Suns Alumni Association
Dear Sun Valley Suns Alumni,
As we enter our 44th year we have some great news to share. After much discussion and some tremendous enthusiasm the Sun Valley Suns Alumni Association (SVSAA) has been formed. The purpose of the association is to keep everyone who loves Suns Hockey involved and up to date on all that is Suns Hockey but more importantly help to assure that Suns Hockey is here in another 45 Years. To think it all started when George Gund leased the land for a rink from the Sun Valley Company for one dollar.
The team and the organization had been graced with some incredible support in the past, from George Gund and John Weekes, in the formative years and since that time a myriad of alumni have chipped in both financially and with their time to assure that the season starts every fall. Coaches like Glenn Hunter, Tim Jeneson, Chris Benson, Steve Morcone and myself have tried to follow closely in the footsteps of the founders. In addition, The Suns Foundation, Inc. has played a key role in connecting the team with worthy non-profits in the valley as a way for the team to give back and allowing donors to see their contributions allocated responsibly. This connection was the brilliant idea of coach Hunter and the tradition continues.
This new arm of the Suns is specifically set up to help fund the team’s financial needs on a year to year basis as it relates to ice time, travel, visiting team support and other necessary expenses. Although ticket sales and other revenues are up based on the fan support at the new Campion Ice House in Hailey, please understand that your participation in the SVSAA will directly contribute to the long term financial health of the team. Our list of volunteers has been seemingly endless and the players are only playing for the love of the game but there are still bills to pay. To that end, as the association grows, we plan to also establish an endowment for the future. The team has relied on the generosity of supporters for years and we thought it was time to have a goal to become more self-sufficient through the SVSAA.
We expect to officially kick this whole thing off on Tuesday December 11th. We will get the invitations and publicity out but please save the date. Also, please spread the word to other alumni. This event timing seems appropriate being shortly after the start of the 2018-19 season. The event will be upstairs at Whiskey’s starting at 6 pm sharp. (We will buy the pizza, you just need to bring your checkbook or even better your credit card). In addition, the full outreach to the 650 plus player alumni group, that now resides out of the area, is being undertaken as we speak. We also have associate membership interest from many others affiliated with the Suns, including family members, fans and even former visiting team players. As we finalize the association programs and membership levels we see season passes to the games, Suns merchandise and special events as part of our plan. Specific plans and packages will be offered at the event. We also see this as a connection from old to new, where each year the current team can meet former players and supporters, as well as attract some of our alumni back to the valley for a couple games or perhaps an alumni golf outing. Alumni programming to be announced. The SVSAA will also further facilitate the networking that has always occurred on a more informal basis. We expect to see the new Suns website up soon and we will establish an integrated link to the alumni association site. Did someone say Suns Merchandise?- Yes, we expect to have merchandise available on the web pretty soon! Also, in the not too distant future you will be able to follow the Suns on Instagram or Facebook and check for game score updates on Twitter from anywhere in the world. A far cry from the local game radio broadcasts in the late 1970’s and early 80’s that created the buzz in the local bars and restaurants on game nights.
As one of the oldest continually operating hockey clubs in America we are proud of our traditions and want to see them last for a very long time. For those of you who have had the honor of playing for the team, you already know how special it is to be a Sun. For the rest of you, we want you to get a little of that feeling and invite you to come on this journey with all of us.
We have formed an advisory board of alumni to steer the ship but we also welcome feedback from all that share in our goal. We owe a lot to our founders and supporters and we owe it everyone to make this association really fun and a resounding success!
A final request is that each one of you pass this letter on to other Alumni and forward those email addresses to email@example.com .
Thank you all,
John “Cub’ Burke, Head Coach
Alumni Association Advisory Board