Goldwing Road Riders Association / Region A
Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge
The Alabama District News
Greetings fellow riders, well it looks like 2017 is upon us. We hope you had a great 2016 and, like us, are looking forward to a great 2017. We would like for you to carry one thought into 2017. I will promise to participate more in 2017! Participate in what you may ask. We are talking about more than just chapter events. There are always events going on throughout the District including District events. Please make yourself a pledge to participate more this year in all these events. The more you participate the more fun you have! If you remember back that was one of your primary reasons for joining this great organization in the first place.
The first event in February is the Chapter N Chili Cook Off scheduled for Feb 11th at the Palisades Park in Oneonta, Al. This is an annual event that is very well attended and we hope all of you are making plans to attend.
On January 14 we held our annual Officers Conference at the Gardendale Civic Center. The event was very well attended and we had a great day. We welcomed two new CD’s to our group, Harvey and Constance Allen for Chapter A in Mobile and Sid and Virginia Little for Chapter F in Montgomery. A very special thanks to both of them for stepping up to keep their chapters moving forward. We were also please to award Senior Chapter Director Status to Roy and Anita Fosnight, Chapter B, Roy and Diane Beall, Chapter J, Bruce and Eileen Williamson, Chapter U and Robert and Gail Brown, Chapter Y. Robert and Gail Brown stepped down as Assistant District Directors North but are staying on as Vendor Coordinators. Assuming their duties is Ron Landers, Senior Chapter Director from Chapter D in Anniston. A special welcome and thanks to Ron for taking on this new assignment, we know he will do well.
Please remember that the Region A rally season is just around the corner (Florida District Rally in March). Please make plans to attend as many of these events as possible. We always have a great time at all the rallies around Region A.
Lastly, please remember all of our men and women in uniform and their families as well as all of our first responders and their families. They are the ones out there protecting us each and every day. Thanks for all you do and we look forward to seeing all of you out on the road.
Monthly Chapter Director's Contribution
Carl & Jan Breeding, AL Chapter H
How Chapter H acquired a “Dollar General”
It started out to be a “participation” function, strictly voluntary. Something to create anticipation to come to the chapter gathering. We would collect 25 cents from everyone on a ride or event, annotating their name and function on a ticket. A ticket from the quarter jar was pulled at the chapter gathering. The winner won all the money in the jar.
Over the years it has been called the “quarter bag” and other sundry descriptions. Mostly the participation in this little act has created a comradery among members. The collection of said quarter, was done by one person. When they tired of it, another person quickly took up the charge. In time, it was decided to raise the quarter to 50 cents per person. Made it easier to collect, as you did not need so many loose quarters. A couple could drop in a dollar bill.
Presentation of the “Quarter Bag” at the gathering is always filled with anticipation, as we see the amounts collected each month. Months where we have planned many activities means there is a bigger bounty to be won. A good example was Wing Ding 38 in Billings, Montana. The couples that went for 3 weeks could put in $21.00. There were 4 couples, so you see for the month of September that little quarter bag contained a nice bonus.
Now let’s discuss the future plans for this collection. With the advent of changes to the Rider Education program and the institution of charging for all riding classes and Medic First Aid. Our little quarter bag is again going through some changes. We discussed this in our chapter and decided to collect $1.00 per person at each event and ride. Then at the chapter gathering, the winner would receive one half of the bounty, with the other half going into a fund to help defray the Rider Education costs of each chapter member. We expect in the beginning to only cover some of the costs, but in time we should be able to cover all the costs. With this change, the person collecting the monies will be called the “Dollar General”. That is how Chapter H gained a “Dollar General.”
Being asked to join the District Team (whether I was their first consideration or just the one who would accept is not known and irrelevant) was something I had not given much thought to or was I enthusiastic about volunteering for a position as a District Team member. My ambition and intent was to eventually step aside as Chapter Director and become a JAM (just another member) of the Chapter. After considerable thought, I concluded I would accept the position.
With this said I must say that filling the shoes of Robert and Gail Brown is an accomplishment which cannot be achieved as they have served the District well as Assistant District Directors, District Directors and again Assistant District Directors. When you add the years up, that’s a long time. I wish them well in the continuance as Region Medic/First Aid and as our Region Couple of the Year not to mention they are also Chapter “Y” Directors and will continue as District Vendor Coordinators. In my opinion each one of these positions has the potential to be a full-time commitment. It’s understandable why they desired to step down as Assistant District Directors! There are only so many hours in a day.
We started our New Year with Chapters meeting in Guntersville on a wet, foggy 1st of January for a gathering at Wintzell’s Oyster Bar and believe about 80 participants were in attendance. It was great to see so many, again this is thanks to Robert and Gail as they made the arrangements. If you weren’t in attendance, I believe you missed out on a great time, some good door prizes and of course the 50/25/25 which was a nice sum.
Unfortunately, due to mother nature the passing of the District Scrapbook had to be delayed until the 28th, so the outcome of this is yet to be determined. The primary objective of this is the camaraderie and the added incentive to have your Chapter Charter fees paid by the District for next year. Of course, again the primary goal is to get Chapters visiting each other.
Our next event was our Officer Conference in Gardendale where all our Chapter Teams met for the annual Financial reports submission and welcoming of new officers and to say thanks to those stepping down for a job well done. Everything said and done, some good information was presented. Now it’s up to us as Chapter Director’s to implement the information provided.
