25 May 2012

MWP – A Great Year

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By Tom Milford (@coachmilford)

With the Missouri Water Polo Inc. (MWP) “year” ending on May 31 (the annual board meeting is Thursday June 7th, hope you can make it!), I thought it would be a good idea to recap all we’ve accomplished this year.

It started at the annual meeting last June where the Board decided to simply the focus of MWP and sponsor activities that are worth raising money for.  The simplified focus was threefold: 1) support the high school season with the website, District Program, Referee Recruitment & Development, and the All-Star Game festivities 2) support the club seasons with scholarship funds for club water polo and ODP, in addition to developing referees and 3) create a youth program that will help grow the sport.

At the September board meeting, the details of how to accomplish those three goals came into focus.  The Board set out to do a trivia night fundraiser in December which was a huge success (save the date for Friday March 1, 2013 for the Trivia Night part 2!) and helped provide funds to pay for the years upcoming expenses.  Board members Dan Schoenfeldt and Chad Fowler did a tremendous job organizing the event and making sure it ran smoothly.  A wonderful time was had by all in attendance. The Board also committed the necessary funds to redesign the website, to create scholarship funds for ODP and club water polo, and to start a Splashball program (coming this summer to Warson Woods pool!  Details to be announced Tuesday March 29th).

The January meeting saw the great results from the trivia night which gave the Board momentum heading into the high school season.  In addition to running the District Program as in years past, the Board committed to selling District Tournament t-shirts to raise money (designed by Betsy Penilla, wife of SLUH assistant John Penilla).  The Board also honored two of the sports great individuals, Wally Lundt and Dorothy Moore, who each passed away in the last year, by naming an end of the year award after each of them.  The Wally Lundt Coach of the Year award and the Dorothy Moore Table Persons of the Year awards were handed out at the 2012 MWP Awards Banquet.  Also new this year, the Board handed out plaques for the All-District Teams and provided a free pizza dinner at the awards banquet. We believe the free pizza (and the power of Twitter and the new website) led to our most well-attended All-Star Game festivities in recent memory.  A very special thanks goes out to Andy Butler of Lindbergh, Board member Rich Schnoring, and Rich’s wife and family for all they did in setting up for the All-Star Game festivities.  Rich especially handled the ordering of the food, organizing of the banquet, and recruiting some great people to help with the set up and clean up.

For all we’ve accomplished, there is still work to do.  The Splashball program is close to being finalized, but we aren’t ready yet. We have set aside money for club & ODP scholarships, yet we still need to come up with an application process and promote those opportunities.  We also need more officials – parents, former players, former coaches, parents of former players, etc.  Our official ranks are dwindling and we need more help in the recruitment and retention of officials.  For anyone passionate about this sport, we hope you can come to the annual Board meeting on Thursday, June 7 at 6:30pm at 1750 S. Brentwood Blvd., Suite 600, Brentwood, MO 63144.  The Board is only seven people, but we need dozens of people in support, taking committee positions, volunteering their time and talent, if we are going to grow our favorite sport.

Let’s work together to make next better than the last!

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