Sunday, February 10, 2013

LCDA's History Part 5

Today should be called the adventures of trialing. For years we held two trials per year at Palmetto Islands County Park. It was a huge ordeal to put this show on. Someone would have to go out and mark off where the rings would sit in the open meadow. Then we would have to put up orange fencing. This all used to be done by club members until our backs all went bad and we starting hiring day labors to pound in the stakes. Then both of our trailers would have to be moved to the meadow. We would start on Friday morning setting up for a trial that was to take place on Saturday and Sunday. This was a huge event for the club. We ran two rings and hired two judges. It was not until the down turn in the economy that we gave up the two ring show at Palmetto Island. We had started to have smaller shows at our training field. This was approached with the idea that if we can put on a trial where our club members do not have to travel, and we can break even then we have saved all of those that participate a couple of hundred dollars each in travel fees. The first show we put on at the training field was a starters/advanced trial. We were able to make it work. So we gradually added more and more trials. We have also made changes to the training field to make setup for trials easier. We can now setup the same day of the show by arriving 30 minutes early. Some of our newer club members have not been to a trial at Palmetto Islands. At Palmetto Islands we had lots of spectators with all sorts of distractions. We have had petting zoos, soccer games, baseball games, food, and jump castles to distract the dogs and the handlers. In the attached pictures, you will see a child just outside the ring, along with pictures of our trial rings being built for the show.

Our Club Website

I know it may sound crazy, but without a doubt, our club moving to the Club Express platform has made a huge impact on our club. Prior to club express, we had the Elaine Magliacane and Elaine Hawes that very dutifully developed and maintained our club website. We appreciated all of their efforts, but it was a major pain for both of them to make changes to the website. They possessed knowledge and skill set that the rest of us do not have. As our club grew, we needed to be able to have numerous people be able to make changes to the website to post classes and events etc. When Kathy Price took office as President, Wanda asked her if she could look for a “package” designed for clubs. Surely there must be something. Wanda found club express. We did a free trial opening for board members only and we knew within 2 days that we wanted this website. When we unveiled the website to our club members, they were as excited as we were. Everyone was setting up profiles and adding pictures. We could check the calendar and sign up for classes. It was a wonderful thing. Christine took over as our webmaster and she “owned” the website. She is fantastic. The website truly is our first impression for most people and a major convenience for all of our club members. So, we do love our club express website. So, if you have not visited your profile lately, make sure to go out and update it for all of us to see.

Below are two pictures of our old teeters.  I think one reason that we seem to have more pictures of teeters, is because they have changed so much.  Kim Peyser and Lucy are in the picture.  They used to really drop  s l o w l y. Very  S l o w l y.

Getting lights at our training field was a complicated and very expensive process. We started out by syphoning off of the machine shop. Then we increased our wattage my adding two additional poles. We ran those off of a generator. The question should be—how many years of higher education does it take to be able to operate a generator? We had major trouble starting the generator and keeping it running. I can remember our landscape people coming out to start it for us during a trial. When light bulbs needed to be changed (which was quite often) we would all have to pray when someone climbed up the ladder that was propped against a pole that was split. The addition of our stadium lights changed our world. Not only did they make us able to see, it made our training field much safer and enabled us to be able to have the electricity needed to put on our trials. It is hard to remember what life was like prior to those lights. It was dark. The addition of the electrical outlets let Mary and Linda open up their famous soup bar that we have come to love at our trials. Cindy Floyd was very instrumental in helping us get the permitting that was needed to get the lights installed. Also Rick Mappus at Rick’s Lighting went out of his way to help us find someone that could install the special type of lights that we needed. We love our lights.  It would be so nice if we had water. We are looking towards the future.

When I began this journey to tell our twenty year story, I was very apprehensive. As all of you can tell, I am not a writer. We have an English professor and a professional writer in our club and I cringe at the thought of them reading my ramblings on a daily basis. With all that being said, I hope that everyone has learned something about our club. I tried to be as accurate as I could. There were so many people that contributed to our success and I hope that I have not hurt anyone’s feelings by not mentioning them.

I also want to thank Lori, Caroline and Courtney, for sharing their stories with you as well.

When I look back on how our club has managed to survive and thrive for 20 years, I think it all comes down to having a group of club members that are willing to put the club’s best interest ahead of any personal interest. These people love our club. The club is a made up of people and dogs and we are not ashamed to say that we love and care about all of them. We have been to weddings, funerals, graduations, birthday parties, and dinner and drinks. We have laughed and cried together. We have celebrated accomplishments and given hugs of support in those hard times. We are a family. A very weird dysfunctional type of family, but at the heart of all things we truly do love each other and we work things out.

I think that Mary Evans and Bill Farmer should be very proud of this club that they founded and continually supported for the last 20 years. They have created a club that will outlast all of us. So, when Mary Evans tells you not to tie your dog to the fence, remember...she can remember when there was no fence.

Wanda Usher
Splash, Shelly, and Sailor

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