By R.G. Wilson, F21025
FMCA’s “Albuquerque Adventure” convention, which took place March 16, 17, and 18 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was all that we had hoped for and more.
It was a beautiful sight to see the Balloon Fiesta Park full of FMCA family motorhomes. Members of our Executive Board, advance crew, handicapped members, and approximately 1,000 new exhibitor coaches filled the EXPO New Mexico Fairgrounds.
God blessed us with chamber of commerce weather the entire time we were there, which permitted members to participate in and enjoy all the activities. The sun shone every day, and we had high temperatures ranging from the upper 60s to low 70s.
A new event that our members enjoyed was the Chapter Fair. More than 100 FMCA chapters set up displays to enlist new members into their group. It was very rewarding to see so many members visiting with each other and having a good time.
On the first night, evening entertainment featured John Davidson, who was outstanding. He adapted his program to interact with our audience, and they loved him. So many people told me his performance was the best they have ever seen at an FMCA convention. The following night, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers entertained us, and the evening concluded with a spectacular fireworks display at Balloon Fiesta Park.
The final night, after activities had ended at EXPO New Mexico, we all gathered at Balloon Fiesta Park. Approximately 150 of our volunteers served a delicious chuck-wagon barbecue meal to more than 5,000 FMCA members in less than 45 minutes. We were entertained by the Mariachi Tenampa, followed by Syd Masters & the Swing Riders on the outdoor stage. The highlight of the evening was a balloon glow involving more than a dozen colorful balloons. We officers and volunteers were a little nervous in undertaking such a monumental task, but we feel it was very successful, and members were very appreciative and complimentary.
I want to thank national senior vice president Don Moore, F154921, chairman of the Convention Committee; the members of his committee; all the volunteers; and all the convention’s commercial member sponsors for a very successful and enjoyable convention. From all reports I have received, our family members say it was one of the best FMCA conventions. Also, almost all reports from our commercial exhibitors have indicated that they were very pleased and satisfied with their sales figures.
I have always been amazed at the volunteer spirit and leadership within the ranks of our membership. Since our election last July, Don Moore and I have concentrated our efforts on reorganizing the member staff who typically work at conventions. To cut costs, we have reduced stipends and travel allowances for many of them. Although some have resigned because of the financial restraints and increased travel costs, others have stepped forward to fill the positions within the new structure, and they did a superb job in Albuquerque.
We have so many talented leaders in FMCA that we do not have places to use all who want to serve. Service and leadership bring rewards, satisfaction, and pride. We see this not only on the national level but also in our 460 chapters, where so many members volunteer for important leadership positions. Thanks to all of you who serve your organization so faithfully.
I also want to thank Jerry Yeatts, director of the Convention Department, and his staff, for their support and direction in planning and organizing our conventions. We can succeed and accomplish anything we desire with the talented leaders, volunteers, and staff we have in our association.
Hope to see you in Redmond, Oregon, August 16, 17, 18, and 19 for another great convention and our annual Governing Board meeting.
Notice Of Annual Membership Meeting
The Family Motor Coach Association’s annual membership meeting will be held during FMCA’s 72nd International Convention at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo in Redmond, Oregon, on August 19, 2004.
Wow! What A Convention!