By Jeff Jefcoat, F118344
Forty years ago this month, a small group of families banded together, as volunteers, to help each other in their common interest of owning and traveling in motorhomes, and their quest for mobile recreation. Thus was formed the Family Motor Coach Association. FMCA began as, and continues to be, a group deeply rooted in volunteerism. Through the years, many fine examples of volunteerism within FMCA have occurred, as one or more FMCA member volunteers acted to provide services for the association.
One major area of volunteerism within FMCA is members’ involvement in the production of two international conventions and 10 area rallies each year. Conventions require between 600 to 800 volunteers for various functions such as parking, security, safety, trams, information, seminars, will call, youth activities, communications, etc. These volunteers usually come from chapters. Many chapters take on the responsibility of providing volunteers for an entire activity, such as serving coffee and doughnuts at conventions and rallies. FMCA currently has more than 430 chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
Chapter officers, directors, newsletter editors, rally hosts, etc. are all volunteers.
One very special corps of volunteers is needed at FMCA’s international conventions to help with youth activities. This job is sometimes perceived as babysitting, but I believe that term is somewhat misleading. Sure, monitoring the activities of children is part of the job, but helping to carry out the planned programs for the different age groups and witnessing the fun and fellowship enjoyed by the children is indeed a very gratifying experience. Volunteers with the convention’s Youth Activities program come from all walks of life, but share an interest in our young people.
Some chapters are formed for special volunteer functions, such as the FMCA Chapter: Habitat For Humanity® and the Friends of Children chapters. Some chapters periodically take on special volunteer projects. For instance, the Happy (OK) Wanderers chapter has helped at two different state parks in Oklahoma by remodeling facilities to make them more user-friendly. In one case, they enclosed a pavilion so that groups could use it for events at Greenleaf State Park. During a chapter rally, the Carolina Cruisers chapter spruced up the yard and painted the home of an elderly handicapped woman. I’m sure many other examples could be cited.
I’d like to take this opportunity to encourage other FMCA individuals and chapters to become involved in worthwhile volunteer projects, whether you can spare only a few hours or are able to devote several months. If you do decide to take on a special project, feel free to share your story with the editorial staff at Family Motor Coaching magazine. Perhaps your act of service will spark ideas for others.
As an FMCA member you can get involved in association activities, as well as those that benefit your hometown. Most any part of the world offers its residents opportunities to volunteer to make this land, including recreation lands and campgrounds, a better place. Check with your local and state parks, national parks, and other sites to learn what you can do.
Another option for individual FMCA members and also chapters is to become involved in the recently revamped and reintroduced “Take Pride In America” program. The primary focus of this national campaign is to encourage citizens to dedicate time and service to help protect and restore services and facilities on public lands in their area.
The U.S. Department of the Interior coordinates volunteer efforts among the program’s major partners: the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Office of Surface Mining, U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals Management Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Forest Service, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. FMCA recently signed on as one of Take Pride in America’s more than 100 charter partners, which include major corporations, conservation groups, service organizations, and trade associations.
The Take Pride program works with state governors and other local partners to launch volunteer projects. These include helping to maintain and clean up natural areas, public areas, and historic sites and playgrounds, and beautifying public places. The initiative has a proven track record. Between 1986 and 1992, the Take Pride IFMCA.com – Administrationn America program was credited with generating more than 10 million hours of volunteer service to our public lands. Under the program, outstanding volunteer efforts are rewarded with U.S. presidential recognition.
To learn more about becoming involved in this program, visit the Take Pride Web site at www.takepride.gov and look for the “50 Ways You Can Participate” section, or write to Take Pride In America, 1849 C St. N.W., Room 3459, Washington, D.C. 20240; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone (202) 208-5848.
Thanks to the committees of 2002-2003
With the advice and consent of the Executive Board, the president appoints the members of FMCA’s committees each year, except for the members of the Nominating Committee. These volunteers help to conduct the business of FMCA, and they are assisted during their meetings and throughout the year by FMCA national office staff.
