By Jerry Yeatts, F390000
During the past year, I have been inspired by the many suggestions, comments, and activities of the FMCA membership. I have received letters and e-mails from former classmates I never imagined would be traveling via motorhome. I have had telephone calls from some of you who have received marketing materials from our valued commercial members. Generally, the callers want to thank FMCA for promoting a great benefit, and sometimes members have suggestions for other benefits they’d like to see FMCA offer. Regardless, I have witnessed the unparalleled passion that exists for this association.
The month of July is full of celebrations for many FMCA members. We begin this month-long party with Canada Day on July 1, marking Canada’s birth as a country. Akin to the Fourth of July festivities in the United States, July 1 sees Canadians donning their red-and-white attire and whooping it up with fireworks and fun-filled activities. The celebration is nationwide, but, as I understand it, Ottawa will show you a particularly good time.
July 4, 2013, commemorates the 237th birthday of the United States. Packed with parades, picnics, and pyrotechnics, this holiday brings together families, neighborhoods, communities, and the country to celebrate the freedoms that we continue to enjoy from sea to shining sea.
We can’t forget FMCA’s own historic milestones. July is a significant month for FMCA. Family Motor Coaching magazine editor Robbin Gould wrote about some of the history of this great association in an article that is posted on FMCA’s Web site (click on “Join FMCA”; “About FMCA”; and “The History of FMCA” ). The article noted, “On July 4, 1994, 79 FMCA members traveled to Hinckley, Maine, for the dedication of a monument that had been built to commemorate the founding of FMCA. Appropriately, the monument is situated on the grounds of the Good Will-Hinckley School, the birthplace of FMCA.
“The monument is constructed of India black granite. The goose egg portion measures 6 feet long, 4 1/2 feet high, and 20 inches thick and weighs 3 tons. The base is 7 feet 6 inches long, 1 foot high, and 20 inches thick. The inscription tells the story of that fateful meeting in July 1963 that resulted in the birth of the Family Motor Coach Association.
“Dick Parece, who participated in this commemoration, noted in a September 1994 article in FMC, ‘Everyone (in attendance) was in agreement that this was the greatest day in FMCA history.’”
On July 20, FMCA officially celebrates 50 years of enhancing the motorhome lifestyle for hundreds of thousands of motorhome owners. During the past few months in this column, I have recognized the efforts of some of this association’s pioneers. They had a common vision and a sense of adventure that still resonates among motorhoming families today.
So, where do we go from here? Is July the end of the celebration? Absolutely not! Although this is a special commemorative issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine to correspond with the recognition of FMCA’s founding in 1963, more celebrations will occur throughout the balance of the year and beyond. FMCA has a great and storied history that will continue as areas and chapters alike celebrate their own milestones.
I encourage you to share your special celebrations and memories with us. We would like to consider publishing some of your celebration stories in a future issue of the magazine. Please let us know the ways in which you have celebrated FMCA’s 50th anniversary. Each person who enters will receive a special prize, with one entry being randomly selected to receive either the seventh edition of FMCA’s North American Road Atlas and Travel Guide or a copy of the FMCA Family Cookbook, a special 50th anniversary keepsake. Entries should be sent via e-mail to email@example.com, or mailed to Anniversary Celebrations, c/o Family Motor Coach Association, 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244. Entries must be received by September 1, 2013, in order to be eligible for the random drawing.
Dick Parece and the group of 79 members who were present in Hinckley, Maine, on July 4, 1994, for the dedication of the FMCA monument were justifiably proud to recognize that as a great day in FMCA’s history. As we commemorate 50 years of fun, friendships, and a love of adventure with Family Motor Coach Association, I believe we will experience many more days that we enthusiastically look upon as the greatest day in FMCA history!
Happy birthday, FMCA!
These words make me smile each time I overhear Margaret Keen, a 37-year veteran of FMCA’s membership team, welcome back motorhome owners who are renewing their memberships. It is evident to me that we’ve got something pretty special going on here, with a staff truly committed to you, the FMCA member. More often than not, employees today remain in a job for a couple of years, looking for the golden nugget. FMCA is fortunate to have a number of dedicated employees with tenures of 10 years or more.
Some members have asked what I consider to be the best FMCA benefit. The magazine? The tire buying program? The mail forwarding service?
Campground discounts? All of these are outstanding benefits and certainly more than justify the annual dues. However, the number one benefit FMCA has to offer is the people. It’s you, the members, and it’s the outstanding staff that keeps the association running day after day. It’s your chapter, area, and national officers, who voluntarily travel thousands of miles each year to visit members and to learn how the association may work better for you. It’s the folks working for the many commercial member companies that continue to support FMCA. And, as alluded to earlier, it’s Margaret Keen, FMCA’s longest-tenured employee, who really is committed to you.
I would love to hear Margaret say “welcome back” many, many more times as we begin to write the next chapter of FMCA’s history. We need you to help us in this endeavor by speaking with your friends about the special relationships you have developed through your association with FMCA. As our association grows, so does the opportunity to expand educational programs and other benefits that truly will enhance your motorhome experience.
Learn more about FMCA’s history, benefits, events, chapters, forums, and much more by visiting FMCA.com. Each header on the Web site will lead you to information of value to the veteran RVer and to the novice interested in learning more about purchasing the right motorhome for his or her needs or about how to get more out of the lifestyle.
Dues Renewals Arrive With Magazine
Just a reminder that FMCA dues renewal statements and membership cards now are being sent to members along with their copy of Family Motor Coaching magazine. The dues renewal notice will be inside the plastic wrapper that encases the magazine, much like traditional magazine publishers do for your subscription renewal notification. New member cards are being sent this way as well now. This process is intended to improve efficiency and also to save FMCA money, especially for postage expenses. The exception would be those of you who have chosen not to have your magazine sent to your mail forwarding address. In that case, renewal notices will be delivered to you solo.