By Harry Montgomery, F336413
The 25th Rocky Mountain Ramble “” “Black Tie & Blue Jeans” “” took place October 15 through 18, 2008, and was a rousing success. Although economic uncertainties and high fuel prices caused organizers early on to wonder about attendance, more than 450 motorhomes flocked to McGee Park on the San Juan County Fairgrounds in Farmington, New Mexico, for the fun-filled event.
This year for the first time, all of the chapters within FMCA’s Rocky Mountain Area were invited to hold pre-rallies at the fairgrounds. Members of chapters that took advantage of the opportunity had a great time; some of the groups used the various rooms and facilities available for chapter meetings and gatherings.
Volunteers who arrived early to prepare for the Ramble started their mornings with coffee, doughnuts, and breakfast snacks. Once the Ramble got under way, attendees began their mornings with breakfast on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and were entertained by the Frustrated Maestros Rocky Mountain Rockers chapter. The Rockers also performed for the volunteer dinner on Tuesday evening, the Chapter Fiesta on Wednesday, and the Ice Cream Social on Friday.
The Rocky Mountain Ramble got off to a great start on Wednesday, October 15, with our “First Timer” meeting, which was attended by 265 new Ramble attendees. When asked whether this was their first FMCA function of any kind, the vast majority replied “yes.” Each of the first-timers was given a little notebook and asked to meet and greet other attendees and then have them sign their book. The first-timer who gathered the most signatures would then receive an award.
Also on Wednesday morning, the Rocky Mountain Motorcoach Association (RMMA) held its annual Board of Directors meeting. This must have been a record-short meeting, because it lasted only 35 minutes. During the meeting, members of the RMMA Executive Board presented their annual reports, and elections were held for several positions. Elected to second terms were Carol Christensen, secretary; Virginia Hamilton, Region 2 vice president; and Harry Montgomery, Region 3 vice president.
On Wednesday afternoon, we held our annual Chapter Fiesta, which was a resounding success. We had our opening ceremonies at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, followed by a performance by Barnaby, a great comedian, juggler, and all around entertainer. He kept the audience in stitches all evening.
Activities continued on Thursday with the annual Rocky Mountain Ramble golf tournament. We had 64 players, and a good time was had by all. Bill Marti, our golf captain, really put on a great event. Later in the day the Red Hat Tea was held, followed by our first annual Street Rod Car Show in the midway. What a neat bunch of vehicles. That evening we had our Sock Hop, which was geared toward our “Black Tie & Blue Jeans” theme. It was amazing to see the number of attendees who showed up aptly attired. We even had an appearance by Elvis, thanks to one of our many attendees who joined in the fun and dressed the part for the evening’s activities.
Friday began with breakfast, followed by a bean bag toss tournament. After lunch, folks made their way to the midway for the Ice Cream Social. In the evening we enjoyed musical entertainment provided by Tapestry, a 10-piece show band from Albuquerque. What a sound.
Saturday’s breakfast was followed by a bean bag baseball tournament. It seemed that most of the rally attendees were either playing or rooting on their favorite teams. Not to be outdone, a great game of card bingo took place later in the afternoon. The winner of the big pot took home $168. In the evening, an optional dinner was followed by our second annual Chapter Talent Night. All of the chapters participating did a great job, and the audience enjoyed each of the acts. Winning the talent show was the Cuatro Estados chapter, followed by the Rocky Mountain chapter in second place, and the ANASAZI chapter in third. Other awards presented that night included the first-timer prize for the attendee with the most notebook signatures, which ended with a pair of winners: Charlene Darling and Paulette Tolman. The award for the best chapter newsletter was presented to the Arizona chapter, whose newsletter is edited by Martha Gardner. The Tucson Drifters (Tom Roubal, editor) received second place, and Cuatro Estados (Ray Boucher, editor) was awarded third place for their newsletter. Congratulations to all of the winners.
All in all, it was a great Rocky Mountain Ramble. Don’t miss next year’s event, the “Harvest Ho’Down,” which will be held October 13 through 17, 2009, again at the San Juan County Fairgrounds. There will more activities to enjoy and some repeat events, such as the Street Rod Car Show and our third annual Chapter Talent Night. We hope to see you there.
Cruisin’ Cajuns Donate Funds To Children’s Hospital
By Mary Jane Hebert, F205207, and Sis Segura, F200122
During the Cruisin’ Cajuns chapter’s 2008 Crawfish Rally this past April, members decided to raffle a beautiful Red Hat porcelain doll, donated by Liz Vial, to help raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center in the United States that will provide all treatment not covered by insurance, regardless of a family’s ability to pay.
Ticket sales for the raffle were handled by Carol and Belle Fontenot and Shirley Fischer. We were not expecting to make a lot of money from the raffle, which was won by Larry and Sharon Schexnaydre, because we were selling four tickets for $1. However, when the proceeds were totaled, we found that we had raised $793.
Following the raffle, another member donated $207 to bring the total to an even $1,000, which far exceeded our goal. At that point, Bobby Woodson doubled the total, making it $2,000. Then Doug Fischer challenged other members by donating $100. Within 20 minutes we had a grand total of $7,000! We were elated with the figure. An announcement was made at our May rally about the contributions, which resulted in additional donations, bringing the final amount to $8,200!
Chapter president Fen Fontenot and his wife, Betty, and Ray and Lou Baudoin traveled to Memphis to deliver the donation in person. It is times like these that make you really appreciate your chapter and its membership for their generosity. No matter how hard times are, they are always willing to go that extra mile for a good cause.
The members of the Cruisin’ Cajuns chapter were happy to take part in this endeavor and we hope to continue doing this as an annual fund-raising event.