News Item: West Coast Melee XX
(Category: Misc)
Posted by Jim Aikens
Monday February 20 2017 - 23:27:47

West Coast Melee XX: President's AAR

Well, West Coast Melee XX has gone on the books. It was a smashing success by any standard, if I do say so myself.

First, the winners:

West Coast Melee XX Champion: Dan Plachta

Second Place: Sheldon Ryland

Third Place: Ray Woloszyn

Fourth Place: Ish Molnar

I'm pleased to say we ran a total of 8 mini-tournaments over the course of the weekend, and all of them were wrapped up by Sunday afternoon:

"Blood on the Risers": Ray Woloszyn

"Deluxe": Ish Molnar

"ASL-101/Micro Mini #1": Nadir Elfarra

"ASL-101/Micro Mini #2": Mark Pandori

"Stalingrad": Dave Deresinski

"Men in Black": Andrew McCulloh

"End of Days": Phil Seymour

"The Mighty Sherman": Sheldon Ryland

We had 51 attendees, our best attendance since 9-11. Almost as important, we booked a record 61 room nights with the hotel. As many of you know, when negotiating hotel contracts, pricing is based on total room nights. That high number of booked room nights gives us leverage for negotiating contracts for future events with the hotel.

Speaking of the hotel and the facility, I received no complaints from the attendees regarding their individual hotel rooms this year. And almost all the attendees took advantage of the hotel's food ordering system again this year. Everyone was fairly pleased with the options and pricing.

We used a new table arrangement and were able to utilized the game room better this year. We were able to host 24 games simultaneously. Although we pushed the envelop on Saturday afternoon, we had enough room for everyone to play comfortably throughout the weekend.

Over the course of the weekend we gave away 36 raffle prizes totaling over $700 in value! We had our new dice cups with our bitchin' SoCalASL logo for sale, and high quality retractable LOS strings that also featured our logo. Our members were greeted by our awesome 7 foot tall SoCalASL banner at the door, created by Matt Cicero.

An event like WCM takes a lot of work. Our Club is lucky to have a lot of talented and dedicated members who contribute their time year after year to make sure the burden gets distributed to manageable levels. I would like to give a shout out, in no particular order to some of those volunteers:

Scott Thompson: For compiling all those raffle prizes we gave away. That job took a lot of effort, which is why we only have a prize raffle every 5 years. If you don't know, our Club's policy is to donate prizes (usually in the form of Melee Packs or dice) to any ASL event that asks us. That policy paid off in spades this year when Scott asked those groups to reciprocate. And many of them were remarkably generous.

Fen Yan: For donating an artist print worth about $150 for our prize pool. Fen is also the guy who designed our Club logo.

Dave Nicholas: For making himself available to mentor the 7-0's again this year. As it turned out his services weren't really needed, but he was at the ready throughout the weekend. Dave also handled our sweet looking plaques.

Eric Visnowski: For preparing all of the scenario choices for the 8 mini-tournaments and all 3 rounds of The Melee. I'll tell you from experience, that's a big job. Once he selected the scenarios, Eric and I played all of the ones we were unfamiliar with to make sure they would work in a tournament format.

Dave Rosner: For serving as our designated event photographer throughout the weekend. On short notice.

Matt Cicero: Our Vice President and Treasurer, as always, was in the thick of it from the start. He handled the pre-registrations and signed in the attendees, tracked the money, ran the Club store, kept track of the prizes, and even did some 7-0 Leader mentoring when Dave Nicholas was locked in a game. Matt also designed and ordered our new SoCalASL banner.

Jon Jaramillo: For bringing his cooler full of sodas and making it available for everyone.

Eric Morton: For once again bringing his entire game set to WCM and making it available to anyone who wanted to borrow items.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank our Club Officers. These guys work behind the scenes, providing their wisdom, vision and good advice, throughout the year:

Matt Cicero, VP & Treasurer; Eric Visnowski, Special Events Coordinator; Blair Bellamy, New Player Development; Sean Geraghty, Webmaster; and Rob Feinstein, Scott Thompson and Dave Nicholas our Regional Directors. Our former webmaster and long-time Club Officer, Paul Simonsen, has been designated 'Special Adviser to the President'.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who came and supported the event. By our best estimate, about 200 games were played over the course of the weekend. We had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. On a personal note, WCM is one of the highlights of my year, and I had a blast. It was great to see everyone and catch up with old friends.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jim Aikens

President, SoCalASL

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