By Charlie Adcock, F311374
FMCA National President
Hello, My Fellow FMCA Members:
A lot has happened in your president’s life since my last magazine article. I’ll see whether I can stay on track and tell you all about it.
For starters, after the Western Area Rally in Indio, California, in January, we traveled to Pomona, California, to do a site visit for our 91st Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase, scheduled for March 26-29, 2015, at Fairplex. What a beautiful facility! It has all the essential support that we need for a great, successful rally, and we are really looking forward to that gathering.
After leaving Pomona, we headed back east with an ultimate destination of the Southeast Area (SEA) Rally in Brooksville, Florida. On the way, we stopped at Bella Terra RV Resort in Foley, Alabama. Several of our FMCA family members own lots at this beautiful facility. Two couples, Tom and Lorna Eller, F189521, and Roland and Grace Talbot, F146053, hosted an all-hands reception for us. Believe it or not, they actually asked me to be the guest speaker. I think they signed up four new FMCA members that evening. It was a really nice event. Thank you, Tom and Lorna and Roland and Grace, for being great hosts.
Leaving Bella Terra, we continued on to Brooksville to attend the SEA Rally. The rally hosts were SEA president Jim and Betty Duncan, F253901, and assistant rally masters Carol and Russ Buck, F210181. They put on a wonderful rally in spite of the rain. The sun did shine for the parade on Saturday. There were nearly 600 family coaches in attendance, and many thanks go to Jim and Betty and Carol and Russ and all the volunteers it took to make this happen. In case you haven’t heard, Jim and his executive board are taking the SEA Rally to the Sarasota County Fairgrounds in Sarasota, Florida, next February. Nearly all activities will be in permanent facilities (no tents!), and we all are looking forward to a new and exciting venue.
Leaving the SEA Rally, I needed some rest and relaxation, so Gloria and I headed down to River Bend RV Resort in LaBelle, Florida. While there, we were introduced to pickleball. For those of you who don’t know, this is a racket sport incorporating elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis; it uses solid paddles and a perforated ball. Much to my amazement, I learned that pickleball is the hottest sport going for the 50-to-70-year-old age bracket. My cousin, Sandy Jones, and her husband, Danny, F336968, live at River Bend RV Resort. Danny has always been an avid golfer. However, he now plays golf one day a week and plays pickleball four days a week. If possible, and if enough interest is shown, I would like to look at bringing pickleball into FMCA. So, I need some feedback from all of you. If you are a pickleball player or fan or just have an interest, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions and ideas about how we might add this to our rally fun times (tournament, maybe?). It does require a hard-surface court that would need to be set up or borrowed.
Also while we were at River Bend, Chuck and Jean Hilgendorf, F303789, held a small reception (200-plus people) for us. And the next night Danny and Sandy Jones hosted another reception for us. So I, once again, had the opportunity to spread the good news of FMCA. River Bend is a really happening place. Among their amenities are a first-class race track for the radio-controlled Race Car Club and a really neat model railroad train track. I left there rested and feeling great.
Our next stop was at Kissimmee, Florida, to attend a Region 5 Roadtrek Rally. Our hosts were the Gottdiners (Dave and Janet, F180957), and the Weites (Jim and Betty, F259812). There were 112 rigs registered for the rally, and the Roadtrek International president, Sherry Targum, F412248, was also in attendance. I was amazed when I found out that their chapter is the third largest in FMCA. The Roadtrek chapter boasts 1,575 member families. They follow only the Freightliner Chassis Owners Club chapter and Monaco International chapter in number of members. Way to go, Roadtrek! What a wonderful rally. They do know how to eat and have fun. Thanks so much for sharing the fun with us.
While in Kissimmee, we discovered another chapter having a rally. It was the Country Coach Heartlanders, hosted by Joe and Bonnie Rossi, F350619. They had 10 coaches in attendance, and they were kind enough to allow me to speak to the group about FMCA. After leaving Kissimmee, we traveled over to Titusville, Florida, where FMCA national secretary Vicky Ferrari, F369332, and her husband John, live. Vicky arranged through The Great Outdoor’s Ambassadors chapter president, Joe Ferraro, F164513, and wife, Deborah, for a wine and cheese reception attended by 80 people, where I was allowed to speak. When given the opportunity, I like to report on how well we are doing in FMCA (membership-wise and financially). I like to talk about things I see that could help us recruit and enhance member benefits, e.g., FMCAssist, the Michelin Tire program, and the new FMCA RV Insurance program (see details in the Executive Director’s Commentary and in the ad on page 31), and the new FMCA RV Insurance program (see details in the Executive Director’s Commentary and in the ad on page 31). We have so many great benefits going for us, and we all need to share these with the RVing community at every opportunity.
While thinking back on our recent visits to chapters, I could not help but consider the variety of interests, chapter sizes, venues, and activities we saw. It just points out what I have said before: if you are not a member of a chapter, you need to be! You are missing out on a lot of fun. There is sure to be a group out there that fits your style and tastes. Go for it!
And now, I do have to include another personal note. A picture of national senior vice president Jon Walker and his wife, Sondra, with “Show Dog” appears in this column. Well, as you probably can guess, there is a story behind that. Show Dog, also known as Irish, is a miniature poodle and entered the dog show circuit long enough to win enough points to become a grand champion. His official name is Dreem Klasyk Peter the Rock. During our planning visit to the Georgia National Fairgrounds in October, C.B. and Kaye Edwards, F221778, and I tried to buy shares in Show Dog before he became famous, but Jon wanted too much per share to suit us. I think Jon is jealous of my show goat, Gucci.
By the time you are reading this article, the 89th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase, held in mid-March, will be over. I hope you were able to attend and take advantage of all the seminars, entertainment, vendor products, and other activities. And I hope I was able to shake your hand. Our greatest pleasure is to meet and greet our FMCA family. We’ll have another opportunity to do this before you know it. FMCA is set to travel to Redmond, Oregon, August 13-16, 2014, for our “High Desert Sunrise” event, FMCA’s 90th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase. Registration is in full swing at this time. Visit FMCA.com or call the national office at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622.
Remember, “It’s all about having fun!”