Family & Friends
By Grace Gilliland, F153488
“Return To Rally On The Red,” the 37th annual Six-State Area Rally, was held at the State Fair of Louisiana in Shreveport September 29 through October 3, 2010. The fairgrounds was the site of the South Central Area’s first-ever gathering in 1974 when the event was billed as the “Four State Rally.” In 1996, following the official formation of the Six-State Rally Association (SRA), the new group held its first rally at the same locale.
Chris Giordano, president and general manager of the current fair board, was a teenager when his father, Sam, served as fair director at the time of SRA’s first rally. Besides Chris, several other fairgrounds workers who have been around since 1996 were very helpful in setting up the logistics for the 2010 event.
Representatives from the surrounding cities of Shreveport and Bossier City welcomed folks with open arms and even participated in the first night’s entertainment. The area casinos also played a large part in providing entertainment for attendees.
During the daytime hours, rally-goers could peruse the 96 vendor booths filled with items of interest and attend one or more of the numerous seminars presented. Many folks took advantage of the craft classes where they could make beautiful jewelry and other seasonal items. The display of quilts that were made by various chapter members was neat to see. The quilts were given to the local quilt guilds to share with agencies that distribute them to those in need.
Three breakfasts were served, and the food was exceptional. A “First-Timers” reception was enjoyed by those who had never been to a Six-State Rally. Finger food, cookies, and punch were served. We hope they had a good time and will come back next year. As always, the Red Hat Luncheon was a big hit with the ladies.
New for this year was a jam session called “The Louisiana Hay Ride.” The event was organized by the Frustrated Maestros-South Central chapter in hopes of bringing in more musicians to their group as members.
Another new item for the Six-State Rally was the Chapter Carnival, which was held in conjunction with the annual ice cream social. A pint of ice cream for each attendee has become a requirement, according to SRA president and South Central Area national vice president Fred Kennedy. The purpose of the Chapter Carnival was to attract new members for each of the chapters. Each of the participating chapters competed for prizes, drawing attendees to their booths with decorations, games, and dressing in costumes. The booth that had the longest line was manned by the Red River Rovers chapter, whose members served toppings for the ice cream.
The four nights of evening entertainment kept the attention of all who were there with comedy, music, and laughter. The final evening’s show, held on the rally’s designated Patriotic Day, ended with a salute to our military veterans and those currently serving our country.
There were a good number of FMCA national officers and committee members who seemed to enjoy the rally. Also appreciated were the works of the chaplain and music directors for the nondenominational services each morning. And each evening, two priests celebrated Catholic Mass.
Each year a 50-50 drawing is held, with the donations given to a charitable organization in the area. This year, the Shreveport Shriners Hospital for Children was chosen as the recipient. A total of $2,963 was collected through the 50-50 donations as well as money raised from a beverage cart. Some who won the 50-50 drawing donated their bounty back to the collection. This year the donation was given in memory of Ray Walker. Ray was a longtime SRA volunteer who was killed in a motorcycle accident while sight-seeing in Oregon following FMCA’s international convention last summer. Ray was a Shriner who supported all the work the Shriners hospitals do for children. He also was a highly decorated military veteran. He will be missed by his friends and the Six-State Rally Association.
The organizers and volunteers reported that many attendees commented that the “Return To Rally On The Red” rally was the best ever. Thanks goes out to all who were responsible for producing such an outstanding event.
Although the rally officially came to a close on Sunday following the morning worship service, many rally-goers postponed their departure to attend the annual Red River Revel taking place in downtown Shreveport. The extra night’s stay gave attendees a chance to see what was going on at the Revel and to do other things in town that they did not have time for while the rally was in progress. The fairgrounds’ staff and the many businesses in Shreveport and Bossier City went all out to help make this a great rally. It was a wonderful place to see history and the fun people who live and work in and around Shreveport and Bossier City.
Next year the 38th Six-State Rally will be held at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson. SRA looks forward to seeing the many members from the South Central Area, as well as those outside the area who have attended in the past. We encourage all of this year’s first-timers to become second-timers in Hutchinson. Here’s hoping we have the same great weather and fun times as we did in Shreveport!
Gold Diggers Celebrate Twenty Years
Family & Friends
By Dennis Ormerod, F289362
From September 23 through 26, 2010, the Gold Diggers chapter, which is based in the Sacramento, California, area, held its 20th anniversary rally at the Betabel RV Resort in San Juan Bautista, California. This was a special occasion and we were fortunate to have some special guests join us for the celebration. Leonard and June Davis are our chapter’s only honorary lifetime members, and we were pleased they could be there with us. Leonard is a past president of the Gold Diggers, and June is a past national secretary of FMCA.
In addition, George and Starr Saam helped us with our celebration. George is the Northern Area vice president for the Western Motor Home Association. He presented us with a certificate from FMCA acknowledging our 20th anniversary.
The chapter was chartered in September 1990 and has been very successful during the two decades since its origin. Throughout that time we’ve enjoyed the camaraderie, friendship, a common interest in motorhoming, and many good times. Motorhomes have changed significantly through the years, but the people who make up the Gold Diggers have remained our strongest asset. This chapter has been extremely fortunate to have had a consistent membership level, with inquiries about joining the chapter coming in on a regular basis.
The Gold Diggers hold seven rallies each year, one of them coinciding with the Western Area Rally in Indio, California, each January. The Gold Diggers volunteer at the rally as part of the Welcome Committee, and we also participate in the rally parade. Thus far, the chapter has won more parade trophies than any other group.
We sincerely hope that the Gold Diggers will have many more anniversaries and that a 40-year celebration is not beyond the realm of possibility.