Just before the holidays, as I was thinking about what I would write as we say goodbye to 2018 and welcome in the New Year, I had no idea it would be radiating through the eyes of a twelve year old. The twelve year old is our Goddaughter, Maria Fernanda, who came to visit us from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This is her first trip to the United States and we were honored that her parents entrusted us with this responsibility. It goes without saying that Ocean Reef Club at the holidays may be the most fabulous place that a child (or adult for that matter!) could visit in all of the US. And, in her words, “you have everything here in this beautiful place!”
It’s the Holiday Season
We kicked off her stay with our toes in the sand at the Concerts on the Beach. The following morning she found herself with a group of juniors in the middle of a golf clinic. Then came her first bowl of Clam Chowder from the Raw Bar… she loved it so much that this became a daily ritual. That afternoon we attended the Muttville Show at the Cultural Center for some laughs and dog tricks followed by the Enchanted Forest Street Fair and most notably, the incredible dessert display. We went to the Wild Animal Show, she flew on the Trapeze, kayaked, took a sailing lesson, played tennis and learned pickleball. If that wasn’t enough, there was Festival on the Green, we were both so impressed upon entering. Maria marveled at the transformation of the Driving Range to a colorful lively carnival (don’t we all?) And, at the stroke of midnight, she beamed while watching the extraordinary fireworks displays. In her words, “they are so amazing and beautiful.” And topping it all off, were the friendly greetings from Associates, many of whom remembered Maria from the events we had already attended, demonstrating what it is about Ocean Reef that truly makes this place like no other. Maria told me many times how cheery everyone was that she met, that they seemed so helpful and nice, like friends. As Ocean Reef Members, we experience this every day but nothing brought me greater pride than seeing, and feeling it through her eyes.
So on behalf of the Board of Directors, thank you to our Associates for bringing us these experiences day in and day out. And, thank you to the Membership for what is now a holiday season for the record books. Your families out enjoying Buccaneer Island, Concerts on the Beach and the fireworks. Thank you for enjoying everything that this wonderful Club offers, from our fabulous food to our retail shops, from fitness to pickleball, the Spa and the golf.
With photos, videos and maybe a few extra pounds to remind us of the fantastic holiday season, it is with great excitement that we continue this wonderful season into 2019. Perhaps the most anticipated event of 2019 will be the reopening of the Islander. As you read last week in the Ocean Reef Press, we are in the final stretch… painting, flooring, working on finishes, place settings, artwork and menus. I know Chefs Sean and Eric, along with Diana, Aaron and the entire team cannot wait to welcome you to this new amazing space. More to come on grand opening plans.
Moving into 2019, your Board will also continue to work on the Masterplan. The study of the lagoon and the planning of the Ocean Reef Clubhouse will be the top priorities as we follow our roadmap into 2020 and beyond.
Most immediate for the Club is the January activation of 175 new Social Members from the Waitlist. As you know, we wait until after the holidays to welcome our newest Members so there is the least impact to our restaurants and amenities during our busiest time. We are still maintaining our commitment to no more than 2,350 Social Members. Moving these Members in Waiting to active Membership means we have spaces that have opened on our waitlist. This is an ideal time for anyone to apply for Membership as the wait is at its shortest. Our hope is that you will continue to refer your friends and associates and advance the tradition that has kept this Club’s Membership so strong. You recently received a copy of the Club’s fourth edition of Living Magazine. If you call or email the Membership office, they will gladly send a copy out to those you think might be interested. This way, we continue the positive trend.
As you heard at the last Town Hall meeting, the Search Committee, comprised of former Chairmen and current Directors, is working diligently on the interview process and is very close to finding our next Club President. We’ve been fortunate throughout this time to have such a capable Senior Leadership team guiding our team of Associates and delivering memorable experiences. All are working in concert, together with your board, toward this shared goal.
Again, much to be grateful for and my sincere thanks to each of you for your extraordinary patronage and support of your Ocean Reef Club. Our next Town Hall meeting is scheduled on Friday, January 25, 2 p.m. in Town Hall. I look forward to seeing you there, lots to report and so much to be excited about in 2019.