Monday, October 22, 2012

President's Message

Greetings Dogwooders,

Fall weather is upon us and the year is rapidly drawing to a close.  Before we can call the year finished, we have two important things that we must take care of.  First, the current 2011 – 2012 term for Dogwood officers is drawing to a close and we must elect new officers.  Dogwood's standing rules suggest that elections should be conducted early enough to allow for an orderly transition from the old slate to the new slate.  Standing rules also suggest that electronic balloting is the preferred Dogwood method for electing new officers.  By handling our elections electronically, we are providing the opportunity for all of our members to participate in the selection of new officers and also avoid some of the issues we’ve had in the past of having a quorum present for fall elections.  Accordingly, you should expect to find a ballot in your email inbox during the coming week.  There will be a deadline for returning your ballot so please watch your email.

For those that missed GEAR, Pennsylvania is beautiful in the fall.  Dogwood was represented by seven members this year.  The consensus is that a good time was had by all.

Our last event of the year is only a little over a month away.  Dogwood's Christmas rally is always a special fun filled event.  All of the information that you’ll need for participation is elsewhere in this issue of eNews.  We would like for this rally to be a huge success so please make a special effort attend.  Carolyn and I look forward to seeing all of you in Williamsburg.

Christmas Rally

The Christmas Rally will be held November 30 - December 2 at the KOA in Williamsburg VA.  Your hosts for the weekend are Fairleigh & Cil Schoolar, Bobby & Barbara Dyke, and Jim & Susan Buelow.

Campground Reservations:  Make your reservations directly with the KOA campground at 1-800-562-1733.  Tell them you are with the Dogwood Chapter FMCA (contact person is  Fairleigh Schoolar).  A block of sites are reserved for us in the Colonial Section.  50 amp full hookup sites are $36 per night and 30 amp full hookup sites are $31 per night.  

Directions:  Take exit 234 (Lightfoot) off I-64.  Turn northeast on 646 (left from I-64E and right from I-64W).  Follow 646 for 2 miles to the KOA - 
Colonial Campground on the right.  The registration office is on right.  Note that there are 2 KOA camping areas on 646; we are in the Colonial section. 

Rally fees for the weekend are $20 per person to cover dinners for Friday and Saturday and breakfasts for Saturday and Sunday.  Bring your own beverages, plates, and utensils.  Please register with Cil Schoolar by November 16.  


Friday evening:  Happy hour followed by dinner.  Fried chicken provided by hosts.  Bring a dish to share.
Saturday morning:  Breakfast provided by hosts followed by a business meeting.
Saturday evening:  Happy hour - bring an appetizer to share.  Beef tenderloin dinner provided by hosts.  Chinese gift swap. 
Sunday morning:  Breakfast provided by hosts.

Chinese Gift Swap: This event has become a Dogwood tradition. Each coach is to bring a wrapped gift with a value of $25. Each coach will draw a number from the hat. #1 selects a gift and opens it. #2 can either take #1's gift or an unopened gift. #3 can take #1 or #2's gift or an unopened gift and so on. There is lots of laughter as gifts are "stolen".  

What you need to bring:
  • Friday evening - A dish (appetizer, side dish, or dessert) to share.  Please email as to what you will be bringing so the hosts can ensure there is a variety.
  • Saturday evening - An appetizer to share.
  • Saturday evening - Gift for Chinese gift swap.
Attendees (as of November 10):  Reid, Warthan, Duff, Eastwood, Hall, Dyke, Sohles, Greenwood, Alexander, Jones, Buelow, Schoolar, Cockrell, Terry & Judy Davis, Bonewitz, Gilbert, Johnston, Tilman, Foore, Greenfield, Moore, Gruel, Hicks, Fisher, Allen, Dibble, Zobel


Dogwood Christmas Rally at KOA in Williamsburg VA 

November 30 - December 2, 2012

Names:  ____________________________________________

__________________Number of people at $20 each

__________________Amount enclosed

Mail check payable to Cil Schoolar, 1976 Essex Mill Road, Dunnsville VA 22454

Urbanna Oyster Festival

Dogwood will have a rally November 1 - 4 at Ed Fisher's garage in conjunction with the Urbanna Oyster Festival. In the past the coaches have parked around his garage then members congregated inside for meals and socializing. Most arrive on Thursday and depart on Sunday. We will be dry camping (limited electricity available for some coaches), however, there is water, electricity and a bathroom inside the garage. This is an informal rally. Berkley collects monies for oysters for roasting and the attendees provide food to share at pot luck dinners and breakfasts.

