President’s Corner – Summer 2020


“Once upon a time, it was a dark and stormy night.” That’s not much of a beginning for a column in a car- club-related newsletter; it’s a combination of some opening lines for stories that should have happy endings. I need to give credit to Snoopy for the latter half of the first line because right now I feel a little like Snoopy sitting on top of a dog house typing this
column to hopefully have a happy ending.

We are still in the midst of a world-wide pandemic which has been greatly restricting the events we would normally have throughout the year. We are proceeding with caution while following the guidelines set forth by the BMW CCA, our government leaders and the regulations of the venues we are attending, either here in NJ or elsewhere.

We have been able to hold some events, the first being the Scenic/Fun Car Drive in June organized by our Director of Social Events, Rich Altman and Club member Wade Howard. I won’t be going into the details of the event since there is story elsewhere in the Bulletin about it but I would like to thank them for putting it together since it was a benefit for the Foodbank of NORWESCAP. As you may be aware by now, donations to foodbanks have been greatly impacted by the pandemic; this event was able to generate over 11,000 pounds of food for the Foodbanks recipients. More Scenic /Fun Drives are in our future.

We held the 7th annual Geoff Atkinson Memorial Drivers School and Club Race at Summit Point, West Virginia in July. It was warm weather as usual with several run groups of students and a full contingent of Club Racers that were able to run in 4 races. I must thank VAC Motorsports for their continued support and sponsorship of our Club Racing. All of the students,
instructors and racers were thrilled to be finally out at the track after being self-quarantined (or was it sequestered?) for months.

Since we were unable to have in-car instruction for students, our Chief Instructor Bill Van Ocker had implemented having the student run groups use a Lead/Follow (L/F) system with Instructors, this is similar to what other car clubs and organizations are now using. The L/F instruction works great with those who have previous track experience.

We are still planning to be at the Shenandoah Circuit of Summit Point in October, we will be most likely using the L/F instruction there. It is uncertain at this time if we will have the pot-luck dinner at the track like we had last year due to the coronavirus but will wait to see what the protocol is then.

Another event that has fallen victim to the pandemic is our September Tirerack Street Survival School for teen drivers. We were concerned given the guidelines in which we are to instruct students that it would lead to confusion and possibly frustration on the behalf of both the students and the instructors. The social distancing guidelines for the classroom may also have prevented all of the students from being able to see and hear the instructor. We’re looking forward to holding the schools again in 2021 if they can be held in more ideal conditions.

We are now looking into the fall when we normally hold a long-time Chapter tradition right before Thanksgiving, the Whack Your Turkey Rally. There may be some change to that also since the governor is still not allowing indoor dining as of this writing. We may shift the time earlier in the fall when it’s still warm enough to congregate outdoors under cover or look for a great big space indoor like a warehouse where we can still comply with social distancing guidelines.

One last item of Club business is the election of officers to our Board of Directors for the year 2021. This year has been going by quickly but not quick enough to get us to the other side of this pandemic. As usual, the spots up for grab are: President, Vice- President, Treasurer, Secretary, Driving Events, Director of Social Events, and 2 Member-at-Large positions. There will be an E-Blast going out in October that will have information of how to nominate yourself or any other individual. If you have any questions regarding the positions and their duties please contact me, my address is at the bottom of this column.

It was great to see the turnout of members at the Show and Shine/Swap Meet which was held at the Deutscher Club in August. Although the prediction for the weather was ominous, we had clearing skies for the evening. In keeping within the social distancing guidelines, all participants hung out in the parking lot and under the pavilion until it got dark. This event is gaining in popularity and will definitely be back in the future.
Continue Staying Safe.

Neil Gambony

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