To Our Door Prize Sponsors:
On behalf of the Astronomical League, we are deeply indebted to your club, or to you, for offering to sponsor a door prize at the ALCon ’21 Virtual Convention on August 19-21, 2021. Your loyalty to, and support of, the League is greatly appreciated and is invaluable to the success of this unique convention experience.
As co-chairs of this virtual event, we are writing today to answer questions that have arisen concerning the door prize process. Here is a FAQ about the door prizes and the event itself:
1. When is the virtual convention being held?
The event is scheduled for three days -- Thursday August 19 through Saturday, August 21, 2021. Sessions will begin at 3 pm EDT and 8 pm EDT each day. Each session will be approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes long with a break in the middle and will feature major speakers, presentation of one or more League awards for 2020 and 2021, virtual tours, and door prize drawings. Our NYAA winners will be invited to speak and we will offer a special Slooh presentation. We will hold a League business meeting on Saturday afternoon during which League plans and future conventions will be highlighted. We will also conclude the event with a live international star party on Saturday night.
2. How will people register?
People can now sign up on the ALCon ’21 Virtual Website at alconvirtual.org.
3. What is the registration fee for the event?
4. When can we see the schedule?
The schedule will be published on the convention Website as soon as all speaker slots are filled. We hope to have a tentative schedule complete by the end of May.
5. With whom should we communicate regarding the convention or the door prizes?
Terry Mann and Chuck Allen are co-chairing the convention and will be present during all sessions of the event. Please try to communicate with both of them when you send emails regarding door prizes. You can reach them at:
6. Why is the League seeking club sponsorship of door prizes?
Our convention hosts approach vendors for door prizes every year, limiting what the vendors can offer. By asking our clubs, or individual members, to sponsor just one door prize, however, we not only give our clubs and members an invested interest in our convention but we also improve the quality of the prizes that can be offered—something that we feel is necessary for the success of this virtual convention. This is particularly important since we are not planning to charge a registration fee for the event.
7. Is the door prize contribution tax deductible to individuals?
Absolutely. The League is a Section 501(c)(3) organization. The door prize or a cash donation for a door prize is a direct contribution to the League and will be announced as a League prize contributed to the League by you.
(a) If you purchase a door prize: We will provide you with (1) a letter acknowledging your contribution of the door prize to the League and (2) a League letter for you to use in transmitting the prize to the winner as our agent.
(b) If you donate cash for a door prize: We will provide you a letter acknowledging your cash contribution.
8. If we decide to sponsor a door prize, what do you need from us and when?
(a) an image of your club logo or of the individual donor
(b) the name and contact information of the person with whom we can arrange your door prize presentation during the convention
Needed as soon as possible:
(c) a photo of the door prize or a scan of the letter or gift certificate (Note: no photo or scan is needed if you contribute cash)
9. If we contribute cash for a door prize, to whom do we send it?
Send it to:
Treasurer, Astronomical League
190 Settlers Road
Fincastle, VA 24090
Check payable to: Astronomical League
Check memo line: ALCon '21 door prize donation
10. What will we be asked to do during the convention?
When your door prize presentation comes up during the live event, we will ask club representatives to make a 3-minute live presentation regarding their club with your door prize in hand. If you contributed cash, Terry or I will display the door prize. We will publicly select the winner from among convention registrants using a random number generator and announce the winner’s name.
11. What do we do with the door prize after the winner is announced?
If you purchased a door prize, we will provide you with the name and address of the winner and ask you to ship the door prize directly to that person along with a League letter that we will provide to you. This avoids an unnecessary second shipment of the door prize.
12. What is the door prize deadline?
We need you to have all door prizes arranged and purchased by July 31, 2021, If you purchase a door prize, the sooner you can us with a photo or scan, the better. We’ll be very busy in August.
13. If we cannot appear to present the prize, can you do the door prize presentation for us?
Sure! But do try to provide us with a 3-minute PowerPoint presentation about your club and the information requested in question 8, above.
14. How will the door prize winners be selected?
Door prizes will be selected from among convention registrants using a random number calculator app visible to the audience and will be limited to one door prize per registrant.
15. Will we be recognized as a door prize sponsor?
All sponsors, whether clubs or individuals, will be recognized in Reflector, in League social media, on the convention Website and in other ways following the convention.
16. Can we sponsor more than one door prize?
Of course, but we are asking for just one nice one. Quality is more important that quantity.
17. What kind of door prize would be appropriate?
We are looking for a quality door prize in the $150 to $200 range, or even higher if you want. You’ll be presenting it! Typical examples would be vendor gift certificates, eyepieces, binoculars, camera equipment, cases, tables, observers chairs, and book sets or atlases. Items like solar and narrow-band filters and dew heater equipment depend on the telescope owned by a particular winner, so, in those cases, you might want to opt for a gift certificate from a vendor supplying those items.
18. Who is eligible for door prizes?
To win, you must be registered for the event on the convention Website. The League’s national officers are not eligible.
19. When we register for the convention, what contact information is required?
We will ask for your at email address. If you win a door prize, we will contact you by email, ask for your mailing address. and provide that mailing address to the door prize sponsor so the prize can be sent to you. Other than that, your contact information will not be distributed to anyone else.
20. How do we transmit the door prize to the winner?
You can transmit by USPS, FedEx, or UPS….your choice. We do ask that you insure the package and offer tracking.
21. Will a convention pin be offered in commemoration of the League’s 75th anniversary?
Yes. These will be a pin available on the League Sales Website for $7 including shipping.
Hopefully, we have answered all of your questions. If not, please contact us!
Again, thank you for your loyalty to the League over these many years and for your willingness to help make this virtual convention, hopefully the last virtual meeting we will need, a successful one.
Stay safe and clear skies!
Terry Mann and Chuck Allen
Co-Chairs, ALCon ’21 Virtual