2016 is winding down and as we look back on the year, we have been able to accomplish things we said we wanted. Last November, we made the conscious decision to close down our Contract Timing Division and create two YellowJacket Racing entities: The Events Division and Events Partner Division. In doing this, it allowed us to focus on our events, create new events and work with key partner events. You can view the history of YellowJacket Racing here, including this restructuring.
In addition, we decided to absorb the online processing fees by no longer having participants pay them, which year to date has saved upwards of $50,000 for registrants. We have been able to increase our direct donations to local charities to over $20,000 in cash and in-kind donations.
With the launching of the Event Partner Division, these events have been able to offer easy race day online registration and kiosk results tables, along with improved race day production protocols for the event directors.
In 2016, we launched Cupid's Cup 5K and The Battle at Bristol Mountain, plus we increased cash prizes towards the Four Season Challenge offering over $17,000. In addition, to adding Age Group Awards, the full marathon as an option earn the Four Season Challenge medal and Finisher Mark on the back of the shirt. In 2016, we were able to bring individualized finish line video to the majority of events results, plus Kim & Barb still worked the camera shutter by having free pictures at all YellowJacket Racing owned events.
There are a few more events to go for 2016 including the 45th Anniversary celebration of Webster Turkey Trot, the oldest race in Rochester. We are working on the 2017 calendar as I write. There will indeed be some new additions to your event menu, thus stay tuned. We have also added caps to larger events, so indeed look out for those so you don't get locked out of your favorite race. We will continue to offer no online processing fees, plus free race photos and of course the Kids Run Wild series will continue to bring smiles to families and the children, with free 1/4 mile events and affordable 1/2 and 1 Mile races so we can continue to groom future runners. One of our favorite additions to 2017 registration is the ability for you to earn a rebate for some of the larger events simply by referring a friend under our Referral Program. We are excited to be able to offer this to help you save while being able to participate with your friends and family.
We cannot close this address without a heartfelt thank you to all our volunteers who braved elements, woke up early, stayed up late, fed you food, gave you water and cheered you on. Many thanks to the hardworking YellowJacket Racing staff who work tirelessly to deliver the best events possible. To our many partners and especially Fleet Feet Sports who hosts our packet pickups, manages drop bag services, answers questions and simply serves each person in the community towards being a healthier person. Lastly, thank you to the many participants who joined us in 2016. We hope to see you out there in 2017 earning those medals, high fives, PRs or better yet, just becoming a fitter you!
Regards, Boots & Ellen