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By Laws

The Committee to Produce the Sean Patrick French
Memorial Run / Walk

Constitution and By Laws - Adopted 9/24/2002
Amended 9/14/2006
Amended 1/8/2009
Amended 7/11/2017


The purpose of the Committee to Produce the Sean Patrick French Memorial Run/Walk (the Committee) is to organize, promote, manage and implement an annual event, doing business as “Sean’s Run Weekend,” which includes the Sean Patrick French Memorial Run/Walk, Sean’s Ride and other activities, as well as other efforts throughout the year that support the mission of the Committee.

The mission of the Committee is to increase awareness about the problems and solutions of underage drinking and impaired driving and the lax use of seat belts by teens and to promote healthy lifestyles, through such things as running, bicycling and the other activities produced by the Committee during Sean’s Run Weekend and throughout the year

The goals of the Committee are to 1) engage community participation in the activities of Sean’s Run Weekend and 2) raise money to support two specific areas of interest:

  • Programs at schools and youth serving organizations to teach teens about the dangerous consequences of underage drinking, impaired driving and the failure to use seatbelts, and
  • Scholarships to deserving college-bound seniors.

The Sean Patrick French Memorial Run/Walk is an Event Member of the Road Runners Club Of America (RRCA), and all measures adopted by that body must be considered by this organization. The Committee is a Club member of the League of American Bicyclists.  The Committee raises moneys to support two funds established at the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization, which has headquarters in Sheffield, MA.

These funds are the:
a) Sean Patrick French Memorial Run Fund, used to award grants to schools and youth groups, and

b) Sean Patrick French Memorial Scholarship Fund, used to award scholarships.

The Committee and the Sean Patrick French Memorial Run/Walk were established in response to the tragic death of Sean Patrick French, the 17-year old Chatham High School junior, honor roll student, community volunteer and record-setting high school runner who lost his life on January 1, 2002 as a passenger in a drunk-driving car crash. Another passenger, 17-year old Ian Moore, sustained paralyzing injuries and is now a paraplegic. The driver was also 17-years old.

Car crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers; nearly one third of all teenage drivers who crash have been consuming alcohol.  Nearly 2/3 of all teens that perish in car crashes were not using seatbelts.

This data, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscores the importance of the Committee’s efforts in addressing this serious problem.

The annual Sean’s Run Weekend will include a 5K and One mile run / walk, known as Meghan’s Mile, that are open to runners, joggers and walkers of all ages and abilities, as well as various other activities during Sean’s Run Weekend such as exhibits, speakers, a tribute to victims and survivors, a seat belt buckling contest, distribution of educational materials and other athletic activities such as bicycle rides and a Zumbathon.

The Committee will promote their work through activities such as release of press alerts, articles and advertisements provided to the print and electronic media, maintaining a website, distributing flyers, participating in student assemblies, displaying banners and bill board advertisements.  Additionally the Committee will host activities such as Child Car Seat Safety Checks and Memorial Ceremonies to remember victims of drunk driving.

To raise funds, the Committee will develop sponsors, encourage contributions and charge participants an entry fee to participate in the 5K, Meghan’s Mile and the other athletic activities of the Weekend.  These revenues will cover the cost of the event.  

The grants awarded to schools and youth groups the can be used to fund programs to steer young people from underage drinking and impaired driving and to increase their use of seatbelts.  Examples of such programs are driver’s education programs, SADD, MADD, RID, Stop-DWI and DARE. As a result, the mission of the event will be further reinforced.

By conducting the event in late April, Sean’s Run Weekend will serve as a pre-prom reminder to high school students from throughout the region about safe choices and the dangers of drinking and driving.

The Committee shall be an all-volunteer organization and representative of the community and can include youth, parents, educators, youth service professionals, law enforcement representatives, elected officials, business leaders, faith community representatives and other interested individuals.

The Committee will be responsible for assisting the Officers with such things as event planning, promotion, advertising, sponsorship development, event implementation and event operation. 

An Honorary Board of Directors will be named by the Committee and can be called upon as needed to support the mission of the Committee.

The first Sean Patrick French Memorial Run/Walk was produced by the Committee with the assistance of the members of the CHS Class of 2003 (Sean and Ian’s class) on April 28, 2002. The inaugural Run/Walk attracted 1,208 entrants and raised $42,000.  Half the funds were contributed to the Sean Patrick French Memorial Scholarship Fund and the balance to the family of Ian Moore.

Constitution and By Laws
Adopted September 24, 2002
Amended September 14, 2006
Amended January 8, 2009
Amended 7/11/2017

Article I
The name of this organization shall be: The Committee to Produce the Sean Patrick French Memorial Run/Walk. 

Article II
Committee Membership
The Committee consists of three categories of membership: 1) Officers (Board of Directors), 2) Organizing Committee Members and 3) Honorary Board of Directors.

