The annual meeting of the North Carolina Region was held in conjunction with the 2013 Awards Dinner at Caffé Luna in Raleigh, on January 11th. About a hundred members attended and the festivities were in high gear. Just as last year, the food was excellent and the first order of business was to thank Bibi Tucker Harrison, wife of outgoing Member-at-Large Neal Harrison, for having arranged everything. A “banquet committee” of one, she did another outstanding job. Many thanks to Bibi!
Emcee Ed Wentz opened the meeting and introduced recently re-elected RE Rex Deffenbaugh, who gave a short report on the state of the Club. Rex indicated that while we had a very successful year, in terms of successful racing events, that the racing program had suffered some significant financial losses in 2013. We had not anticipated the substantial costs we had to bear to repair that part of the tech shed at VIR which houses our scales. We also spent extra money on upgrading our radios. Additionally our advertising costs were higher than what the revenue from our races could bear. And finally the cost of hospitality, the lunches we feed our workers and the after-racing socials, had spiraled beyond what we can afford. As a result Rex said, we would be initiating some cut-backs in both advertising and hospitality, with the hope of controlling those, since there is so much else in our racing budget which is not under our control, such as track rental, insurance and sanction fees. Rex indicated that the Region will institute a new voucher program for lunches and reduce the amount of hors d’oeuvres, but we will not eliminate the beer (a small cheer went up at this news). He also indicated that we will dramatically reduce our print advertising in favor of using the new “e-mail blast” system that had just been implemented.
Treasurer Steve Keadle indicated that Rex had covered enough of the salient points about our financial situation, so he himself declined to elaborate any further. That cleared the way for the Solo report, from outgoing Cape Fear Chapter Coordinator and Solo Program administrator, Chris Severt. Chris indicated that the Solo program had had its best year yet. They finished the year about $8000 in the black and had more entrants and more cars per event than ever. Much of this was accomplished by increasing the number of 2-day events, which allows the costs for insurance and sanction fees to be spread over a longer period. But also the program had become more efficient due to the dedication and expertise of the volunteers who put those events on. The number of runs per event had gone up, the number of re-runs down, and they were now averaging an unprecedented 92 cars per event. Because of their success, they were finally able to purchase some badly-needed equipment, such as backup timing lights, a new laptop, and a parking lot blower.
In addition, they raised $300 at a charity event for our sister SCCA Region, Southern Virginia Region, which had suffered a huge loss due to the theft of their Solo trailer, as well as a carload of toys for Toys for Tots. Chris introduced his replacement for the 2014 season, John Byers, who will take over as Cape Fear Chapter Coordinator and Solo Chair, and closed by making an appeal for used helmets. The Solo program has grown so much in recent years that they are desperately short of loaner helmets. Any Snell-rated helmet, from 2000 or 2005 will do; even motorcycle ones, so all members with used helmets are urged to donate them. Just contact any Board member and we’ll see that they get forwarded to the Solo program.
This concluded the business meeting, and dinner was served, buffet-style. After dinner, emcee Ed Wentz, began the awards ceremony by thanking the outgoing Members-at-Large, Neal Harrison and Wayne Quick, and outgoing Secretary Jerry Pell, for their service. He then introduced new members, Secretary Steve Rose, and Members-at-Large, Heather Powers, and Blair “Pepe” Stitt, both of whom had served on the Board before. Then Ed Wentz began the awards presentations, which were interspersed with door prize giveaways, to keep things lively. There were many gift cards to popular restaurants as well as four free entries to our races at VIR. The following article is a summary of those awards.