Thank you. (I.e. #gratitudetuesday)

Today was spring’s #givingtuesday. It is a wonderful thing being done to help address the needs that exists for so many right now. #givingtuesday has become an incredible movement.

In this time of need I’d like to encourage you to give if you can. But, I’m not here to ask you to give to the league. If you can give, please consider giving to help those who are struggling to just keep going right now.

For your league – we’re going to figure this out. We’re going to figure it out because of you.

The plan for the season is coming together and our Advisory Board and Coaches Council will be looking at it this week. There will be a time when we are inviting you to join up and join in for a great season. There will be a time that PICL is asking for direct support. Today is not that time. Right now there are others who need this.

Instead, today, as I reflect on where we are, I wanted to express my gratitude for what so many of you have given in the last year and beyond.

As I thought about our recent coaches calls I couldn’t help but reflect on the commitment our team managers and head coaches are demonstrating while we all struggle with the unknowns. They are committed to being ready and delivering the best season they can. They contribute in amazing ways to the good of all involved and give tremendously to their teams and to this league. The students are the fire, the flame, the heat, but the coaches are our firestarters and the fuel that keeps the fires blazing in communities across PA year after year.

Then I think about the league staff and core volunteers and how heavily they’ve invested themselves already this year. The team pivoted on a dime to deliver an online summit as the virus emerged in PA, have spent hundreds of hours re-configuring Local Dirt into something that can work across our league, is planning for everything this fall (just in case), and has to contemplate and reconfigure significant 2020 plan adjustments every few days with an eye on affordability for our families and sustainability for the league. On top of that, no matter what happens this fall, 2021 and ’22 are not far off and your league organizing team is working on that future the state, regional, local, and national level.

My thoughts take me to NICA HQ and the coaching staff that has jumped to create on-line training options, the accounting department who took on PPP to help all NICA leagues including PICL, the leadership that is working on a virtual national conference to replace the trip to Philly, the staff members who are working on risk management and redundancy in operations so that leagues have the support they need available when operations resume, and the crew fits all the pieces together to form the NICA picture.

I think of my fellow League Directors across NICA who provide invaluable feedback and collaboration; all of whom are working long hours as they do everything they can to provide this experience in their states. All of them provide inspiration through their professionalism and their commitment to this national movement. We all do this because there is nothing we would rather do and the few moments each week that I get to spend with them pay huge dividends for this league.

Even though they’ve really just begun to serve the league in this capacity, I’m very thankful for the PICL Advisory Board members who have stepped up to help guide this league and move us to an official Chapter League of NICA (as we work to form a 501(c)(3) in Pennsylvania). They too are helping to craft short term responses and long term plans and helping your league staff analyze our most important decisions.

Our friends at NoTubes, Squirt, QBP, Trek, Purple Lizard, and more are committed to us and we’re all thankful for what they provide as every bit will be key in making it through this year. These are the companies who will help your league more than any others this season.

Finally, but most importantly, it is very clear that without the commitment you make to this league we wouldn’t be here today. We’re not out of the woods on this one by a long shot — we need another solid season (well, probably two now…) to feel comfortable. We need to continue to push forward into new communities and build teams across PA. We need to find more places to ride.  We are working on all of those things. We know that none of it will come as quickly as any of us would love, but we are a world ahead of where we were last year.

We are a world ahead of where we were one year ago because of you.

I don’t know what this fall holds or how it will impact the league in the near term. I do know that soon we will be better than we are now.

I’ve seen your commitment and love for this passion we share. It is not complicated: we work hard, we work together, we get there. You make it possible for me to feel hopeful about the challenges we face and confident that PICL will emerge stronger than ever.

I am truly grateful.

Find someone who needs you and give what you can. If you can not give right now, give when you can. If you need help, do not hesitate to ask.

Your League Director,