As we head into summer, we hope you are all safe and well. Please be careful to always wear a mask whenever you are in a crowd or unable to practice social distancing, and it’s a good idea to keep hand sanitizer in your car. The number of COVID cases has skyrocketed in the past couple of weeks, probably due to Memorial Day Celebrations. The seven-day positive test fraction in Tennessee is 7.2%, and my own plots for Knox County show that during June it has increased from around 2% to nearly 5%. This shows that the jump in new cases is due to increases in the infected population, not just increased testing.
Tom Cressler has had a couple of hikes since the COVID shutdown began, and this is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your friends while still social distancing. See the hike schedule elsewhere in this newsletter. Hopefully at some point new COVID cases will have decreased, and we might consider having some happy hours and social events again. In the mean time, some of the other Crescent clubs have been experimenting with online virtual happy hours. Carole Mustaleski participated in one with the Raleigh club and thought it was a success, so we’ll look into trying them here. For the time being, the KSOC Board is also meeting online via ZOOM.
Many thanks again to our new and returning Board members! I’d also like to welcome Mike Morgan and Jackie Dutton as our new Youth Program co-chairs. But we still have some vacancies on the Board. Ann Long has resigned as Secretary, citing increased job responsibilities during the COVID situation. The Secretary keeps the minutes of the Board meetings, conducts Club correspondence, and maintains other records as necessary. Elaine Denney has done a great job as Social Chairman setting up the happy hours and parties but would like to step down. Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to serve in either of these positions. KSOC can’t grow and thrive without the volunteer work and new ideas from its members, and taking an office is a great way to learn about Club operations and getting to know your fellow members better. In recognition of their service, Board members also receive complimentary membership dues and a single-day trip equivalent.
Mary Anne Koltowich and new Treasurer Peggy Campbell have completed our year-end financial review, and report that the Club is in excellent financial shape.
Note that your dues for 2020-21 are payable by August 1, but if you are signing up for a distant trip, note that your 2020-21 dues must be paid when you sign up. The trips are now open for sign-up— see the Distant Trip schedule and info on the website. Carole and her Distant Trip Committee have worked very hard to set up a great schedule of trips in the face of very uncertain circumstances due to the virus. They have negotiated terms that will allow the Club to cancel trips with minimal penalties by certain dates, and you can buy cancel-for-any-reason trip insurance at modest extra cost that will allow you to cancel yourself and receive a refund of 75% of your trip cost up to 48 hours before the trip leaves.
The Crescent Ski Council Fall Conference is still on and will be held on October 16-18 at Glenstone Lodge in Gatlinburg. Activities are still being determined— watch for info in future Fall Line issues.
Publicity Chairman Ramon Davila has designed a new Club banner that will be displayed at events and in local ski shops. Thanks, Ramon, great job! Carole has also gotten a supply of new car stickers that feature the Club logo, and we hope we can begin distributing them at some point in the future. Finally, Knoxville-area restaurants are open again, and I still have a few Lifestyle dining cards available. See the Fall Line for info. Note that you have to eat at the restaurant to use these— they are not good for take-out. Have a safe and healthy summer! —Bill Schwenterly