I hope you will not forget the upcoming District Rally in May and have started preparing your Couple of the Year baskets. Before we get to the District Rally, don’t forget we have our Annual Motorists Awareness day coming up at the Welcome Centers. PLEASE DON’T wait until the month prior to the event to begin planning/preparing for these as they do require some effort. We have the Florida Rally in March for those who may have an interest. As with our Chapters, without participation the rallies will eventually become a thing of the past.
In closing I’m looking forward to visiting Chapters as I have always have enjoyed. I ask each of y0u to know regardless of your position within the Chapter I am always available to assist with any questions/concerns you may have or assist in any other way I can. Please don’t hesitate to call, email or text me, it’s easier to fix something before it is broken than to wait and attempt to figure out what kind of glue you need to fix it!
Hoping to see you down the road,
Keep the rubber to the ground, the sunny side up and Always ENJOY the Ride!!
SAADD GREETINGS to all!
Well Happy New Year to all of you and I hope 2017 will be your best year ever! We have had a great 2016 with so many great activities and opportunities to make memories and I know many of you took advantage of much of it! I hope you will make every effort to be active with your local chapters and do all you can to create a very positive, fun atmosphere for every-one.
Our Officers Conference was awesome and for all those that attended, you know it was another wonderful experience. We had great representation from almost all of the chapters and we learned a lot. Frank and Linda Teasley have done a great job of making sure we have the resources necessary to do what we need to do so all will continue to have fun. Be sure to thank them and your local CD’s and staff for all the good work they do for you. I hope you make sure they know you appreciate it. Also remember to keep Pat & Darnell Lapera, ACD’s for Chapter U and their family in your thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery from the accident they were involved in on their way home from the conference. We all will appreciate it so much! Also remember Diane Gulley and her family in the loss of her husband of 54 years, Mr. Bill Gulley. Bill was the Alabama District Director for several years in the early 2000’s and he will be sorely missed by many.
How long has it been since you visited the GWRRA.org website or your local chapter website? There is a world of information on each of these sites just waiting for you to check out. It may surprise you what you will learn and I know you will find plenty of information there about all kinds of stuff going on and probably much that you didn’t even know about. You can spend a lot of time perusing the sites and I know you will enjoy it. If you don’t know where they are or how to get there, ask your CD or most anyone in your chapter and I know they will help you get there. ENJOY!!!
REMEMBER!!! The Alabama District Rally for 2017 will be in Mobile AL, May 18 – 20 at the Ashbury Hotel & Suites. The theme for 2017 is SITCOM MANIA! Make your plans now to attend and be prepared to have a great time! It will be a GREAT EVENT IF YOU help and participate!!! Put your thinking caps on and get your Talent Show Crews together and grace us with your entries in the talent show contest with your best sitcom endeavor! It will be FUN for all and we know you will make more wonderful memories!!! Remember to get your registrations in ASAP and if you want to have the Thursday evening meal with us, there is a $7.50 per person charge this year as the costs have skyrocketed so we have no choice but to charge for this great meal. Look for the slot on the registration forms for this and make sure you include your payment when you register. More info to follow as it becomes available!
Remember that GWRRA is a wonderful association and we want all “good folks” to be part of our great family. Share your calendars and your experiences and feel free to call me or Kathy anytime if we can assist in some way with you. Use those beautiful Gold Wing motorcycles and others to enrich your life and strengthen your GW family ties and relationships and make more memories of a lifetime! You deserve it! We look forward to many more miles of riding pleasure with all of you and please, stay safe out there. That’s the only way we can continue to make it fun.
I had an incident this week that convinces me that we need everyone possible trained in First Aid/CPR and in operating the vehicle they are riding on if possible. You do not need to undergo my experience to understand my view, I will explain.
On 18 January I was in my home, quietly going around my business when I had what I realized was a stroke. Jan called 911, and I went to the Emergency Room by ambulance. The doctors confirmed I had experienced a minor stroke, in fact I experienced another while at the hospital. The conclusion reached by my doctors and I was that the blood thinners my cardiologist had changed me to a couple of months ago, is inadequate for my body’s needs.
What does this have to do with my opening statement? Well I feel that my and Jan’s participation in the MFA/CPR program enabled us to quickly realize what was happening. What about the other part? Well, one of our chapter members was astute enough to make a comment a few months ago: “You know, on the rides we have extra seats, but we don’t have any extra riders.” We started teaching some of the spouses how to operate trikes, after they got licenses, enough so they can be safe on the highway. Once they achieve basic competence we encourage them to complete a full TRC. It is not that we are trying to force them to have their own bike, just that we would like them to be safe if their primary rider has a medical emergency. We feel the need for those “extra riders”, especially as we get older and our health deteriorates.
Unfortunately, the training planned for Chapter D has had to be rescheduled, it is now planned for 25 February. Those that were planning to be there in January should have gotten the word, so there should not be any confusion, nor folks traveling needlessly.
Well here we are in January going into February and it looks like it is going to be a wet one for next couple of weeks. I hope it is not a sign of things to come for the summer.
Folks we did a good job of recruiting this past year, but we failed on getting them involved in chapters. We need to really work on retention and getting new members interested in chapter life. It doesn’t do any good to recruit if they drop out after the first year is up.
At the Officers Conference the 14th there were some good Ideas brought up for both recruiting and retention I hope some of you will use those and add your own ideas as well.
Now is the time to be putting your COY Baskets together to be raffled off at our Rally in May. This really helps our District and now our Region and our next to be National COYS.
The Theme for the Rally in Mobile May 18th, 19th, 20th, is TV Sitcoms so there are great opportunities for costumes and skits. Put something together and have fun. Key word is fun.