After more than three years as Women’s Contact, Darlene Hall is stepping down from her role, effective May 31. Since January 2009, Darlene has been a vocal advocate for women’s recruitment and has worked tirelessly to increase the active participation of lesbian, bisexual, and queer women. Among her many accomplishments, Darlene has:
· Created Women’s Outreach cards and flyers for distribution at events, gyms, community centers and other sites;
· Written a monthly column in the club’s electronic communications to directly address the interests and concerns of lesbian, bisexual, and queer women;
· Organized and hosted LesBiQ Lane “meet and greets” over the last two years to facilitate the transition of women into a predominantly male club;
· Worked with board members and other allies to reach out to women athletes in other LGBT sports groups (soccer, tennis, rugby, and others);
· Run Women’s Outreach ads on Craigslist and other online sites;
· Spearheaded the Little Black Dress Run in 2010, an event that consistently results in higher participation by women; and
· Been an active volunteer in many other areas, including serving at water stations at races, on the nominations and the newbie welcoming committees, and as the club’s Secretary in 2008.
Although no longer the Women’s Contact, Darlene plans to remain an active SFFR member. She has made clear how appreciative and proud she is of the hard work by her and the allies of both sexes who have striven to make women feel more welcome at SFFR. Darlene sets a high bar in terms of passion and perseverance, and we thank her for her commitment.
Thank you, Darlene, for all your hard work!
So what comes next for Women’s Outreach? The current board has been actively gathering ideas from members of our own club, as well as officers and Women’s Contacts at other FR clubs. We’ve learned a lot from you and the New York and Vancouver chapters about partnerships, messaging, activities, and the increasing need to accommodate walkers of both sexes. Based on feedback from members, we're also seeing the possible advantages of re-defining the Men’s and Women’s contacts as “Newcomer Contact” and “Women’s Outreach Contact”.
We know that membership recruitment and retention in general requires everyone’s participation. In the most recent Monthly Women’s Column, Jim Warhol offers some very smart and easy-to-implement advice about approaching women runners and walkers who are new to the club, which you can read about here (link).
As we search for members to help spearhead Women’s Outreach, we are happy to remind you that women are actively involved in SFFR. In just the near future:
· Judith Kahan has been contributing to the weekly Runner Bio interviews for the website and has organized Dive Bar Night at the Gangway. Please be there to help her celebrate a milestone birthday! Find information on the event here (link).
· Katharine Holland is organizing and cohosting the Pride Run Sponsorship Party on May 3, among other events that she generously hosts and participates in. For information on the Pride Run Sponsorship Party, head here (link).
· Ian Ballentine is crafting plans for a Pre-Pride Run Evening at Sports Basement, and continues to contribute to the club and our ties with Sports Basement. You can view her recent Runner Bio here (link).
The 2012 SFFR Board