Urbanna Oyster Festival will be held on Friday and Saturday (November 2 & 3). Click here to link to the festival's web site.

Space is limited, so if you are interested in attending or have any questions, contact Berkley Alexander 804.754.1308 or ( ).

Attendees (as of Oct. 15):  Alexander, Schoolar, Gruel, Reid, Greenfield, Buelow, Sohles(Sat only), Hicks

National Director Report

National Director Report by Ed Fisher

FMCA's national conventions continue to shrink in attendance, but there was a glimmer of hope in 2012 . This year, the number of attending Family coaches exceeded the budgeted number. I do not have the exact number, but in order of magnitude, the convention was budgeted for 1700 coaches, and attendance was near 2000.

There were 315 voting members in attendance, out of a possible 470.

Discussions of a financial nature centered around balancing operating costs with income. The industry did not recover as expected in 2011-2012. Thus, in Feb. 2012, the Executive Board charged the Executive Director with identifying 1.2 million dollars in possible cost savings. This was done by May 2012 with staff's help. It should be noted that membership has declined from 130,000 in 2003 to 83,000 in 2012, and magazine income has dropped in line with membership or more. The Executive Board approved a budget with a 61,000 dollar surplus, and that was increased to 107,000 dollars by vote of the Governing Board, by permanently eliminating the reimbursement to the Governing Board members of their convention registration fees. This compares to 1.5 million dollar plus deficits in previous years.

Staffing in Cincinnati has been reduced from 53 in 2009 to 37 in 2012. Executive Director Brad Koshland resigned in November 2011. Membership Services department head, Jerry Yeates was asked to be the acting Executive Director, in addition to his regular duties. He has since been appointed Executive Director at no increase in pay, and his original position has been eliminated.

The Summer 2013 Family Reunion has been scheduled for  Gillette Wyoming, and proposed future sites are Redmond Oregon in 2014, and Madison Wisconsin in 2015.

A change to member services was the deletion of the medical evacuation program as a free benefit, at a budget saving of 341,529 dollars. It will be offered as a group benefit, at an affordable cost, to those who desire to purchase it.

The 3  bylaw changes we discussed at the Rockahock rally went as desired by consensus of Dogwood. The change to allow board meetings electronically, and the one to allow a member to hold office in two chapters (except National Director) were approved, and the one to allow towables to be full members was defeated.

Due to financial pressures, the convention parking committee was asked to forgo their compensation for the Indianapolis convention. They refused, so parking was done at no cost by officers and other volunteers. All agreed that the parking went extremely well, and as a result , the Parking Committee's compensation was permanently removed from the Policy and Procedures and from the budget. 

The final vote of the day was the unanimous approval to award Life Membership in FMCA to our own Judy Czarsty.

Highlights from GEAR

GEAR was held in York Pennsylvania October 10-14.  Seven members from Dogwood attended the rally.  In addition to the seminars, vendor exhibits, and entertainment provided by GEAR, Dogwood members enjoyed getting together for happy hours, meals, and nearby attractions including a factory tour at the Harley Davidson plant and design your own ice cream flavor at Turkey Hill.  Donna Gruel said that she particularly liked the venue at the York fairgrounds.  All activities were held in one building which was just a short walk from where our coaches were parked.  

Berkley Alexander was elected Treasurer of EAMA.  Congratulations Berkley!

Butch Jones did a fantastic job presenting his Motor Home Fire Safety seminar.

Butch Jones set some sort of record for doing a complete brake job and wheel bearing/hub assembly install as well as getting the coach weighed and an air brake towing system installed at GEAR.

Pennsylvania was beautiful as the leaves were changing colors.  Be sure to mark your calendar as GEAR will be held at the same location next year.  

Member Updates

Dogwood currently has 46 members.  

Paul Cummings wrote:  Nancy and I are in Salt lake City this week.  The photo is from Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. We have been on the road 71 days and plan to be home around Thanksgiving. This week we will visit the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the largest Mine in the World.