I wanted to share with everyone, a very thoughtful post made by Blake Freeman of the Kansas City Yo-Yo Club. Thanks for the kind words Blake!
I have been saying for about two years now “Without Duncan YoYos, there would be no KC YoYo Club”. Some people new to the club might wonder why I give Duncan such great credit and if it is deserved. Now I will take the opportunity and explain myself.
In my post ‘So You Want a (hobby) Club?’ I referenced the club forming after meeting up with Seth and Nate on the 80th Anniversary Tour. This was the catalyst for the club to be formed and without it things like the weekly meets and the state contest would never have happened. However, this is not the beginning and end of the story.
One of the assumed perks of being part of the worlds largest and most recognizable YoYo manufacturer is touring. Lots of non yoyo companies do this to promote their product, but I think Duncan does it best. Duncan doesn’t just send out yoyoers that show off for a couple of hours in the afternoon, hawk some plastic and bail. They send out individuals that generally care about helping the communities they are in by helping brand new players and veterans in any way they can. From hands on advice about throwing a better sleeper, to the intricacies of running a YoYo contest, the Duncan Crew has it covered. Over the length of these tours they yoyo for literally hundreds of hours. Do they ever get sick of helping a 5 year old out with a forward pass? Probably. Do they show it or let it affect their composure? Not that I’ve seen.
Whenever a Duncan tour comes to town, they immediately assimilate into the local community. No pretense of being a world class yoyoer among the less talented masses can be found. Just yoyoers helping yoyoers. Every time a Duncan Crew visit happens, we gain at least a few new faces in the club. Just for that we love Duncan.
It doesn’t end there!
In addition to helping me form the KC YoYo Club, in 09, the Crew came back in a different form in ’10. Takeshi, Jack, Drew and Hank really delivered for the club on this tour. On their first day in town, I met up with them at their first stop. It was a nonstop 6 hours of demonstrations and workshops. What did they want to do after? Well it was a Wednesday, so where’s the YoYo Club meet?
That’s right, after 6 hours of yoyoing with strangers, they couldn’t wait to get back to yoyoing with more strangers! To this day I still think this was our greatest and most influential club meet. Since then skill levels have risen and kids have come out of their shells. More than that, we experienced an explosion in club membership. Every time Duncan comes to town we gain new yoyoers!
I was able to spend the majority of the week hanging out with these guys, any question I had about yoyoing in general from tricks to contest sponsorship, they answered without hesitation. Duncan and their Crew has been ultimately the most influential force in the organization of our club.
Following that visit, I’ve been in close contact with the guys at Duncan. We even managed to get Hank Freeman (now 2x National Champion and WORLD Champion, congrats Hank!) to judge the contest, and Takeshi to film and make an amazing video. (See Below)
In these days where it seems like corporations in many markets try to take a ‘hands off’ approach to their customers, Duncan YoYos is doing the exact opposite. They’re following the model that they have stood by since the days of wooden axles, sweater vests and playground demonstrations. For that I personally am thankful.
How can we pay them back for all they have done? Support them when they come to your town. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate their efforts! If you see them at a contest, let them know how they’ve helped your community. These guys are truly humble and friendly people that love to help others out.
Me? Well… I did name my dog Duncan.