Are Our Dues Spent Wisely?
At the recent USPA Board of Directors meeting, the board voted to give $25,000 per year for the next six years to a yet-to-be-constructed skydiving museum. I am concerned as to why the board voted for this extraordinary amount of skydivers’ dues to be spent in this manner.
The USPA website states the mission of the organization:
“USPA’s mission is three-fold:
• to promote safe skydiving through training, licensing and instructor qualification programs
• to ensure skydiving’s rightful place on airports and in the airspace system
• to promote competition and record-setting programs”
Please, can someone from the board explain to the members how this large donation advances the cause of any of these three stated missions of USPA?
Our sport is under constant attack from airport sponsors, the Federal Aviation Administration, other general aviation users, neighbors who hate aircraft noise and a host of other entities that do not like skydiving in their backyard. Could this money have been used in a more positive manner by adding to the Airport Access and Defense Fund? I'm sure Mile-Hi [Skydiving Center in Longmont, Colorado] could have used a few of those dollars in their battle [against a local neighborhood group that sued to restrict its access to the airport].
Our competition teams are always begging for funds to compete at international and domestic competitions. Would this money not be better used for the competitors by adding to the team fund?
Is this why there was an increase in membership dues?
I think a skydiving museum and hall of fame is a fun idea. However, it should be up to the individual members to decide whether to donate or not. If USPA wants to email the members and publish stories asking for donations in Parachutist, I think that is a more appropriate use of our influence as a national organization.
In my almost 30 years of membership, this is the biggest misuse of our funds that I can remember.
Rich Grimm | D-18890