We Tell You Just A Little About Jim Kelly

Shuffleboard – COVID-19 – and our Sponsors

I’d like to introduce myself – I’m Jim Kelly, this is the beginning of my third season participating in Florida Shuffleboard and the start of my second season participating in Tournaments.  (I’m like many of you, in that Shuffleboard has almost, – Ok probably has become an obsession if you ask my wife and Keith Morton)

Last season when I started participating in Tournaments, I was like the majority of you I’d go to tournaments, participate and if I placed take my winnings and run for the motorcycle or car and head back to the the RV Park.

Part way through my first year of Tournaments at Avon Park, Tom Clayton (the president) would invite the Tournament Sponsors to come and introduce themselves as the Sponsors of the Tournaments (he has done this for years).  At Avon Park we have a really strong backing of the community businesses. ( next time you’re there, look at our sponsor banners and support their businesses as you have the need for their services)

So, when I placed in Tournaments I would either call them or drive to their place of business and thank them in person for sponsoring our tournaments.   Now this year with COVID-19 it has been real challenging for all businesses yet the businesses in Avon Park are continuing to support the sport we love to play.  I’d like to share a few of my interactions with some businesses as I went to thank them for being our sponsors.

The first one I went to this year was Bill Owens Auto Sales in Avon Park; when I walked in and went to their offices Bill and his son looked up and asked me what I was to there to try to sell them.  (they thought I was another salesman beating the streets trying to make a sale in this very challenging time).  I explained who I was, that I placed in the Shuffle board Tournament that they had just sponsored at Avon Park.    There response was “We have never had anyone come and thank us in person, the only person who had thanked us before is the guy who holds his hand out to collect the sponsorship money”.  As we talked, they were just TICKLED PINK that someone took the time and that it meant that much to me to come and see them in person.

The next sponsor was 64 West Collision Repair.  I stopped in and the owner wasn’t there but two of his shop managers were and I told them the same story, I placed in the most recent tournament they had sponsored and wanted to thank them for allowing us to play in tournaments.  These two gentlemen were again, TICKLED PINK, that I was the first to ever personally stop by and thank them, after talking, about 20 minutes, about shuffleboard, how many members we have, etc, I was finally able to leave with the promise I would stop back and see the owner in person as they said he would be thrilled to meet me and hear the appreciation in person.    So, a few days later I stopped and he was TICKLED PINK, as his guys told him to expect.   After we talked, he said, if the shuffleboard club ever needs anything in the future, he would always help us with what we would need.

So now to my point:   In this COVID-19 times more than ever we need to go out of our way to thank the sponsors that allow us to keep the lights on.   I’m the new treasurer of the Avon Park Club and to see the money that’s paid out makes us realize, dues don’t come near covering the cost to keep beads on the courts and wax on the disc’s.   So, I want to encourage each club to include the sponsorship information in each prize money envelope or pass it out to everyone as you sign in.    So, if you’re the beginning shuffler all the way to the Earl’s and Glen’s of the shuffleboard world it is more important than ever before to thank our sponsors for allowing us to play the sport we love or are obsessed with.  So, take a few minutes after tournaments and TICKLE PINK the sponsor of our tournaments. (Emails, Texts, or in Person will mean the world to them)

Jim Kelly 12-13-2020

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