Top-grade rallies are hallmarks of this chapter, which is renowned for its charitable giving.
By Peggy Jordan, Associate Editor
Owners of all brands and types of motorhomes are welcomed into the Country Coach Friends Incorporated chapter. And owners of all kinds of RVs are invited to attend their rallies as guests.
Though not inexpensive, the rallies typically include four or five nights of camping with hookups; two nights of live, professional entertainment; catered food; organized tours; and seminars. Plus, they offer the opportunity to have on-site service work done. As for the latter, “So many RVs have things in common. It doesn’t matter what brand they have; people need repairs,” said Jerry O Connor, past chapter president and vice president of events and promotions.
Regarding the nature of the rallies, he noted, “We try to keep the quality like what Country Coach did,” referring to the catered affairs manufacturer Country Coach Inc. once offered owners of its motorhomes. When the CCFI chapter was started in 2011, “Everybody wanted catered meals and tablecloths — quality events,” Jerry said.
Two are planned each year. The annual Friendship Rally is always held in Oregon, where Country Coach made its RVs, each August. It will be at the Mill Casino RV Park in North Bend this year. The spring rally locations vary; past sites have included Tucson, Arizona; Breaux Bridge, Louisiana; and Port Aransas, Texas.
In the midst of rally activities, chapter members don’t forget to give. More than $128,000 has been donated by CCFI members since the chapter was formed. Jerry said the chapter’s goal was to raise $12,000 at its April 2018 rally in Kerrville, Texas. “It’s all going to the dogs,” he explained, referring to Veterans Assistance Dogs of Texas. The group picks, trains, and places service dogs with veterans at no cost to them.
The chapter also donates to Junction City Local Aid, a charity serving the needy who live in the Junction City, Oregon, area, where all Country Coach motorhomes were originally built.
Members come to every rally with a charity auction item. Over the years, these have included impressive choices. “Somebody who has a place in Colorado auctioned off a week in his place, with drinks and dinners,” Jerry said.
The whole business of setting up these rallies is truly “a labor of love” for Jerry. “We are living a blessed life and we didn’t think from the beginning to not give something back,” he said.
For more information about the CCFI chapter, visit www.countrycoachfriendsincorporated.com or contact chapter president John Malabicky: (951) 675-6252, email [email protected]. Or, contact Jerry O Connor: (775) 742-4627, [email protected].
For general information about FMCA chapters, contact the Chapter Services Department at (513) 474-3622 or (800) 543-3622; [email protected].
If you would like your chapter to be featured in Chapter Spotlight, contact FMC associate editor Peggy Jordan, (800) 543-3622, ext. 212; [email protected].