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2015 Awards Gala Recap by Jason Buckner

We’ve all experienced that feeling of the predawn run, watching the sun rise and breathing life into the day. How about that run after work, just as the moon is rising and the world is settling down? It’s magical.

That’s where this year’s gala was born.

The evening started with a time warp from bright daylight to the dimmed lights of the South San Francisco Conference Center. Glowing flowers and lighted balloons adorned the centerpieces while guests made glow-in-the-dark necklaces, bracelets, and all sorts of creative decorations.

Photos from the year were playing on the big screen and music serenaded the runners during cocktail hour, many of whom rarely see each other wearing anything except tech-clothes. “So this is what you look like in regular clothes!” was heard more than once.

Snoop Kitty and the Meows opened the show and MC Tony Nguyen introduced the crowd to our outgoing president, George Sacco. After some short remarks and thanking the 2014 Board, he introduced the club to its first female president, Kitzzy Aviles. She then presented George with the presidential clock plaque, said a few words, and introduced the 2015 Board.

The evening then moved into the awards ceremony where we got a chance to recognize all of the amazing accomplishments that have been achieved throughout the club: Small Mongos for those volunteering members that have run over 250 miles, Large Mongos for those that ran over 750 miles, and the kids of the club who get the biggest trophies of them all!

Janet Nissenson recognized all of the age group winners and Barbara Robben presented the Eco Award, with special recognition to Vince French. Kevin Lee presented the RRCA Volunteer Award to Mary Gray, Denise Leo, and Chikara Omine. This award is earned over many years of volunteerism by contributing over 2000 hours to the club!

Vince French passed on the Walt Stack Award to Denise Leo for going beyond the call of duty in volunteering for the club, including the majority of the Thursday Evening Summer Series and the finish line of many Sunday races. She is the Race Results Coordinator and makes sure her team gets results handled smoothly and swiftly.

George Sacco presented the DSE Lifetime Service Award to Jane Coleman for her longtime service and dedication to DSE. Like many club volunteers, she began as a runner, then volunteered at the races, moved up and served as a Race Director and volunteered at the Double Dipsea. Although she has never held a club officer position, she has anchored two key coordinator positions for the past 15 years: Membership Coordinator and Newsletter Editor.

Mary Gray and Jason Buckner ended the award ceremony with the Top Five Awards for Volunteerism, Race Attendance, Race Place, Race Miles, and Total miles.

At the conclusion of the presentation, we had a grand prize drawing for a weekend stay in the penthouse of the San Remo hotel and a showing of a wrap up video from The Relay, one of the club’s big yearly events. This was followed by music and dancing, something that our club members are exceedingly good at.

We hope to see you next year!

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The voting for 2015 DSE club officers has been completed and the results are as follows:

  • President: Kitzzy Aviles (our first ever woman president)
  • Senior VP: Michael Gulli
  • 2nd VP: Jason Buckner
  • Secretary: Amber Wipfler
  • Treasurer: Chikara Omine

The new officers will take their positions effective as of the 2015 Gala. Thanks to all the candidates who participated and to all the DSE members who took the time to vote.Congratulations to the new club officers. Last but not least, a big thanks to the 2014 officers for an excellent job well done!

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The voting for DSE Officers has been extended until the last race of the year, the Golden Gate Bridge Vista 10K on December 28.

Candidate statements begin on page 3 of the December Newsletter.

The ballot for the election of 2015 DSE club officers is included as an insert in the December issue of the DSE News. You may mail the ballot in or deposit it in a ballot box at upcoming DSE races. The voting will close shortly after the Aquatic Park 10K on December 21. You must be a DSE member (dues paid) for your vote to be counted. A big thanks to our candidates:

  • President: Kitzzy Aviles
  • Senior VP: Michael Gulli, Leo Rosales, Kenley Gaffke
  • Second VP: Jason Buckner, Bill McCarty, Jen Walker
  • Secretary: Amber Wipfler
  • Treasurer: Chikara Omine

Results of the voting will be announced in the January 2015 DSE News and the DSE Runners website. Thank you for your vote.


