Midnight July 31, 2002 The Laser Class officers decided to hire anybody else but the guy who was running its office, organizing its scheduling, traveling to 25 events per year to help locals on and off the water, and publishing its newsletters. The current office manager had taken over on August 4, 1999 when the class had a ZERO bank balance, no inventory of any sort, 1877 members, and membershipo numbers had just shrunk for 9 of the previous 10 years. ( 1995 saw slight pre-Olympic growth) On July 31, 2002, the Class had just completed its 35th consecutive month of membership growth. The Class officers did not use 9-11 or rising gas prices as an excuse The growing Class had 3106 members North America had 20 spots for its sailors already reserved for the upcoming worlds. Vanguard was having its best year in the last fifteen selling 1100 boats The complete major regatta schedule for 2003 was already published Most major regatta sites were already prearranged through 2005 and a tentative schedule grid was published on line. A fresh newsletter costing about $14,000 to publish and mail for which the Class would never pay a single penny was in the mail. The freshly published 64 page newsletter had an eight page color insert from the ILCA, 65 pictures with over 200 recognizable sailor faces, 22 articles about regattas, how to use your boat, how to fix your boat, gear reviews, fleet management advice and a state of the class report. It had a financial statement, ads for stuff the office stocked, and 27 advertisements paid for by people who sold supplies specific to Lasers. There were listings of over 250 fleets with contact information and a brief description of the activities of that fleet. There were about 300 brief NORs for upcoming regattas and some long NORs for upcoming major events. The 2002 regatta grid and grand prix results through the July North Americans were tabulated and published. The qualifying system for the 2003 worlds was published. There were four cartoons. and The Around the Districts section included written articles from almost every district...and photos of sailors from those districts from whom no reports were submitted. There was contact information for every officer from every district and for the Laser Two class. Invoices totalling over $6000 for which the class would soon be paid in full had been sent to advertisers. A California mail order business was recovering from bad times and was about to catch up on its $3300 past due balance. Other slow to pay adversisers still owed about another $6000 every penny of which was eventually collected. . Vanguard's new boat member check for over $15,000 was already in the hands of the new secretary. The Class' single largest annual membership windfall where typically over 200 new members had joined every one of the last 12 years ( CORK) was just three weeks off. ($7000 plus expected revenue. ) The Class owned an inventory of over $7,000 worth of books, sweatshirts, t shirts, trophies, posters, and various other clothing and videos which would be delivered AT MY PERSONAL: EXPENSE to the new Annapolis office never to be seen on the books again. .. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ So how did the North American Laser game and its North American organization do over those last ten years?? How did the leaders use that wonderful head start they enjoyed? How many days does it take you to finish reading our current newsletters and how often do you see a photo of somebody you know?? Just a few late night thoughts. Happy 10th anniversary to those who took over!!!!