1.12.2

Membership

The Club’s membership includes teachers, doctors, clergymen, business people, military personnel, civil service employees, students, and retired people. They share a common interest in woodworking and want to share their knowledge and enjoyment of woodworking with others. The woodworking experience of Club members goes from little or none to those who make and sell their projects to others.

An open membership meeting to the public is held on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. An average of 45 members and guests attend the meetings and many of them participate in a show and tell of their projects. At most meetings there is a program conducted by factory representatives, Club members, or other invited guests.

The Club is especially proud of its woodworking shop, its magazine and video library, and its monthly newsletter. The shop is open from 8 a.m. to 12 noon Tuesday through Saturday and from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday for members to use. Sometimes the use of the shop is closed for personal use by members so that the Club can present a class or demonstration on woodturning, carving, veneering, joinery, sharpening, wood burning, cabinet making, or some other subject. Sometimes the shop is closed for personal use so that Club Members may use it to make toys for the Club’s Christmas Toy Project and annual bazaars. The library has complete issues of some magazines and book series, 100’s of individual issues of magazines, and videos on a wide range of woodworking subjects, projects, and techniques. The monthly newsletter Woodchips contains news and pictures of Club activities and members, articles on woodworking, shop tips, and more.

 

History

A short story: The Woodworkers Club of El Paso, Texas, INC.

How it all began:

In January 1985, a group of individuals interested in starting a woodworking club held a meeting and elected officers, approved a Constitution and Bylaws, and declared that the Club would be a nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of Texas. Also, the group approved publication of a monthly newsletter with the name of WOODCHIPS, approved a logo (patch), and approved dues at $10 per year with a one-time initiation fee of $10. A review of old rosters reveals that 37 individuals joined the Club at this organizational meeting as Charter Members.

Why should the club be incorporated? Why non-profit?

 The charter members felt very strongly that the Club should be a nonprofit organization. They did not want the bookkeeping and associated problems they feared would arise if they were a profit organization. Further, they felt that as a nonprofit organization, they would receive more support from individuals, businesses, and other nonprofit organizations because donations to the club would be tax deductible.

 It took from 1985 until 1989 for the Club to obtain approval as an incorporated organization in the State. Unfortunately, being incorporated brought other headaches, namely an annual franchise tax imposed by the State and numerous reports. This also made obtaining a nonprofit status even more urgent—nonprofit organizations approved by the IRS would be exempt from the State’s franchise tax and most of the reports related to being incorporated.  In 1990, the IRS approved the Club as a nonprofit organization under IRS Code 501(c)(3). This enabled the Club

to obtain an exemption from the State’s franchise tax and exempted the Club from federal income tax unless there was an annual income in excess of $25,000. It has now been increased to $50,000

 Where is the club now?

 The Club’s membership usually peaks at about 150 members at the year’s end and then falls to about 100 members at the beginning of the next year as a result of members not renewing their membership. The initiation fee is still only $10 per year; however, over the years the dues have gone from $10 per year to $60 per year. Spouses are invited to join the Club for only $12 per year.

The Club has resided at 3228 Sacramento Ave for over 18 years and during this time, the Club has acquired a full array of woodworking tools and equipment and a library of books, magazines, and videos. The Club sponsors frequent demonstrations, workshops, and classes. The Club donates several hundred toys each year to Operation Santa Claus and other needy organization such as Crisis Centers.  Approximately 1500 are given out each year to various organizations.

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