I would like to thank the following people who have served FMCA for the 2002-2003 year:
Constitution and Bylaws/Policy and Procedure Committee: Jim Phillips, F158824, Co-Chairman; Mary Elizabeth Preston, F51004, Co-Chairman; Phil Griffin, F128165; John Kelley, L6562; Ginger Painter, F23514.
Convention Committee: R.G. Wilson, F21025, Chairman; Bill Gowen, F93847; Charlie Painter, F23514; Corbett Pool, F140306; Tony Vincent, F161584.
Convention Subcommittee: Royce Bishop, F62577; Charlie Bonaventure, F87229; Don Ellis, F258861; Fred Kaminski, F34411; Garth McDonald, F151700; Charlie Schrenkel, F140050; Alva Stewart, L23883.
Education Committee: Jim Ammenheuser, F157201, Chairman; Herb Currie, F144858S; Gary Resnick, F146323.
Finance Committee: Connie Pool, F140306, Chairman; John Elliott, F197496; Jim Kern, F63208; Jim Thielke, F146902.
Governmental and Legislative Affairs Committee: Max Durbin, F76454, Chairman; Duane Pindell, F105443; Don Tallman, F1956; Tony Wiese, F178480.
Long-Range & Development Committee: Bill Gowen, F93847, Chairman; Tom Ainsley, F182814; Charles Powell, F191230; Gerine Reagen, F101008.
Member Recruitment Committee: Jeff Jefcoat, F118344, Chairman; Ginger Painter, F23514, Vice Chairman; Kitty Ammenheuser, F157201; Kathy Crawford, F11012; Leonard Davis, F158928; Joanne Durbin, F76454; Diana Gowen, F93847; Russ Lawler, F119890; Darlene Moore, F154921; Ann Phillips, F158824; Joan Pigg, F133119; Helen Skipper, F119793; Betty Vincent, F161584; Jeri Wilson, F21025.
Membership/Member Services Committee: Don Moore, F154921, Chairman; Jim deBord, F16686S; Roger Merrill, F11560; Jim Moir, F102582; Janet Stubbs, F107765.
Nominating Committee: Nelson K. Stubbs, F107765, Chairman; Royce Bishop, F62577; Frank Krystyniak, F102782; Eileen Miller, F121417; Charles Rock, F230266.
President’s Council: Royce Bishop, F62577, Chairman; Charlie Bonaventure, F87229; Gerry D’Amico, F126453; Dolly Lain, F50602.
Risk Management Committee: Richard Sherman, F130225, Chairman; Judy Allen, F193946; Leonard Davis, F158928; Robert Ellett, F5820.
Technical Advisory Committee: K. Stephen Busick, F45180; Bill Hendrix, F761S; Ray Hobbs, F10175; Donald Hoffman, L2494; Ralph Quayle, F123759; Ed Ruese, F28117; William Slavik, F79738; Brian Speer, F236388; Ken Wilson, L13812.
Youth Activities Committee: Corbett & Connie Pool, F140306, Chairmen; Barri & Rosemary Amor, F113404; Paul & Mary Dammers, F135857; John & Jerri Morrow, F64569.
The members of FMC’s Magazine Panel also deserve recognition. Panel members review published issues of FMC magazine and share their comments with the magazine staff. Panel members are Gerine Reagen, F101008, chairman; Steve & Gail Ault, F106024; Jim Belanger, F278840; John Elliott, F197496; John Harder, F279367; Robert Korb, F116983; Horton & Dolly Lain, F50602; Mike Middaugh, F3456; and Bob Sherwood, F234483.
FMCA is also extremely fortunate to have a very dedicated and loyal group of experienced professional employees who support the committees. Although the staff is not intended to replace volunteers in any of the above-mentioned activities, they do assist them as part of their everyday duties.
As I prepare to leave the office of FMCA president, I can truly say that I am very proud to count myself as one of the volunteer members of this great organization. I wish to thank each and every person who gives so freely of his or her time and talents.