Owners of Winnebago or Itasca brand motorhomes (or owners of other brands who are simply interested in the group) now can join fellow enthusiasts in a relatively new chapter in the Northwest Area of FMCA.
The Win It NW chapter gets together for social reasons and to share technical information about these particular brands of motorhomes. It was formed during the Northwest Area Rally this past June in Albany, Oregon.
Since that first meeting, chapter members have spent time enjoying each other’s company in a variety of ways. In July the group held its first rally, which was a big success. Seven Feathers RV Park in Canyonville, Oregon, was the location, and members had full hookups and good meeting facilities. Attendees gathered for a potluck the first evening, and the next day held their chapter meeting. This was followed by a hilarious “yard sale” (used item exchange).
Chapter president Beth Harrington, F354834, of Albany, noted that the chapter decided to hold six rallies each year, with an equal number of rallies in Oregon and Washington. However, “A number of our members go south for the winter, so we probably won’t have a rally until April or May,” she said. “We will continue to have luncheons for those who do not go south.” She hopes to hold the luncheons monthly this winter.
After the July meet, the chapter rallied in September in West Salem, Oregon, just prior to joining other motorhome owners at a local WIT (Winnebago Itasca Travelers) rally. (WIT is an owners group organized by the manufacturer.) Chapter members got to know one another even better as they had a potluck and played cards.
Since this is a chapter with a common interest in Winnebago or Itasca motorhomes, members exchange technical information that they all can use. “At the last rally were discussions on preparing your coach for winter, and flushing out coach water heaters,” Beth recalled. However, members also exchange info about more general topics such as coach cleaning. And, Beth noted, “We are thinking of setting time aside at a rally for those who would like to do crafts such as knitting, scrap-booking, etc.”
Sometimes FMCA chapters are formed after a member asks the national office to determine whether there is interest in such a group by sending out a mailing to other FMCA members. This chapter was formed after Northwest Area vice president Donzella Leahy, F234822, asked the FMCA Chapter Services Department to send out a letter to gauge interest in the idea. Beth said, “There was enough response from the folks who received the letter that we met at the FMCA [Northwest Area] rally in Albany.”
Beth and her husband, Harry, who is the chapter treasurer, are relatively new to FMCA, having joined in 2004. They currently own their first coach. Russ Pease, F343639, the chapter’s vice president and alternate national director, and his wife, Dorothy, also are on their first motorhome. But the chapter reflects a mix of new and longtime motorhomers. “Most people are not new coach owners, but like us, had joined FMCA but never joined a chapter,” Beth said. “Others are members of several chapters and liked the idea of being part of a new chapter.”
For 2007, not only will Win It NW folks hold rallies, but members are talking about volunteering at the FMCA international convention in Redmond, Oregon, August 13 through 16. This is an active group with a newsletter and plenty of room to grow.
Whether you own an Itasca or Winnebago motorhome or not, you’re invited to join in the fun. Chapter dues are $10 per year. For more information, contact Beth Harrington at (541) 812-1214, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information about chapters, contact FMCA’s
Chapter Services Department at (800) 543-3622.