shuffleboard season at all levels; now for the story!
In talking with our Central District President, John Houghtaling, after the FSA meeting that decided we would go ahead with the State Schedule, I wanted to know if we would have a Central District Schedule and John thought for several reasons we probably would not. One of the reasons was that there would be a very high likelihood that we wouldn’t have enough participation to pay the Tournament Directors; no tournament director, no tournament. I assured John that I would pick up any shortfall for the tournament director after we apply the traditional method of paying the Tournament Directors which would include the portion the Central District would normally receive; he wanted it in writing so I sent him an email. Subsequently, our Board under John’s leadership decided to go ahead with tournaments scheduled at our Clubs that agreed to host tournaments or 6 of the 10 scheduled would be played; the other four dates have now been picked up.
Most of us would have no reason to know how a tournament director is paid. Line one is Entry Fees ($6 each). Line two is Tournament Directors Fee ($100). Line three is District Fee ($1.50/player). Line four is Host Club Fee ($1.50/player). So, as you can see, each player has a stake and so does the District; I’ll pay any shortfall. We had 44 players at our first District tournament so there was no shortfall thanks to the 28 players that traveled to Lakeland from Zephyrhills but this week could be a different story at Avon Park because not many Zephyrhills players will travel that far and next week could be very different because we are in St Cloud which is a vey long commute for both the North and South players.
In trying to get off to a good start that would leave a good taste in our players’ mouths I asked the Lee County Club if I could sponsor their first State tournament; they agreed. The thought was to get everyone doing what they could to ensure we would be successful.
Let me explain further. Like Gabby, who was a working machine, I can no longer do the physical things I have always done to help but I do have some left-over funds which comes about from my wife Vivian’s death of a massive heart attack on Sunday morning, two years ago, tomorrow, October 14th. Many of you knew Vivian, she was a fabulous woman and a power shopper, par excellenta. The lady in my life today is Cindy Wood, many of you know Cindy who is a high energy, happy lady, a bit disabled from birth. She is not a power shopper but is a big supporter of the Shriners Hospital for Children and therefore, so am I.
Please look at your hands; the fate of shuffleboard is in them! What we do determines if shuffleboard survives long enough to thrive again someday.
Earl Ball 10-13-2020