Well the time has finally arrived – my last “From the Driver’s Seat” article – about time!
We had our final social event of the year – our Porsche Prom. I want to thank Sandy and Bill Zielinski for coordinating things at Wildwood Country Club for us. While the occasion was smaller than usual (less than 40 members), I thought it was one of our better social events – good music and great food. I also want to thank Louise for her efforts in putting everything together including center pieces and dessert.
Eight years is a long time to be president of anything – especially a volunteer organization and I want to thank the “active club members” for making it a successful term. We’ve accomplished a great deal; thanks to folks stepping up with their ideas and participation.
We’ve had (after a minor hiccup) an extremely successful Driver’s Education program thanks to the leadership of Bruce Graham, Ralph Gaudio and the Pryors (both Larry and Larry, Jr). With their abilities we always had successful and safe DE’s. We’ve had great participation and most events were sold out. I also want to recognize Dale Rabeneck for implementing our new on-line registration feature (which we now use for most of our activities.) This program has made it much easier for our DE and social chairs to plan and organize our events. Because of their success, we’ve managed to implement other functions.
I also want to thank John Schrenker for managing the Car Control Clinic. John suggested this program and we’ve had terrific results and attendance. Although designed for new drivers, many new Porsche owners and spouses took advantage of these events to obtain an “inkling” of what Porsche performance is all about. I never saw anyone leave one of our CCC’s without a smile on their face (except for ML and Abbi – long story).
We also had a come back this year for our Autocross program. Rob Hoffman and Scott Mores asked if we could have an Autocross event. Even though they had never participated in an Autocross, they quickly got up to speed and we ended up having three events and they even made money – great job.
Iron Jack Purvis created our new rally events. I’m surprised we don’t have better attendance (usually 12 – 20 Porsches) because with the assistance of Frank Buniciky they are really well organized and a great deal of fun.
We’ve kind of been up and down with our tours, however the ones we had were again a lot of fun and I want to thank Mike Ferraro for his work. We now have a new “Tourmeister” in Jason Monyok and I’m sure these events will once again be a great success – what’s better than driving your Porsche though great country and having lunch with interesting people.
All of our events were and are on our website thanks to Dale Rabeneck and his team of assistants. I hope our members become more active in utilizing this up-to-date quality communication tool. Also thanks to Nancy Lowe and now the team of Iron Jack, Scott Ishler, Rob Hoffman and Paul Nickoloff, our region has one of the best newsletters in PCA. The one time we entered our newsletter in the PCA competition, we took third place. I’m hoping we will enter in 2013 and I’m sure we’ll do even better.
Thanks to Earl Seiler, we’ve created a new communication vehicle with our email blasts. Our club is notorious for waiting until the last minute to register for our activities and our email blasts have really helped in encouraging our folks to register earlier assisting event chair(s).
Our Wine and Shines (and Speed and Sushi) have become extremely popular and I want to again thank those who chaired the various events. I mean what’s better than driving your Porsche somewhere for refreshments and meeting great people.
Our Porsche Project for Patriots (P-3) has been one of our proudest achievements. Suzanne Carlin and George Patterson came up with this idea (they both had relatives serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and so we created various venues to send gifts, usually phone cards, to our troops in these conflicts). With the generous support of our members, we have contributed thousands of dollars and have been rewarded with numerous notes of thanks as well as recognition from top military officers. I believe this is one of the greatest things we do and hope we will continue to receive the support from our members.
Finally, I want to thank all of our members who supported our most attended events – the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Louise and I chaired these events after taking over from Linda and Clark Hamerly (which was a difficult act to follow). We continued to expand our presence at the PVGP, and usually had the largest attendance for any car club. In 2011, with Mark Hanson leading our efforts, we blew the place up with a record 502 Porsches and contributing $73,500 to the PVGP charities – this is still a record and probably will be for a long time. We had probably fifty club members who assisted with our efforts and had Porsches from twelve states and Canada. What a great team effort and a demonstration of how strong our club is in putting together a major effort.
I want to thank all those individuals who were officers and chairs during my term. We could not have accomplished so much without your dedication and time. A terrific group of people – thanks do much.
My tenure as president, thanks to many of you, was an enjoyable experience. I know that with George Patterson taking over the driver’s seat that our club will continue to grow and prosper. And I’m sure that with George’s creativeness and dedication, we will see some great venues and activities in the future.
Oh, please send your suggestions, ideas and comments — to George.