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DUES........What are they good for???

In this article I intend to expose the shocking truth about where your dues go that the dues collectors don't tell you.

Have you ever said or heard a fellow member ask, "what do I get for my dues anyway? A flare to burn? One half-priced chicken barbecue?" The shocking truth about where your dues go is that you get so much more. Outlined below are just a handful of things that your dues support:

1- The newsletter you receive twice a year not only contains things like this electrifying article about dues but also all kinds of news about goings-on about the lake. It contains articles about local businesses. It tells you about programs your Association is affiliated with and working to support. Your dues dollars go towards the cost of producing and mailing this award-winning newsletter. (Okay, actually we have not won any awards but we think we should.)

2- With your Spring newsletter you also received a window cling indicating your membership in one of the nation's preeminent Lake Associations. Or, at the very least, the most preeminent Lake Association on West Caroga Lake. Your window cling announces your coveted status to your neighbors. Well, actually, probably most of your neighbors have one too. Anyway the point is, your dues paid for that, as well as the addressed envelope to use to send in your dues.

3- Each year your Board members with the help of many volunteers present a Fourth of July weekend boat parade. Your dues pay for the cost of advertising and prizes. Next year the budget for the boat parade will be significantly increased so that there will be valuable cash prices offered to Best in Class boats. Your membership dues will help support the enhancement of this popular event.

4- What else do your dues go towards? Well, every year the West Caroga Lake Association makes donations to important Community organizations such as the Caroga Chapel, the Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Dept, and the Caroga Historical Museum to name a few. We also are members of the New York State Federation of Lake Associations. There are dues associated with that important membership. It is important because we work closely with them for lake water testing. The health of our Lakes is critically important and evolving threats such as water salinity is being closely monitored. Some WCLA members have been extensively trained by NYSFOLA in this endeavor.

5- Speaking of a healthy Lake, your dues have helped stock fish in both East and West Caroga Lake's. Over the past few years the association has purchased thousands of dollars worth of healthy fish to repopulate the lake.

6. We also instituted the SEE IT, SCOOP IT, TRASH IT initiative which distributed long handled nets to boaters on the Caroga Lakes to scoop out any weeds they saw floating to remove them from the lakes before they could sink and reroot. People also use them around their docks and along the shore.

I hope that in reading this it gives you a feeling of pride in belonging to this Association. Simply writing this article makes me feel proud of what we do.

However, we do have a bit of a problem. Every year less than 50% of our membership pays its dues on time. Board members spend an inordinate amount of time in efforts collecting these delinquent dues.

You can help by paying your dues promptly when your spring newsletter arrives in your mailbox or online. For those that receive their newsletter in the mail you can simply place a check in the envelope provided and mail it off. If you prefer you can go online and pay that way. Also, you can always give your dues to any member of the WCLA board.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Thank you for your future promptness in paying your dues. Enjoy the lake.

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