RALEIGH, NC – (NCRSCCA) – The October meeting of the Triangle Chapter was rather lightly attended, but that was perhaps to be expected with everyone preparing for either the SIC in Savannah or the North Carolina Autocross Championship at Cherry Point, both of which kick off this coming weekend, October 6-7. Blair “Pepe” Stitt said he was going to go down and help out Steve Rose, who’s fighting to keep his third-in-division position in IT-7. Steve seemed eager to do battle. And rookie Regional driver Blair Deffenbaugh indicated that he’d be crewing for Ron Earp and Jeff Young, but that he was bringing his driver’s suit just in case a spot opened up on Friday’s test day. As he put it, “I’ll drive anything that moves.”
In the business portion we talked about our declining enrollment. Currently membership in the North Carolina Region has fallen to 704, which is an historic low since our huge growth after VIR opened in 2000, and forty (yup that’s 40) below this same time last year. It remains to be seen whether the expected bump for the October races will restore that number. The members present had no new ideas on recruitment or retention and it was noted that we are still serving our core constituency well, because attendance at races and solos is actually up, and the number of license holders in the Region is fairly steady.
And speaking of upcoming events, it was noted that VIR has nixed the practice of our corner workers cooking on station during the 13-hour Charge of the Headlight Brigade enduro. All cooking must be done behind spectator fences. So, Flag Chief Eric Danielsen asked the Board for an appropriation to help set up cooking stations at various spectator locations around the track which will either ferry food or provide service to off-duty workers as the day progresses. We don’t want to lose the draw that the novelty of a “day-long barbeque with a race for entertainment” provides for our volunteers, or the popularity of the cooking competition among the participants.
And on that note, it was observed that there is a proposal on the table to increase the amount of our volunteer reimbursement for 2013. Our current limit of $30 per day in reimbursed expenses is among the lowest in the Southeast. Members present thought that it was appropriate that this should be raised to be approximately equal to half the cost of a night’s stay at local motels (say $40). This seemed reasonable in that our current annual budget for worker reimbursement and gifts is about ten percent of the overall Region budget. There was also discussion about worker gifts (hats, t-shirts, and so on) and it was observed that we could improve both the variety and quality of these for not as much money. Mark Senior made the point that as a driver he much preferred having our workers staff our events as opposed to renting workers from VIR, which would also be much more expensive. Many of the workers present affirmed that they really appreciated the thank-you gifts, and several made the point that while the reimbursements helped them to attend more events, that’s not why they were there. The SCCA Club spirit was clearly running high during this discussion.
It was also mentioned that it was time to start thinking about year-end awards, especially as folks attended the final events of the season. And, it is also time to start thinking of our own Regional elections. The Assistant RE, Treasurer, and 2 Member-At-Large (those currently held by Heather Powers and Ron Gentry) positions are up for re-election this year, and nominations must be in by the close of the November Board meeting, November 21st. The Bylaws require that nominees must declare their intention to run in writing, and have their nomination seconded in writing by 3 other members in good standing. Treasurer Steve Keadle said he was running again, and long-time member (more than 35 years!) Sam Fouse submitted his nomination for one of the Member-At-Large seats on the spot. Our numbers may be down, but not our enthusiasm!
So why not join us for the November Triangle Chapter meeting on Wednesday, November 7, and find out how everyone finished up for the season? There will be plenty of bench racing and camaraderie; I can assure you, and perhaps even some in-car video. I’ll see you there…or at the races!