By Jim Koenig, F406483, & Michael Bozeman, F392595
GLAMARAMA 2014, the second Great Lakes Area Motorcoach Association (GLAMA) area rally, was held in Goshen, Indiana, June 11-15, 2014. What made it so successful?
It had to be the drive for excellence and welcoming attitude of the many volunteers. Attendees first were greeted by a well-trained and very patient parking crew that, with the assistance of volunteers from the Fleetwood Motorhome Association, made the challenging task run smoothly.
Volunteerism wasn’t the only positive, so let’s also mention the excellent entertainment, the numerous events, the quantity and diversity of demo and display coaches, and the delicious meals available to attendees.
And, let’s not forget the collaboration involved in offering the rally to members of the Fleetwood group and members of FMCA. As a result of an unfortunate turn of events, the Fleetwood Motorhome Association ended up without a facility just before their rally. On very short notice, leaders of the Fleetwood group asked to combine their rally with GLAMARAMA, and a deal was struck. Credit must go to the two associations’ leaders and rally committees, who worked tirelessly to coordinate the needs of the Fleetwood Motorhome Association with that of the Great Lakes Area.
Evening entertainment during Wednesday’s opening ceremonies began with singer Sarah Getto. To rousing applause, she beautifully sang the national anthems of both Canada and the United States. Following the ceremonies, New Odyssey, sponsored by Fleetwood RV, provided an exceptional musical and comedy performance. Their presentation of the “William Tell Overture” (the theme music for “The Lone Ranger”) was a highlight, as was a Tina Turner-esque version of “Proud Mary.”
On Friday evening, Keith Longbotham and TJ Klay presented musical and comedy routines, with many audience members clapping to the bluegrass tunes and responding to the often-corny jokes.
On Saturday we were treated to the multitalented Redhead Express and the Walker Family. The four daughters, three sons, and mom and dad produce wonderful sounds and foot-stomping rhythms. Their interaction with the audience further enhanced the experience.
Finally, the multitalented Frustrated Maestros performed great music daily.
Charities were highlighted at the rally. One, Angel Wheels to Healing (formerly Angel Bus), provides free ground transportation to families who are traveling for medical care. The second, Church Community Services, supports numerous charitable organizations in the Goshen area. Also, Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, Indiana, received hundreds of dollars from the raffle of a handmade quilt donated by ladies in two GLAMA chapters. The Great Lakes Area chapter of Coaches for Christ also contributed to Riley Hospital and to Church Community Services.
Raffle tickets sold throughout the rally brought in $865 for Angel Wheels and $885 to Church Community Services. Also, nonperishable foods were collected during card bingo. Winners of the 50/50 raffles were quite pleased that the amounts ranged from $125 to $300.
Eleven different craft classes were offered at the rally, along with three days of children’s crafts. Volunteers did an exceptional job of keeping the children’s activities interesting and challenging. They also led two craft sessions focused on making dresses for girls in impoverished countries.
No major events took place Thursday evening so that chapters could meet and conduct chapter business if they wished. Chapters could reserve a shelter for socializing and eating. Following many of the chapter gatherings, game night was held. Don Ray Drive-A-Way generously donated funds for game night.
Two factory tours were offered and quickly filled up. Local buses were hired for transportation. Dometic opened the doors of its refrigerator plant so rally attendees could learn about its products and production processes. They also generously contributed products for the rally welcome bag. Jayco also welcomed tours at its production facility and arranged to provide a Spartan chassis, along with a spokesman, to explain their products. Local buses were hired to transport people to the tours. Because of the success of these tours, both facilities plan to offer them again during the 2015 rally. Planning to expand the number of participating manufacturers has begun.
Owners of two converted buses opened their units for others to view and discuss remodeling ideas. Also, vendor RV Roof Armor installed a rubber roof overlay during the course of two days. Attendees could observe the interesting process from start to finish and ask questions.
The abundance of new coaches on display or available for demonstration drives created lots of interest. Dealers brought at least 50, most of them from a Fleetwood RV dealer. Attendees could view many large and medium-sized Type A motorhomes, as well as several Type C and Type B units. Quite a few units were sold during the rally.
More than 90 vendors of RV merchandise in two buildings made sure that rally-goers could visit and spend Rally Bucks. Everything RV-related seemed to be available.
You have to experience GLAMARAMA for yourself. We will be returning to Goshen June 3-7, 2015. Remember, if you volunteer it will enhance your experience tenfold. Follow the GLAMARAMA 2015 progress at www.glamaramarally.blogspot.com.