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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
this might be the wrong forum, if so please move it.....

i have not been able to find a reef club in toledo. nearest is in michigan. we have 6 saltwater only stores in town, and including the chains, we have another 6 "mixed" stores. so in all, we've got 12 stores where sw stuff can be purchased, which would mean toledo has a fair amount of sw hobbyists, but not a single club. none of the lfs owners have heard of a local club. i've even contacted some fellow sw folks that had ads in the paper selling stuff, and none of them has heard of a local club.

needless to say, i WANT a local club, (i really jsut want to have frag parties :D)

so, anyone ever started a club? how do i go about starting a club? i know some of the stuff, like advertising at the lfs, getting a forum here on trt, so club members havea good place to chat, and learn, and naturally i'd have no problem's hosting the parties or at least the first few (i'll jsut remember to not get a mandarin first :funny)

but i have no clue how to get started. does the club need a mission, does it need to be sponsored, does it need to be sanctioned or anything like that. any idea of costs, if any?

should i plan on sending out newsletters, charge for memberships, get lfs's to offer discounts to members, etc..?

any help would be greatly appreciated!

jay
 
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if i were doing it,
#1 post flyers at these lfs, post an add in the newspaper somewhere
#2 deff see if you can get lfs to offer a discount to members
#3 tcmas is totally free, we pay eachother in frags
mission to pass on the knowledge and to gain more knowledge something something.........
great idea good luck
 

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The club I'm a member of, Upstate Reef Society, located in westernish NY, works quite well. No dues, no officers.. just totally informal.. someone throws a meet pretty much every month, and there's normally quite a nice turnout. (upwards of 20 to 30 folks). Definitely get a forum spot for members (and others) to chat.. sponsorship isn't needed.. and in some cases, could actually be a pain.. course, getting yur LFSs to give a club discount is always a good thing.

Our club's website

Ted
 

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A goof
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When you or anyone else has a club that you have or want to start we will host a club forum here.

I agree try to post info at the LFS if they let you.

Jon
 

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Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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Dude.... you ran your websites and made a good profitable business out of it and you are asking US how to start a club??

Just figure out what ya want to do, and take the steps necessary to get there... Unfortunately you could get a larger gathering of locals at that other board where tons of people can be introduced to the fact that someone local is starting a club...

You'll prob have to throw a few frag parties at your house to get it started... (for this you will prob need at least one large holding tank for peoples frags during the party/meeting...

Ask one of the LFS to show up and bring a couple of give aways... Make sure the owner or whomever is there in person to meet people... ;) Warm relationships like that are how business is initiated...
 

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Hey Jay I wish you all the best of luck as I have entertained some thoughts of starting one here as well! Been talking to some people at the LFS when I go there and kind of kicking the idea around to people I meet at the LFS! Seems to be an interest for one so maybe I will!!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks jon... it'll defintely be here.

thanks buzz for the tips. i figured that "the other baord" might be a good starting point online at least, and locally at the lfs's and in the paper.

so how does the typical club have a meet at someones house. is it a pot luck sort of thing, everyone bring a dish and a frag? or maybe the host makes all the drinks and snacks and everyone else brings frags, equipment to swap etc...

i figure it could be run both ways, or maybe a frag swap one month, and equip trade the next, etc...

we dont have an "aquarium" here, but the zoo has some very large displays, which i had in the zoo trip thread a while back. i figure i could get in contact with the zoo, and try to arrange a "behind the glass" tour of thier exhibits etc... just some stuff like that when the time comes..

i figure i'l lget started pretty soon. who knows maybe i'll jsut start the club, and build a site for it, and a forum baord here.. then get some members :D if i build it they will come ...right? :rolleyes:

thansk for the info everyone.. good luck to you too johnny!
 

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Well Jay I belong to a saltwater club over 30 years ago and the way we did it then was we would meet once a month at one of the member's home and view their aquarium and have them talk about their set-up, what equipment, how long it has been going, etc, etc.
Then the president of the club would go over a topic or have a member speak on a subject like favorite fish, coral, invert, etc.
The host for the meeting for that month would furnish a snack of some sort with drinks---no alcohol was permitted!:(
The meeting was about an hour long and those wishes to socialize would stay for up to another hour and it was fun getting to know each member alot better and talking saltwater mostly but other interests were brought up as well!
I really do miss that atmosphere alot and hopefully will have it again! What has been keeping me back is health issues but been working on that so everything is looking alot better these days! HTH :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
i can see the first emeeting already:

"over here we have my 55g it's got so much copper in it, the us mint calls me for pennies. over here we have my 75g with a 20g fuge, and a 29g sump. i've been here for 4 months but still doesnt have water yet. now, over here in this corner, we have my 400g custom tank, that i'm building myself, it also has no water, because i cant afford to buy the live rock for it because i built it bigger than my wallet could handle. ok, enough about that, let's discuss proper snail acclimation and massage."
 

