General Meeting Minutes February 2021

Red Dragon Canoe Club

General Membership Virtual Meeting

February 3, 2021

The meeting came to order at 7:03 PM using Zoom on-line technology.

On-line: Don Powell, Jennifer Cavanaugh, Jeff Rife, Michelle and Alan Visitacion, Tom Gilman,

Del Rife, Beth and Paul Ziegler, Mike Dmochowski, Bill Van Keuren, Patricia Richmond,

Norma and Peter Carter, Don Wood, Candi Leasner, James Wheeler.

Correspondent: The minutes for the January 6, 2021 members’ meeting were read and approved.

Purser: The checking account balance was $9,329.27 on January 27, 2021.

Commodore: Don Powell reported that two cherry trees behind the privy were sawn into lumber

by John Lawrence, Ken Kauker and Mike Dmochowski. The wood will be removed by Spring.

Then the area can be reclaimed. Don noted that the fire alarm system is generating false alarms.

He requested that any member, who hears an alarm, should record the alarm code number on the

log sheet near the panel before resetting the alarm, so we can define the problem.

Membership: Beth Ziegler announced that her committee has prepared a direct mailing campaign

to promote membership in the nearby residential area. It will be mailed in March. So far, 33

existing members have paid their 2021 dues.

Vice Commodore: Alan Visitacion reported that flyers have been issued for the music trivia

night event on Zoom on Friday, February 12 at 8 PM. There will be three themes: Marde Gras,

Sailing, and Valentine’s Day. The next planning committee meeting will be held via Zoom on

Monday, February 8 at 7:30 PM.

Rear Commodore: Jeff Rife announced that there will be a Zoom Racing Committee meeting on

February 22 at 7 PM to plan for the sailing season. Issues include reestablishing a racing fee

structure, opening races to non-members, holding regattas with other clubs, and hosting fleet

rendezvous. Jeff wants to establish a committee of paddlers to work with Don Wood, that would

meet in early Spring. Informal Sailing Instruction will be needed after COVID restrictions have

past to certify more new sailors to use the club sailboats. A Youth Activities initiative is needed

to organize sailing, paddling, and perhaps fishing and hiking events for our younger members.

Jeff will post in the boathouse a list of members who have been certified to use the club

sailboats. He reminded members that boat captains must have a NJ safe boating certificate to

legally operate mariners with motors. Don Powell asked if there are any on-line sailing lessons

available for new members to use before beginning actual on-water practice. Jeff is looking for

free options. Jeff also reminded strictly sailing members that their club service hours should be

spent helping to maintain and service the club sailboats. Jennifer Cavanaugh suggested that

experienced sailing members should sponsor a club mariner to lead and coordinate maintenance

and repair activities and to confirm that safety equipment is in good order.

Harbormaster: Del Rife reported that there is only limited loose ice floating in the river. Del

noted that the township snowplows left a snow bank at the end of the waterfront driveway. They

cleared it after he called them for help. However, Del recommends not driving down to the

waterfront due to slippery conditions.

Quartermaster: Don Powell indicated that Ken Kauker is getting estimates for removal of several

damaged or dead trees on the property. Don asked for recommendations of contractors. Don

Wood will tell Ken about Earl Seaver. Don Powell reported that the two building heaters were

serviced today. He also noted that Ken Kauker used his own truck to flatten the snow in the

driveway and shoveled access to the apartment and the back porch. We need suggestions for a

contractor to cover snow removal.

Financial Secretary: No report.

Shipman Mansion Foundation: Norma Carter announced that the next Foundation meeting will

be February 4 at 6:30 PM. She encouraged RDCC members to attend. Norma also stated that

Bill Van Keuren has agreed to drive to NY on February 20 to accept the donation of an

Adirondack guide boat. She also noted that John Lawrence has offered to donate his antique

“sneak box” hunting boat to the Foundation. Norma reminded that the Foundation has two NJ

state grants to do a conditions analysis and to seal the third-floor windows to prevent water

leakage. These grants require matching funds. Don Wood has NJ permits to run a 2021

fundraising raffle. Don has proposed renting a booth at the Burlington county farmers’ market to

promote RDCC and sell raffle tickets. He will clarify any added permit costs. This would

require a commitment of members to staff such a booth. Don Powell asked about the status of

fund raising for painting the exterior of the mansion. Norma said that about $5000 is available,

but that fund raising costs approach $4000 per year, so net proceeds must exceed that

significantly to meet our matching fund obligations.

Social Media: Beth Ziegler read Nancy Cunningham’s report on recent Facebook activity. The

RDCC Facebook page now has 1,692 likes with a goal of 2021 by year end. There were 26 posts

over the past 28 days.  Growing the number of Facebook followers contributes to the

RDCC/Shipman Mansion community and mission.  Dollars are generated through Facebook

donations. Folks visit our web page after visiting our Facebook page. Questions about

membership and more are fielded through Facebook. Instagram now has 54 followers.

Old Business:

Don Powell asked members to donate $25 each for security cameras to assist Jeff Rife to install

these cameras around the mansion and boat house to provide security while we are away. Jeff

hopes to start with at least 8 cameras. Checks payable to RDCC and noting cameras may be

mailed to the club or donations may be made through Paypal.

Don Powell indicated that progress is being made toward scheduling a Drone Legends youth

camp at RDCC. This will provide good public relations with the community and some income

to the club. Don is checking on our liability insurance coverage for such an event.

Don Powell noted that Alan Visitacion has suggested that RDCC adopt a tag phrase, such as

“#downbytheriver” to help further promote the club. Jeff Rife recommended that a shorter

phrase would be more effective.

New Business:

Jeff Rife read the proposed changes to the RDCC By-laws that will clarify the responsibilities of

the Rear Commodore and document the addition of the Paddling Committee. These changes

include Sections 3 and 6.13. The full text has been posted in the club house and has been

distributed by e-mail to all club members. A vote to approve the changes will be held at the

March 3, 2021 General Membership meeting.

Bill Van Keuren and Del Rife will conduct the required annual audit of the RDCC books on

February 4, 2021.

Good of the Order:

Don Wood noted that the quartermaster’s shed can be straightened and reinforced by adding

internal structural elements without violating the historical nature of the building. Don Powell

stated that Ken Kauker is an architect and could help with this project. Don also emphasized the

need to remove the concrete and beautify the area around the shed after the project is done.

Don Powell suggested the need to set up a committee to clean out the accumulated junk in the

basement of the Mansion and to remove the temporary paneling to open up space to display the

canoe collection. Display racks should also be built. Jeff Rife suggested that improved lighting

should also be added. Norma Carter noted that the preservation easements may limit

modifications. John Lawrence knows what limits exist.

Don Powell noted that the NJ governor is beginning to relax the limits on the number of people

that can gather for group events. Hopefully, this will improve as the effects of the pandemic


The next board meeting will be on February 24, 2021 at 7 PM.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted by

Tom Gilman – 2/4/2021