By Don Moore
National Vice President, Midwest Area
Where would FMCA be today without volunteers? Fortunately we do not have to answer that question, because FMCA has long been blessed with many wonderful volunteers who share their time and talents in various ways throughout the association. I want to thank each volunteer and hope you will join me. We don’t say “Thank you” enough. It’s a simple phrase, an expression of gratitude, and an acknowledgement of a favor or kindness.
Volunteers at area rallies and at FMCA’s international motorhome extravaganzas (formerly called conventions) work early and late hours in all kinds of outdoor conditions — cold, heat, dust, rain, and sometimes snow. These volunteers pay the same fee to attend the event as everyone else does; so, in one sense, they pay to volunteer. So, say “thanks” to a volunteer.
Since FMCA is a member-owned organization, we rely upon members to serve. If you haven’t experienced the fun and camaraderie of being a volunteer, I highly recommend that you give it a try. As you do, you’ll meet new friends and renew old friendships as time goes by. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that volunteers do eat together, too, sharing potlucks, cookouts, and meals at restaurants.
If you have skills that you would like to use when volunteering for FMCA, please let your area vice president know where your interests lie. Perhaps you have a background or experience in security, law enforcement, management, insurance, legislative and governmental affairs, teaching, electrical work, carpentry, mechanics, computers, writing, arts and crafts, caring for children, or another skill. Volunteers with all types of backgrounds are very important to FMCA chapters and to area associations, and, needless to say, they are welcome at area rallies and at FMCA’s international motorhome extravaganzas. So, say “thanks” to a volunteer.
The Midwest Area Cooperative (MAC) is the name we’ve given to the Midwest Area association. The MAC exists to put on the Midwest Area rally. The MAC was formed in 1996, the same year that several other FMCA areas also formed associations: the Southeast, Northwest, Western, Northeast, and South Central. The Eastern Area formed its own area association in 1999, the International Area in 2000, and the Rocky Mountain area in 2001. At this time, only the Great Lakes Area does not have an area association.
Each area association elects officers, and the national vice president of that area automatically serves as the association’s president. Some area associations elect a vice president for each region within that geographic area. The MAC has one vice president, a secretary, a treasurer, and an adviser. Each chapter in the Midwest Area is represented by a delegate and an alternate delegate. Committees are formed, and each chairman is responsible for selecting members for his or her committee. Everyone works together, volunteering their time to put on the area rally. The MAC volunteers work very hard each year to plan and run the Midwest Area rally. We could not hold the rally without them. So, say “thanks” to a volunteer.
I certainly don’t want to forget the staff at FMCA’s national office in Cincinnati who perform the day-to-day operations of the association, including the Chapter Services Department employees, who handle registration for the Midwest Area Rally and other area rallies upon request. We are very grateful for their support.
This year’s Midwest Area Rally will be held in Henry, Illinois, at the Marshall-Putnam County Fair Grounds. Rally dates are September 19, 20, and 21. Great entertainment is scheduled beginning Wednesday night, September 18, with the Wolfe Brothers. The lineup also includes the Sons of Tennessee on Thursday, New Odyssey on Friday, and Bernie and Red on Saturday.
Most of the MAC’s committees work year-round to prepare for the rally. We will hold a final planning meeting in June.
Many fun activities are planned for our rally; look for the registration form in the June, July, and August issues of Family Motor Coaching. We hope you plan to attend the Midwest Area Rally in September and then head from there to Hutchinson, Kansas, for FMCA’s 68th Premier International Motorhome Extravaganza, October 1, 2, and 3.
Plenty of FMCA members will be volunteering their time at both events. So, you should have no trouble finding one of them, and when you do, take the time to say “thanks.” I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.