Hi all – Hope you’re into lots of summer driving and chapter events. Judging by your newsletters and chat rooms your chapter has either hosted a car show or planning on doing so shortly. We have lots to report on, so here goes.
MG 2011 / GT 36 held last June 13 – 16 at Reno was a blast. This was the fourth all MG event and we must say that most everything flowed rather nicely. A terrific location and the NAMGAR affiliated Reno British Car Club did a great job of hosting. There was time to do MG things, time to see Reno and its surrounds and time play those penny slots! .
As a kick off prior to MG 2011 NAMGAR’s Chairman Bruce Woodson helped organize the Rallye To Reno which provided a venue for MG owners all along Route 50 to either drive onto Reno or to join in for a day or two. A lot of MG friendships were established and for many MG owners it was their MG trip of a lifetime.
NAMGAR specific events at MG 2011 / GT 36 featured the Z Magnette Group’s (ZMG) Breakfast, NAMGAR’s Board Meeting, First Timer’s Reception, Register Night and a Lake Tahoe Tour and lunch. This year as a prelude to the Wrap-up Banquet all registers held a register specific Preliminary Awards Ceremony. In our humble opinion a brilliant idea, as that cuts down on a multi hours long grand awards ceremony that has plagued the previous all MG events. Also, kudos to new NAMGAR Vice Chairman Carol Shamonsky for jumping into the “fire” feet first and acting like she’s been doing it for years.
Congratulations to the Columbia Gorge MGA Club for winning the initial NAMGAR GT Chapter Attendance Award. It was our pleasure to present the award to club president Keith Ansell and the many club members present at the Awards Ceremony. What chapter will win this award at next year’s GT in Dayton, OH? Start talking it up with your chapter now.
6th Annual Chapter & Interest Group Contacts Meeting – The meeting was held on Wednesday, June 15 from 3 – 5 PM in the El Dorado’s Board Room. There were contacts from 21 chapters and 2 interest groups as well as the NAMGAR Board in attendance. Here’s the highlights:
A. Status of Chapters and Interest Groups
1. There are currently 53 chapters and 7 interest groups affiliated with NAMGAR representing 28 states, 2 provence’s and 1 country. In the last year 2 new chapters have become affiliated: Rhody MG Car Club & Florida Suncoast MG Car Club.
2. Web sites: 50 chapters and 2 interest groups have web sites.
3. Intra chapter / interest group communications: 24 chapters use snail mail, 16 chapters use Email or their web site, 8 chapters have no newsletter but use Email for event notification and 5 chapters use British Marque News as their primary means of communicating. 4 interest groups use 1 on 1 phone calls, 2 interest groups use Email chat rooms and 1 interest group uses a newsletter via Email.
4. Chapter membership ranges: under 100 members – 21 chapters, 100 to 250 members – 23 chapters, 250 – 350 members – 7 chapters and over 350 members – 2 chapters
B. Renkenberger Spirit Award: 4 chapters have requested this award in the last 12 months with a total of 9 awards since the awards inception in Nov 2008. It’s free for chapters and interest groups so take advantage of it! A copy of the guidelines are attached.
C. NAMGAR Web Site – Peter & Anne Tilbury, Web Site coordinators report that less than 50% of NAMGAR members have activated their profile. Please ask your chapter’s or interest group’s NAMGAR members to activate their profiles if they have not.
D. Chapter / Interest Group Contacts / NAMGAR Board Discussion Points
1. Young Members: In order to attract young members some chapters provide free memberships to anyone under 25 years old. The cost is minimal but the potential for acquiring and keeping younger members has paid off.
2. Free newsletters – Some chapters have taken the route of making their Email / web site newsletters available to the general public rather than having them password protected. The thinking here is that the newsletter is used as a marketing tool for attracting new members.
3. Tech School Donations – Some chapters every couple of years purchase a “fixer upper” MGB and then donate the car to a local Tech School. The chapters’ members then also donate their time in aiding in the restoration. It’s a mentoring process that is good for both the students and the members. Once the car is restored, it is then sold or raffled off with the proceeds going back to the school.
4. Chapter Newsletter Costs – A number of chapters have a double dues schedule. Any member that still wants the newsletter sent to them via snail mail when the chapter has gone to electronic means is charged an extra $5 or $10 per year.
5. Local Cruise-in Nights – Yes they’re usually for hot rods and lead sleds but a number of chapters report that it’s a great venue to strike up conversations with people not familiar with MGs, especially younger people. Toss in a demo ride and presto a new member. Don’t forget to take along some of your club’s membership applications as well as some NAMGAR membership applications that you receive yearly from NAMGAR Registrar John Drake
6. General Public – The feeling amongst many chapters is that both NAMGAR and local chapters don’t do enough to bring a human touch to our events. It was suggested that on the local level chapters need to get the word out about events through media sources such as print or TV. What’s wrong with offering up a rallye or “other than British” category at your car show to the general public. On a NAMGAR level, the GT should be PR’d to the general public so the goal is to try to get as many of the general public to the car show as possible. Exposure is how you get interest, and interest is how you get new members.
7. Business Cards – Some chapters have a business card printed up and given out to their members for placement on MGs when they see one parked and don’t recognize it as a club member’s car. The card carries the club’s logo, name and contact person’s phone # and the club’s web site. They are carried in club members’ wallets so that they are always handy.
8. Insurance Information For Chapters
A. Event Insurance: All NAMGAR affiliated chapters receive complimentary event insurance. Thus, your chapter is automatically covered when hosting chapter sanctioned shows. Should the show site owner require an “addition insured” certificate, which is available at no additional cost, contact Bruce Woodson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that competitive moving events such as funkhanas, hill climbs, etc. may not be covered without special permits.
B. Directors & Officers Insurance: All chapters are encouraged to maintain a Directors 7 Officers Insurance policy. This policy will protect said officers from unforeseen issues that could arise. This IS NOT included in the complimentary event policy. The cost is approximately $$150 for a one year policy. Please have your Chapter President contact NAMGAR Chairman Bruce Woodson at email@example.com for more information regarding this important coverage.
NAMGAR Interest Group MG Vintage Racers (MGVR) – 30th Anniversary will be celebrated September 3 – 5 at Lime Rock, CT. Go to www.limerock.com for details.
NAMGAR Regionals – Two great venues for getting together this fall. Make plans now to attend with members of your club or interest group.
A. NAMGAR at Solomans Island, MD – September 28 – October 2 hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Go to www.mga-midatlantic.org for details or see the flyer in MGA!.
B. MG Fall Festival 2011 at Sonoma County, CA – September 29 – October 2, 2011 hosted by San Francisco Bay Area MG Owners Club Chapter. Go to www.MGFallFestival.com for more information or see the flyer in MGA!.
C. 2012 Regionals – How about your chapter stepping forth to host a regional in 2012. Contact NAMGAR Vice Chairman Carol Shamonsky @ firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how your club can host a NAMGAR Regional.
GT 37 “The Wright Place To Be” – Dayton, OH – July 9 – 13, 2012 – Hosted by the Southwestern Ohio Center MG Club. GT 37 Coordinators Dave & Lois Gribler gave a great presenation with regard of what to expect at next year’s GT. Needless to say, we’re going. Are you? Now’s the time to take up the challenge of getting your chapter ready to participate and win the NAMGAR Chapter GT Attendance Award. Get GT 37 on your Club’s 2012 calendar.
Have an enjoyable remainder of the 2011 driving season. May you all get on your special MG road and may all your drives be sunny.
Lee & Liz Niner – NAMGAR Chapter & Interest Group Coordinators