Proper Process for Membership Application

by Al Myers

After my story the other day where I made it clear about the proper USAWA sanctioning process, I think the “time is right” to have a followup story about the proper process of applying for membership in the USAWA.  I try to keep things positive, so stories like this one are not my favorite to write because I feel like I’m “whining and complaining” about things, but then again, if I don’t make these points known the problems just continue.  Lately, I have received membership applications that have been improperly filled out (lack of information, no signatures, etc) or lifters just sending me the membership fees without evening filling out a form!!  This is unacceptable.  Also, I am getting tired of lifters sending in “old membership” applications from the Strength Journal.  I have been accepting them, but from this time forward I WILL NOT!  The new and updated membership applications are readily accessible on the website (under Forms and Applications on the left hand side of the Home Page). 

Since I’m on a “belly-aching” soapbox right now, I’m going to complain about another gripe of mine.  Please DO NOT send me checks for memberships (or anything else for that matter) that are going to bounce when I deposit them!  I’m “sick and tired” of this.  If you do NOT have the money to join – then don’t!  Every time I get a bounced check, it causes me problems and more work.  The USAWA only charges $25 for yearly membership in the USAWA (for the calendar year), and I consider this a token fee for all the benefits the organization has to offer you in return.  I have to deal with “bounced checks” in my business enough and I don’t want to deal with it in the USAWA.  I keep a list of people who bounce checks on me in my business – and at the top of the list is the name DEADBEATS.  Don’t join if you don’t have the money to.  Also, if  only $25 is causing you a financial burden, you shouldn’t be  even spending money going to meets. You should be getting a job (or second job) to pay your bills and feed your family.  My opinion is that our yearly membership fees should be at least $50.  The $25 fee is so “out of date” in terms of charging for membership fees it’s ridiculous. I leave bigger tips than that at restaurants!

Thom has told me that “with time” I will get as cranky as Bill (by having to deal with these USAWA problems).  I sure understand now why Bill also wrote stories like this one in the Strength Journal from time to time.   I’m not at the point of calling the entire USAWA membership “DEAD AND/OR COMATOSE” yet (give me a few more years on that one!).   I do want to thank the over 90% of USAWA members who “do  things right” – this story is not directed towards you at all!  It’s the others that should be taking notes.

Longterm USAWA Members

by Al Myers

Dale Friesz has been an active member of the USAWA since the first year of membership in 1988. Dale has had more reasons than anyone to have let his membership lapse, yet he maintained his yearly membership to support the USAWA. Lifters like Dale are the foundation of our organization.

Last week’s Quiz of the Week was a very important one for one simple reason – it gave recognition to those USAWA Members who have been yearly members since the first year of the USAWA.  These 5 USAWA member have showed extreme loyalty to the USAWA by being members all these years.  It is easy to miss a year of membership -  such as a lack of competing due to illness or injury.  I know this could have been  the case for a couple of these lifters, yet they STILL maintained their yearly membership despite the physical hardship. Most lifters don’t do that – they rejoin when they are able to compete again.   These lifters should receive an award for their loyalty to the USAWA (hmmm…. who’s the USAWA Award Director? I may have to talk to him about this.  Especially since NEXT year is the 25th anniversary of the USAWA).  Just for those who missed the quiz, I want to list these USAWA VIP members again:

Bill Clark

Casey Clark

Joe Garcia

Art Montini

Dale Friesz

Now I want to mention a few others that have been longterm members of the USAWA, but maybe now are retired or just joined a little later.  The initial class of members in 1988 included such notable lifters as Bill Clark, Bill DiCioccio Sr., Joe Garcia, Cindy Garcia, John McKean, Noi Phumchaona, Howard Prechtel, John Vernacchio, Casey Clark, Dale Friesz, Jack Lano, Art Montini, Tom Ryan, Bob Burtzloff, Phil Anderson, Steve Schmidt, John Wilmot, Harrison Skeete, Attilio Alacchi, Paul Knauer, Joe McCoy, Dave Hahn, Clay Oliver, Ron Sisk, Gonzalo Gonzlsez, and Ed Zercher.  There were several more than this that joined that year. However, all together, the USAWA membership was still short of 100 members that first year.

USAWA Hall of Famer Frank Ciavattone joined a year later in 1989.  He has been a member every year since.  USAWA Executive Board member Dennis Mitchell also joined in 1989 and hasn’t missed a year of membership.  A couple of long-term members joined in 1990 and haven’t missed any years of membership since joining – our President Denny Habecker and Hall of Famer Jim Malloy.  A few lifters, like John McKean and Steve Schmidt, only missed a few years of continuous membership due to lifting retirement only to reappear as active lifters. All these lifters  deserve special recognition for their many years of support to the USAWA.  The only USAWA club that has maintained club membership since 1988 has been Clark’s Gym.