Dragon Rays in Kayaks this Fall

Note: this letter was revised from its first version. The changes are in bold, below:

August 12, 2020

Dear Rays:

PVRC is in a financial tailspin due to Covid-19. With no Dragon Boat Festival revenue, and a fraction of budgeted revenue this spring and summer from fundraising and programming, we have been losing about $10,000 per month since April. Despite the losses, we stayed open in the hope of getting back to normal programming--and cash flow--this fall.

Clearly, that will not happen this year.

The PVRC Board of Directors has decided to take measures to preserve the cash we have so we can resume group programming when it is safe to do so. This means cutting expenses, fundraising, and only operating fall programs that have a positive cash flow. The alternative is PVRC sinks, slowly, never to resurface.

How this affects you:

We need to collect a total of $2,000 in programming fees (not fundraising - that will happen, too) from dragon boaters in order to continue kayaking this fall. We've looked at many ideas, and settled on 3 options, shown below. You can sign up and pay for any of these at www.pvriverfront.org/join. If we as a team do not generate $2,000 then the program will close after August 21 until further notice. If payment terms will help, please register, select “pay by check” then contact me for a payment schedule.

Andy's Kayak Rental will continue independently through the fall as a way to maintain connection to the water for us, for the general public, and hopefully make some money. Your volunteer efforts have been vital to this enterprise.

Breast Cancer Survivors, a lot changed with the Rays of Hope Foundation in 2020, even before the pandemic struck. The latest information I have, subject to change, is:

1. Rays of Hope will no longer fund repeat participants in the programs it supports - it will only fund new participants. This was a pre-pandemic announcement.

2. The 2020 Rays of Hope Walk/Run has gone "virtual."

3. There will be no grant funding offered for 2021.

4. Grant recipients (PVRC) can keep any unused balance from 2020.

Our plan is to utilize the balance on the grant to subsidize, but not entirely cover, the price for BCS paddlers to get back into dragon boats once it is safe to do so in 2021. In 2022, we expect program costs will be subsidized by Rays of Hope only for new team members.

The Rays of Hope grant was awarded to fund dragon boating. We justified using it for kayaking as a way to keep BCS paddlers connected and exercising temporarily until we could return to dragon boats. With dragon boating currently impossible, and our cash flow situation dire, at this time there will be no grant-supported funding of fall programming. This is a part of the Board’s directive to operate programs with positive cash flow to preserve PVRC’s existence.

Your options to continue kayaking this fall, the most gorgeous season to be on the water:

1. Punch card for 10 kayaking sessions. Once you fill up a card, earn a free T-Shirt! Can be used: Tuesday 5pm or 6:30pm, Thursday 5pm or 6:30pm, Saturday 8am or 9:30am, plus Sunday morning when Andy’s Kayak Rental is running. $100 per punchcard, good for 10 one-hour kayaking sessions.

2. Enjoy another eight weeks of kayaking in the cooler, fall temperature! You don't want to miss being on the water at the time of the year when New England shines. $150 for 8 weeks of kayaking on Tuesday 5pm or 6:30pm, Thursday 5pm or 6:30pm, and Saturday 8am or 9:30am

3. Support dragon boating by sponsoring a kayak. Your custom message goes on a sticker on a kayak, and inside the boathouse. $150 per sponsorship.

We are all in this together, doing whatever we can to save PVRC. Rowers are being asked to pay $800 for 8 weeks of fall programming with a minimum of 24 registrations or the program closes. A fundraiser this fall will repeat our cry for help, far and wide, to protect the future of dragon boating and rowing in Springfield. We have received some grants, been denied some, and are pursuing more. Finally, I have taken a 50% pay cut and will focus my time on fundraising to save PVRC.

Please join me on a Zoom call next Wednesday, August 19th at 6pm to learn more, ask questions, and discuss the future of dragon boating at PVRC:

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 867 1098 8154

Passcode: 862932


Ben Quick

Executive Director

Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club

121 West Street, Springfield, MA 01104


(o) 413-736-1322 (m) 413-695-1841

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PVRC, 121 West Street, PO Box 3123, Springfield MA 01101-3123 - info@pvriverfront.org - 413-736-1322