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Just tagging along, a LFS owner, store manager and I are beginning to work on a club here in Reno as well. So I have some interests in what folks might have to say.:)
 

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jay, at our meetings, we usually try to cover a subject that is of interest to everyone, from raising clams, to making acrylic project, to reef care, ect... meetings are normally held once a month, at one of the member's homes, or at some other location like seaworld for example. meetings can get quite large, with 60 to 100 ppl showing up, which is why i don't host one, since i live in an apt.
:cool:
 

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A goof
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At our meetings, we mostly just talk in small groups about different stuff, we try to make it organized but people get in the way ;) There is just about always a new person at the meeting and we all try to welcome them. The host has some type of food and drink.

HTH

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
cool beans guys. thanks for the input.

sometime i have got to stop putting myself through so much punishment :D

i helpedfound the biggest and best RC Car club intoledo back when i was racing ( TARCAR--toledo area remote controlled auto racing)

for reefers i'm thinking along the lines of Tark (toledo area reef keepers) or TORCH (toledo ohio reef club hobbyists) or something along those lines.
 

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Our meetings sound like Jon's... totally informal.. Some of the tank owners like to put on a little talk about their "theory of operation" for their tank.. others don't.. its totally up to them, no pressure on anyone..

once a meeting is scheduled, someone starts a "frag list" thread on the forum, and they post what they have to frag, and what they are looking for.. everyone adds to the thread, and folks prearrange trades.. then everyone shows up at the meeting with thier coolers full of frags and/or wallets full of cash.. then, throughout the meeting, everyone gets together with whomever they arranged to trade with.. . the prearranged trades seem to work nice, cuz that way nobody frags a nice coral into tons of pieces, then have nobody take them....

the host normally provides food & drink, and sometimes guests bring some as well..

our meetings last anywheres from 2 to 3 hrs.. sometimes longer.. and lots of times they end with a tour of the LFS's in the area..

many folks in our club who have small apts, etc, also host "mini-meets".. small meetings, where they limit the number of attendees.. and these work nicely as well.. they happen more often then the full blown meeting....

ok, i'lll stop rambling now..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
not rambling at all ted.. just the sort of info i was hping to get..

specially since my idea of a meeting was that i would host at my house, everyone would bring me a frag, for the honor of being in my presence. an additional frag for the honor of seeing my lovely copper laden fowlr, another frag for the honor of eating my food, and yet another frag for the honor of drinking my drinks :D

oh and people could do thier own trades with each other as well, but that would cost another frag for the host for allowing the the transaction to take place :funny:
 

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Hey Jay looks like you plan on have a "fragging" good time!:rolleyes: ;)
 

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Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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It all comes down to this...... Everyone wants frags.... So long as frag trading is involved, you're in business....

Try to get the guys with full and established tanks to take the guys starting out under their wing.... try to get them to give them some freebies to get them started... We can save the reefs that way.... (read as, newbie mistakes won't kill off a coral freshly plucked from the ocean, they will learn with propogated corals)
 

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Jay,

I have started working on a Reef Club here in the upstate of SC and have been talking with JennM picking her brain. From what I have gathered from her is start if off informal and slow.

I have a website that I need to update and finish for people to go out and see for the basic information like mission statement what the club is about and when the next meeting will be and where.

I plan on having my first meeting in September so that I can get a flyer or two out to the local stores and get a head count at to where to hold it and to plan it right. I have been to the Atlanta Reef Club meetings a couple of times and they have their stuff together but they didn't get there overnight. JennM's hard work has gotten them to where they are at and keeps everything organized and is very good with Parlimentary proceedure.

You should have a discussion topic and someone to speak on a subject realated to this hobby. Also bring up things like what the people who come want out of this club and what ideas do they have for its direction and growth.

Keep in touch as I will share my experience with you Jay starting mine up and hope you hear your experiences and maybe between the both of us we can strive to be like the ARC.

Earl
 

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Hey Jay!

You might want to check out MASNA's website. A friend and I founded our club 2 years ago. At our LFS's request, we joined MASNA. They have samples of by-laws/constitution if you reach that point. I can also send you a copy of ours. We do have dues, but that is to cover our dues with MASNA. We have run into some issues that we can discuss via PM if you'd like.

Frag trading is purely at the discretion of each member. We don't want to discriminate against the newbie or Fish Only people. A lot of the issues we ran into were with the LFS----esp when it came to pooling online orders and frag trading.

Good luck!

Jodi
 

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We started our club in the Portland area based on our success with "NW Reefer Picnics." We held 2 before we started up the club. We had quite a few contacts with TRT and RC already but I put up fliers with as many of the LFS as would let me. I hope you don't run into the same problem I did; many LFS in Portland were very reluctant to have anything to do with the club and after almost 2 years of members meeting every month, many of them still did. Their loss, IMO. Whenever we held a meeting at an LFS, the LFS made out pretty well on sales to club members. I would suggest that you don't hit LFS up right away for club discounts or freebies if they are at all resistant.

You might want to start that way; host a picnic at your house or a local park and take or fax fliers to shops as far as two hours away. I've found that people will drive a long ways for a chance to trade frags ;) If you can get an LFS to donate a couple of gift certificates or other items, you'll have a bigger draw.

PNWMAS is really informal like some of the other clubs mentioned but we've become a pretty tight knit group. We sometimes had topics or DIY examples, many times we didn't. We just BS'd about tanks, traded frags and had a good time.

Good luck Jay; I had a blast with PNWMAS and they look to still be going strong without me. :)

Alice
 
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