Article  III
Membership Categories Defined

Section I. Officers – The Board of Directors
The Officers of this organization are elected by the Committee and serve as the Board of Directors.  The Officers include the General Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, High School Student Liaison and Coordinator of Safety and EMS.  Their terms of office shall be for one year. 

Section II. Organizing Committee Members
Any member of the community, youth or adult, who is interested in actively supporting the purpose of the Committee and has been approved by the Officers, may join the Organizing Committee. 

Section III. Honorary Board of Directors
Individuals approved by the Officers, who represent a wide spectrum of the community such as business leaders, youth, elected officials, educators, youth service providers, faith community and law enforcement.  Honorary Directors will provide the Committee with guidance and assistance about the event and the organization’s focus and emphasis. 

Article IV
Duties of Committee Members

Section I.  Officers – the Officers are the governing authority for Sean’s Run Weekend and are responsible to ensure the successful management of the organization and to carry out all the objectives and purposes for which the event is organized.  This general mandate includes, but is not limited to, implementing policies, financial oversight, strategic planning, fundraising, legal oversight, elevating the event’s public image, and hiring of any independent contractors.  No officer may profit from their service to the Board or the Event and all Officers must sign a conflict of interest disclosure statement.

Section II.  Organizing Committee – members provide assistance with the design and development of the event and assist with the management and operation of Sean’s Run Weekend and all its associated activities.  It will be the duty of all Organizing Committee members to attend and participate in Committee meetings, assist/support at least one sub-committee, attend and participate in respective sub-committee meetings and complete various tasks related to producing Sean’s Run.  Committee members are expected to take an active role in preparing for and operating Sean’s Run Weekend.  Organizing Committee members will participate in the election of the Officers, the approval of the Annual Operating Budget, selection of a financial institution where the organization’s checking account will be maintained and the determination of how to distribute event revenue that exceeds event costs into the Sean Patrick French Memorial Run Fund and the Sean Patrick French Scholarship Fund.  Organizing Committee members will also participate in any votes to amend the By Laws.

The Officers shall approve all Organizing Committee memberships and the term of membership.  The Organizing Committee will be limited to forty (40) members including up to eight (8) who are middle or high school students.

Section III.  Honorary Board of Directors – these are honorary committee members available to provide the Committee with assistance and offer guidance as needed by the Committee.  They are invited to participate in all Committee meetings and vote on all matters brought before the Committee. 

The Officers shall select the Honorary Directors.  The Honorary Board of Directors shall be limited to ten (10) members, including at least one high school student.

Section III. Elections
The Officers shall be elected annually during the Annual Meeting of the Committee. Officers may not be a paid contractor, employee, or someone that benefits financially from service to the Event’s board of directors.  The Chair will appoint any Officer seat vacated during a term, with approval by the Committee within 60 days of resignation of the seat.  Appointed terms will end at the next Annual Meeting.

Article IV
Section I. The General Chair shall establish the dates, times and places for Committee meetings. There shall be at least 3 regular meetings throughout the year and one Annual Meeting of the Committee to be held within 6 weeks after the annual Sean’s Run Weekend.  At least one quarter of the Committee must be present to satisfy a quorum.  Periodically the Officers may poll the Committee by email to decide on a specific question that cannot wait for action until the next meeting.  The question will be reviewed at the following meeting and discussion heard if requested by Committee members.

Section II. The Chair may schedule additional Officers meetings throughout the year to ensure proper management of the Event.  Officers meetings may be held electronically and votes may be taken via email. Four (4) Officers must participate to satisfy a quorum.

Section II. Parliamentary procedure will be carried on at meetings, and every effort will be made to discuss any measures coming before the group.  A majority vote of the Committee present is necessary to pass ordinary measures.  No official meeting shall be held unless a quorum is present.

Article V
Duties of the Officers – the Board of Directors

Section I.  General Chair and Vice Chair
The General Chair is a voting member and shall chair all meetings of the Committee. The General Chair shall set meeting dates and times, determine the business to be acted upon by the Committee, put to vote all questions which arise during meetings, name the members who are to sit on all sub-committees and provide direction and support to all sub-committees. The General Chair has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the organization, except in areas where the organization requires membership approval. The General Chair is to represent the organization and its decisions. The General Chair will represent the organization with the RRCA and other entities associated with the production of Sean’s Run Weekend.  In the absence of the General Chair, the Vice Chair shall chair all meetings and fulfill the duties of the General Chair.

Section II.   Treasurer
The Treasurer shall maintain the Committee’s Checking Account established at a bank approved by the Committee and receive and deposit receipts, comprising of event entry fees and donations, and pay bills specified by the General Chair or Vice Chair for payment and keep record of each, and conduct other duties as requested by the General Chair.  The Treasurer will over see the preparation of an Annual Operating Budget for approval by the Committee, monitor income available to achieve the budgeted expenses, safeguard the organization’s assets, draft financial policies as needed for Officers’ approval, anticipate and report financial problems, ensure the Officers and Committee receive regular and accurate financial statements at each Committee meeting including a forecast of estimated deposits and disbursements until the following meeting, be sure  the Officers and Committee understand the information presented, and ensure federal, state, and local reporting takes place.

