September is the start of fall.  Fall remains my favorite season of the year.  Cool, non-90-degree days, sweatshirts, jeans, sweatpants, leaves changing color and gathering around a campfire under a brisk night.  Fall also means that another year is starting to wind down at our Happy Place!  We still have many unanswered questions about school, fall sports (fall without football???), work, etc. We do know that God has a plan. It is His plan alone. We must remain positive and supportive to each other, here at Sandy Pines and abroad.  Here is what we do know.

Annual Meeting

Our Annual meeting with the Board, Department Managers and myself took place outdoors at our beautiful Chapel.  Thank you to those who attended and maintained our required mask and social distancing requirements while staying under the State of Michigan executive order of gathering 100 people or less.  If you missed our Annual Meeting, you may access it on SP Channel 27.2 or on our YouTube channel at YouTube.com/SandyPinesWT. We maintained the format established last year of having an open forum similar to past Face to Phase meetings. Members asked many great questions regarding the past year here at Sandy Pines.

Annual Election

It is also time to congratulate and welcome three elected Board Members who will start their three-year terms effective September 18, 2020. Ginny Hager and Jim Huck will be returning for another term on the Board. We welcome Larry Munger to the Board of Directors for the first time.  We thank Ginny, Jim, Larry and all our Board Members, Brian Elling, Dennis King, Ellen Carpenter, Kelly Johnson, Chad Ostrom and Paul Peppel for their support and leadership at Sandy Pines.

We want to express our gratitude to Rick Day for his role as our Chairman of the Board this past year and Board of Director the last three years.  It has been a privilege working closely with Rick this year. He has provided sound leadership and direction for me personally as I navigated my first year as Park President at Sandy Pines.  This year was far from normal or routine. Rick and the entire board were there to lean on to aid. I am greatly appreciative to all of them.

Thank you also to Donna Adams and her group of volunteers for their leadership at our polling station and counting the ballots! These Volunteers love Sandy Pines and willingly serve to see that the election procedure and process is held to the highest of standards. We appreciate and Thank you!

We would be remised if you did not acknowledge and Thank the many Members that love Sandy Pines who volunteered on a committee, or on a work crew, or most importantly supported the park and golf course with prayers… Thank you as well!

Lake Study

We introduced a new Lake Study Committee this season with a charter to provide sound, data driven proposals or recommendations to help maintain the safety and sustainability of our number one asset, Lake Monterey.  Their recommendations were presented during our September 18, 2020, Board of Directors meeting. The Board and I will review these recommendations and develop a plan to kick off during our off season.

Safety has been topic on the forefront of the Lake Committee this season. Lake Monterey is a busy place especially on the weekends.  Our member’s safety is our number one concern.  We would like to remind our members of the following rules they can all be found in the handbook.

  • No powerboat may exceed 10 mph before 10 am and after 8:30 pm. No boat may exceed a speed of 35 mph at any time.
  • The driver of a watercraft pulling a tuber or skier must have a competent observer.
  • Powerboats must remain at least 100 feet from buoys and markers indicating restricted areas.
  • Powerboats must remain at least 100 feet from moored boats and swim areas.
  • A watercraft may only pull a maximum of three (3) tow lines at one time, with a maximum of six (6) people.

A copy of the Lake Study Report and ongoing Lake Study Committee details can be found at SandyPines.com/LakeStudy.

50th Anniversary

Our 50th Anniversary is just around the corner! We made some slight changes to this team and committee. While the original focus started with a contracted event planner to lead this project, it was decided over the course of this season to move the events and planning internal to our members. We are now driving this committee and event with a member team that is creative, excited, driven and focused to deliver the best Anniversary Celebration Sandy Pines has seen.  We still have events and activities that need leaders, input and support.  We are requesting and accepting many volunteers to support this awesome event.  Please contact our Communications Team at communications@sandypines.com or me at jeff@sandypines.com. We will put you into contact with the leaders of this committee. Further details on the 50th are available at SandyPines.com/50th.

Departments & Staff

It is also time for Managers to begin their departmental reviews, as well as making plans for the closing down of the park. Although it seems we just moved over the hurdle of allowing access to our beautiful due to State Executive Orders and then officially opening, the fall nights are a reminder that our season is coming to an end. We have such high-quality employees we are all proud to have on our team.  If you have any accolades, we would love to read them and pass them on to the staff.

Lastly, as the season starts to officially wind down, I would like to Thank our wonderful staff.  I know this year has been trying for everyone at Sandy Pines and Lake Monterey Golf Course.  We absolutely were blessed to have a season this year although it may not have been a normal season as in the past.  This certainly was not the season I imagined for my first year as Park President of Sandy Pines.  I know it was extremely hard and trying for our staff who keep our park safe, clean, functioning, fun and financially stable. We Thank You all for your hard work, support and dedication.  You are truly appreciated and valued! Sandy Pines would be at a loss without you.

We Thank you God for allowing us to have a different version of our Happy Place this year.  We also ask Him to watch over us, heal us and protect us during these divided and trying times.  Thank you for allowing me to lead Sandy Pines, Lake Monterey Golf Course and for getting to know many of you this year! Stay Safe and God Bless.

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