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by Kitzzy Aviles

To minimize confusion, we’re creating a system that will award members volunteer points (instead of using hours) based on the volunteer role performed. Award volunteer requirements will also be updated accordingly. Below is the proposed point system and updated award requirements that will take effect starting on January 1, 2015 (for awards presented at 2016 Gala). If you have feedback or suggestions before we finalized this next month, please contact Kitzzy Aviles (

Volunteer JobPoints
Registration (starting 1 hour before race start), finish line, aid station, or course monitor at regular weekly race or Thursday summer series1
Aid station or timing at 6-hour race (per 1 hour shift)1
Folding session host1
Aid station or course monitor at Waterfront 10M or Lake Merced Half2
RD for 5M or shorter3
RD for 10K or 12K4
RD for 10M or Half Marathon5
RD for 6-Hour Race7
Board member, operations member or coordinator12
Double Dipsea VolunteerTBA


Updated Award Requirements
Based on this new volunteer point system, award requirements will be updated for the 2016 Gala as follows:
To qualify for any award at the annual Gala, you must be an active member and meet the criteria for that award.

  • Active Member: Paid membership + 3 volunteer points
  • Small Mongo: Run/walk 250 miles; participate in 10 DSE races; earn 3 volunteer points
  • Large Mongo: Run/walk 750 miles; participate in 20 DSE races; earn 6 volunteer points
  • Active members who wish to be considered for a Mongo award, Top 5 Race Miles or Top 5 Total Miles must submit the awards form at the end of the year.

Again, these are proposed changes that will take effect January 1st for the 2016 Gala and will not affect the 2015 Gala.

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Attendance: 16 members were in attendance, including all officers and two members at large.

Treasurer’s Report: Due to some unexpected expenses, we may end up with a small loss this year but are still in good shape with a healthy bank balance.

Membership Report: We’ve had a 16% increase in membership so far this year. However, 5% of these members still need to renew their membership. Remember that you must be an active member to be eligible for an award at the Gala.

President’s Mission Statement: Below is an update on George’s personal goals for DSE this year.

  • Attend as many DSE races as possible — so far he’s missed only one.
  • Increase or maintain membership — membership has increased by 16%.
  • Have all board members serve as race directors — all but one has been a race director at least one race.
  • Have at least one board member in every committee — this has been accomplished.

Board Meetings Highlights:

  • The minutes from all board meetings have been published in the newsletter.
  • The following new policies will take effect January 1, 2015:
    • Budget Policy: An itemized written budget proposal should be submitted to the board for approval at least 90 days before an event.
    • Volunteer Points System: To minimize confusion, we’re creating a system that will award members volunteer points (instead of using hours) based on the volunteer role performed. Award volunteer requirements will also be updated accordingly. Full details and how many points you can earn per volunteer opportunity will be published on the website and in the next newsletter.

Double Dipsea Update: George had a brief meeting with Sam two days ago, which confirmed that Brazen is very interesting in partnering with DSE to manage this race in 2015 and has begun pursuing permits. A meeting with key players from both sides will take place soon to negotiate details. The biggest concern from Brazen is that DSE did not provide the number of volunteers it committed to for the 2014 race.

Folding Session: We had trouble finding folding session hosts and attendees over the past years, so alternate solutions were discussed. After gathering more details, it was determined that folding sessions are still the most efficient and cost-effective method and we’ll continue these every month. To help increase attendance, we’ll post dates in advance on the website calendar and reminders a few days before each session in the Facebook and Yahoo groups.

EMS Update: The final draft of the EMS Procedures is now posted in the Policies and Procedures page under the About Us section of the website. George is reaching out to Sports Basement to host a CPR class and a date will be announced soon. The class will be free and will have up to 10 spots, which will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Club member Brian will then facilitate a first aid class. Our RRCA State Representative, George Rehmet, advised that we update the race waiver to make it clear that there are no medical personnel present at our races.

2015 Gala Update:

  • The 2015 Gala will be held on Sunday, January 25 starting at 4:30 PM.
  • Remember that you must be an active member (dues paid) and have accumulated the correct number of volunteer hours to receive an award at the Gala.
  • Active members who wish to be considered for a Mongo, Top 5 Race Miles or Top 5 Total Miles awards must submit the awards form by January 4.
  • A link to an electronic form will be posted on the website and a hard copy included in the next newsletter.

Open Discussion:

  • Concerns were again raised about allowing runners with headphones, dogs or strollers at our races. We maintain our position that these are highly discouraged and runners who choose to run with these do so at their own risk. However, the RD of each race has final say and full authority to ban their use and disqualify runners deemed unsafe.
  • To help runners make more informed decisions on when to bring along strollers or dogs, we’ll be reviewing and updating course descriptions to include more information about terrain and elevation.