Section III.   Secretary
The Secretary or designee shall take notes of all Committee proceedings and make the notes available to all Officers and members of the Committee.  The Secretary shall receive all correspondence and forward all sponsorships, as well as bills designated by the General Chair or Vice Chair, to the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) in the format as prescribed by the Foundation.  The Secretary will receive correspondence from BTCF and maintain records of the Run Fund and the Scholarship Fund balances. Secretary will conduct other duties as requested by the General Chair.

Section IV.  High School Student Liaison
The High School Student Liaison shall be a Chatham High School (CHS) student who will be responsible for communication between the Committee and various high school student organizations for the purpose of keeping the student body aware of event planning and to elicit participation by CHS students. The Liaison will also communicate with and invite the student bodies of other high schools to encourage their participation in Sean’s Run and all its associated activities.

Section V.  Coordinator of Safety and EMS
The Coordinator of Safety and EMS shall be a person with sufficient experience and knowledge to plan and implement measures for the general safety and security of participants, spectators and volunteers during Sean’s Run Weekend.  The Coordinator of Safety and EMS will be the Sean’s Run media/news spokesperson for all emergency situations. 

Article VI
The General Chair has the authority to create committees, appointment members, and dissolve committees, as he/she deems appropriate to carry out the purpose of the Event.  The General Chair will define the duties and deliverables for all committees and outline the performance expectations for all members of a committee including the duty to keep the Officers and Committee members informed of the activities and progress of their committee. 

Article VII
Expenditures and Appropriations
Section I.  At the first meeting following the Annual Meeting the Committee shall approve an Annual Operating Budget for the following year.  All expenditures of moneys to pay bills and expenses related to the operation, promotion and production of Sean’s Run Weekend included within the Annual Operating Budget may be paid by the Treasurer, or submitted to BTCF by the Secretary.  Operating expenses that exceed the Annual Operating Budget must be ordered and approved by two officers. All other appropriations, including the distribution of revenues in excess of expenses, will be delivered to the Sean Patrick French Memorial Run Fund or to the Sean Patrick French Scholarship Fund.

Section II.  The Annual Operating Budget shall identify all revenue sources including event entry fees to support the budget. The Chair and/or any officer may enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the Event with approval of the majority of the Officers.  All checks, drafts or other orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness issued in the name of the Event are to be signed by authorized officers.  No Event funds may be deposited in the personal account of a member of the Board. The General Chair and the Treasurer determine that the balance of general funds exceeds the amount required for routine operating expenses. The excess funds may be contributed to the Sean Patrick French Memorial Run Fund and/or the Sean Patrick French Memorial Scholarship Funds as authorized by the Committee.

Article VIII
Event Participants
Participant registration will be conducted on an annual basis for the Event.  Anyone can register for the Event without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, physical condition, or age.  Individuals who wish to participate in the Event shall submit registration fees to the Event and sign a waiver of liability for participation in the Event.

Article IX
Tax Status and Dissolution

Section I.  No part of the net earnings of the Event may be used to the benefit of, or is distributable to, its members, officers, or other private persons; except that the Event may pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and may make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes of Sean’s Run Weekend. No substantial part of the Event’s activities can be the carrying on of propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation.  The Event may not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.

Section II.  Regardless of any other provision of these articles, the Event may not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on by a corporation (a) that is exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or (b) contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

Section III.  Upon dissolution of the Event, the funds in the treasury, after all creditors have been paid, shall go to the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation for deposit into the Sean Patrick French Memorial Run Fund, used to award grants to schools and youth groups, and the Sean Patrick French Memorial Scholarship Fund, used to award scholarships. 

Article X
Savings Clause
Failure of literal or complete compliance with provisions of the bylaws with respect to dates, times and notice, or the sending or receipt of the same, or errors in phraseology of notice of proposal, do not invalidate the actions or proceedings of the members at any meeting, as long as the members judge (by majority vote) that no substantial injury to the rights of members has occurred.

Section XI
One-fourth the total membership of the Committee shall be considered a quorum for Committee meetings and a total of four (4) Officers will be considered a quorum for an Officers meeting.

Section XI
Order of Business

  • Meeting called to order
  • Reading of minutes from previous meeting
  • Communication
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Secretary’s Report
  • Report of Subcommittees
  • Unfinished Business
  • New Business
  • Announcements
  • Adjournment

Article V
Section I.  Any amendments to these By-laws may be proposed at any time to be adopted by a majority vote of the Committee and an amendment becomes effective upon adoption, unless another date is specified as part of the amendment.

Section II.  The Officers may renumber, revise, codify and correct any provision in these bylaws, and in the rules, policies, procedures and regulations of the Event, to eliminate errors, to correct spelling and grammar, to provide consistent numbering and to bring about proper order and sequence, but in so doing it may not change the meaning of any provision.




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