Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
By the time you read this commentary, FMCA will have finished up what I refer to as the “snowbird” portion of the rally year.
Each winter, sizable FMCA area rallies take place in Indio, California, in January and in Brooksville, Florida, in February. And then FMCA typically holds its first International Convention of the year in either February or March; this year, we gathered in Perry, Georgia, March 19 through 22.
The Western Area hosts the Indio rally, and this year the theme was “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.” The Brooksville rally, hosted by the Southeast Area, had a theme this year of “A Sweetheart of a Rally.” These two rallies have parades and decorations relating to their themes and, like other area rallies during the year, really make attendees feel as though they are part of the celebration.
I hope you were among the 4,000 or so families who attended the “Georgia Jubilee” at the Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter in Perry last month. The convention seminars, entertainment, vendor booths, and motorhome exhibits all bring together a group of members who enjoy using their motorhomes and sharing time with others who do the same.
You may have noticed that we’ve been alternating the location of our winter/spring conventions between the Fairplex in Pomona, California, and the Perry, Georgia, facility. In February 2008, FMCA’s 79th International Convention will be held at Fairplex in Pomona. We do hope to be able to return to Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque for another winter/spring convention in the future.
Many rallies are still to come this year. FMCA’s biggest event this summer is, of course, the 78th International Convention at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond, Oregon, August 13 through 16. If you have never been to Oregon, I certainly encourage you to consider joining us in August to see and experience this beautiful part of the United States.
The next area rally that you should consider takes place April 19 through 22, and is hosted by the International Area. The INTO Area Rally will be held at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington, Delaware, and its theme this year is “INTO Intrigue 007.” It sounds like some fun and surprises are in store.
Shortly thereafter, the Eastern Area will spend May 3 through 6 “Chasin’ the Blues” at Agricenter International in Memphis, Tennessee. I encourage you to consider attending this event, too, as interesting activities and entertainment that reflect the theme and the local community will be offered.
The Great Lakes Area Rally, also called “G.L.A.S.S. (which stands for “Great Lakes Area Spring Spree”), is consistently held in the same location. A considerable number of FMCA members head to the Berrien County Youth Fair in Berrien Springs, Michigan, each year over Memorial Day weekend. This year their event runs from May 24 through 28, with a “Hawaiian Heaven” theme. Get out your tropical attire and join in the fun.
The Northeast Area is moving its rally location to the southern portion of its geographical boundary “” Augusta, New Jersey “” to host the “Let’s Celebrate” rally. This year’s event at the Sussex County Fairgrounds will, as previous rallies have, highlight the fine relationship that has been established between their Canadian and American FMCA chapters. The dates for this year’s Northeast Area Rally are July 11 through 14.
Following FMCA’s International Convention in Redmond, Oregon, in mid-August, three more area rallies that you might want to consider attending will take place.
September 12 through 16, a “Shine on Harvest Moon” theme will prevail at the Midwest Area Rally. The Delaware County Fairgrounds in Manchester, Iowa, will be the location for this get-together. The Midwest Area will be hosting FMCA’s 80th International Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, in July 2008, so you might want to take in their rally in Iowa this year, since next year they will be concentrating on the convention and will not be offering an area rally.
Later in September, the South Central Area will return to the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Missouri, where in 2001 they held a very successful rally. “Trail Head Rendezvous” will be the theme for this year’s gathering, which will take place September 25 through 28.
And while talking about past successes, the Rocky Mountain Area is returning to a site that in 2004 was favorable because of its central location and beautiful surroundings. This year the Rocky Mountain Ramble, as their rally is called, will be at the San Juan County Fairgrounds, McGee Park, in Farmington, New Mexico. The “San Juan Serenade” will take place October 3 through 6.
You can always find these and other FMCA events in the Association Calendar in Family Motor Coaching, specifically beginning on page 120 of this issue; or, look for the Event Calendar on www.fmca.com. I certainly encourage you to consider attending an area rally or convention this year. I have always found that FMCA members enjoy getting together at these events.
Don’t forget the chapter rallies, either. These are also listed in the Association Calendar.
And whether it’s a more intimate chapter rally, a larger area rally, or an FMCA convention, all of these events involve extensive planning and effort on the part of volunteers. In fact, if you have not already done so, please consider helping out at some point during the rally or convention you attend. Working on a common goal is a great way to find yourself surrounded by new friends.
FMCA’s new membership card
In April, we will start sending out a new FMCA membership card with the dues renewal notice. The notice will contain one card and will be sent as a self mailer for ease of returning The outside of the envelope will have a bold gold-colored box stating “Membership Card Enclosed,” so you won’t mistake it for something you would rather not spend time opening (such as “junk mail”). Once you’ve paid your dues, remove the card from the notice and place it in your wallet. The back of the card contains contact information for the FMCA National Office. Those members who have prepaid their dues for years in advance will receive a new card as well. We hope you like the new design of the FMCA membership card.
And now a final reminder
Next month will usher in a new look for Family Motor Coaching magazine. The magazine staff has spent a great deal of time working with this new look, and we feel that you will be pleased. Needless to say, we hope to not only have a fresher, newer look, but also to provide you with a more enjoyable, reader-friendly magazine.