by Neil Gambony
Hello and welcome to 2020. Where do I start? There is so much going on right now and I have a lot to cover. You are now reading this through your electronic device of choice; we are no longer printing a paper version of the Bulletin. Currently this is in a PDF format; we are planning to change that when we roll out our new website, another one of the many changes in store for the upcoming year. The last issue of the Bulletin is now a collector’s item; I should look on Ebay to see what they are going for.
Before I get into what’s upcoming, I have some housekeeping to do. The Board of Directors of the NJBMW CCA remains mostly unchanged from last year, thank you gentlemen. I had filled the position of Director of Social Events last year with Richard Altman, and he has been reelected to the position for 2020. Rich has taken charge of the Chapter’s 50th anniversary party, more on that later.
I have also found a new Business Manager, technically not a Board position but just as important, nonetheless. Allison Mack, who also happens to be a regular participant in our Autocross program, will now be handling the Club’s business. I must thank Matt Baratz who had been our previous Business Manager even after moving to the left coast. I am relieved to have a manager now in the same time zone.
As you may be aware of by now, 2020 is our 50th year of being a Chapter of the BMW CCA. We were the 4th Chapter to join the Club and are among a handful of Chapters that has our geographical location in our Chapter’s name. The BMW CCA had originated in the Boston Massachusetts area so it make sense that the states close to the New England region were among the early Chapters to join the CCA.
The date has not been set yet for our celebration party, although we’re planning the location to be at the Deutscher Club in Clark, the place where we hold many of our regular Club meetings. We are in the early stages of planning it but I do know it will run from mid-day to the early evening, and yes, it will be rain or shine. There is plenty of parking; we hope to have a showing of the many car models throughout the years, BMWs, Minis, and BMW hybrids just to name a few.
Not only do I expect to see some great cars at the 50th anniversary celebration, I am looking forward to seeing some of the members and officers who were here before me and built this Chapter into what it is now. I had the pleasure of meeting former NJ member Scott Hughes a few years back at a Club Race School we were holding at Summit Point. Scott is credited with being instrumental in starting the Driver’s School program for our chapter way back in 1974. In my conversation with Scott, it turns out that he had attended an elementary school in the town I grew up in, obviously a few years before me. There is no word yet on whether he will attend but I would be thrilled if he and his wife Fran did. We may also expect to see some of our National Officers but that is unconfirmed also. I am also looking forward to seeing all of you there too.
So what else are we up to? In addition to our traditional slate of Driver Schools, Club Races, Autocrosses, Rallies and Street Survival Schools, the Chapter once again will be participating in a one day M-School on September 6th at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, North Carolina. We had done one several years ago with great success and when we inquired about holding one last year, all of the dates were already booked for the year. The cost of doing the M-School through our Club date is about half of what it would cost you to do it on your own. When we were there previously, we were able to tour the BMW CCA Foundation and have dinner at a local brewery, I would expect we will plan something similar this time also. If you would like to attend, you will need to book your spot by late June. If we don’t sell this event out by then, we may cancel it since it would be an extensive loss for the Chapter. You can find more information about the event and register for it at Motorsport.Reg.
As you may be aware by now, there has been a change to the BMW rebate purchase program. For the last 2 years if you had a friend or relative join the Club with a 3-year membership they were eligible for the rebate immediately if they were purchasing a new BMW or leasing a previously owned one. This program was so successful for BMW and the BMW CCA that they now have changed it to where you now need to join the Club with a 3-year membership and must wait 6 months before you can purchase a new or a leased BMW to qualify for the rebate. The other option is having your friends or relatives join the Club with a single year membership and waiting a full 12 months to purchase a new or a leased BMW before they can receive the rebate benefits.
Now getting back to the website or hopefully the updated version of it by now, it will be a fresh, mobile-friendly design that highlights all of your favorite features like the forum and the calendar of events. It will also help facilitate our new digital news delivery model. All of the familiar columns and contributors will remain, sharing new content on a recurring basis, in full color and unconstrained by print requirements. Vendors and sponsors will continue to be featured with easy links to their products and services. I’m sure there will be some tweaking to it after it’s out.
As an update to an event we held last Fall, the Whack Your Turkey Rally, we were able to donate $600 to the Food Bank of NORWESCAP with the proceeds. The Food Bank distributes over 2 million of pounds of food annually throughout Warren, Sussex and Hunterdon Counties. Thanks to all who participated in the Rally for making it the success that it was.