Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000, Executive Director
When you travel, do you follow the weather to take in the beauty of the changing seasons? FMCA’s international convention locations also are chosen to take advantage of the climate in different parts of the country. This coming July 20-23 we are hoping to enjoy pleasant summer weather by traveling to Bowling Green, Ohio, and I encourage you to join us at this event.
Next spring, from March 22 through 25, 2010, we will head to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for FMCA’s 83rd International Convention at the state fairgrounds, EXPO New Mexico. FMCA hosted a convention at this facility in 2004, and we are returning because of the overwhelmingly positive responses we received from members about the location back then.
FMCA members attend conventions to shop; to enjoy the entertainment; to meet up with old friends; and, in some cases, to travel to new destinations. They visit FMCA area rallies for the same reasons. The people who plan area rallies also take the weather into consideration when they choose a site and make a schedule for their events. The sites and dates they select provide the opportunity for members to get together without traveling extensive distances (if they live in that area), and to enjoy the best that the region has to offer. Of course, there’s always the possibility of an outbreak of unseasonable weather. No amount of planning can prevent that.
FMCA’s 10 areas usually offer a rally each year, and I encourage you to consider attending one in your neck of the woods. Over the next several months, these 10 events have been planned by the areas:
Great Lakes Area Rally
May 21-24, 2009
Berrien Springs, Michigan
Eastern Area Rally
June 4-7, 2009
Northwest Area Rally
June 4-7, 2009
Midwest Area Rally
June 17-21, 2009
Albert Lea, Minnesota
Northeast Area Rally
August 12-15, 2009
Essex Junction, Vermont
South Central Area Rally
September 23-26, 2009
Rocky Mountain Area Rally
October 13-17, 2009
Farmington, New Mexico
Western Area Rally
January 6-10, 2010
INTO (International) Area Rally
January 20-24, 2010
Southeast Area Rally
February 3-7, 2010
I also would like to bring to your attention my favorite type of FMCA gatherings: chapter rallies. As I have said quite often, these are very similar to family reunions. They are a great time to kick back and enjoy each other’s friendship while visiting different parts of one’s local area. My wife, Sharon, and I try to attend chapter rallies in neighboring areas whenever our schedule permits. We normally check our kitchen calendar and then research chapter rallies by looking at the Association Calendar, printed in each issue of this magazine, or the Association Calendar online at FMCA.com (click on Chapters/Areas and then on Chapter Rallies).
Sharon and I find listings of chapter rallies taking place within a reasonable traveling distance from our home in Cincinnati, or en route to an event we will be attending. Then we call the chapter representative and ask whether we may visit his or her chapter’s rally and, if so, we find out how to register. We ask about events planned at the rally so we will be prepared to participate to the fullest extent.
In the 11 years that we have been attending chapter rallies, we have never been disappointed. We have visited many attractions in Ohio and the surrounding states that we probably would not have found on our own. Most of all, the wonderful people we have met at each rally have made these weekends a favorite time to remember and talk about with others.
My parting comment this month is to encourage you to take advantage of all the events that are offered to you as an FMCA member, whether large or small. I think you will be surprised by how much you will enjoy sharing time with individuals who have similar interests. And last, but not least, as you visit chapters and attend their rallies, consider making some lasting relationships by joining a chapter of your choice. You can join as many chapters as you like, but be forewarned: the fun of chapter membership is addictive.
For assistance in finding an FMCA chapter that meets in your area or focuses on a special interest you share, do a Chapter Search under Chapters/Areas on FMCA.com, or contact the FMCA Chapter Services Department at [email protected], (513) 474-3622, or (800) 543-3622.