Becoming More Active in CVC
by Ev Newton
Our Connecticut Valley Chapter of BMW CCA is some 2,200 BMW-ophiles of various stripes, presided over by a dozen or so officers, board members and a few general factotums -- also variously striped -- who find ways to make themselves useful. The breadth of member services and activities that the chapter offers depends on the volunteer efforts of individuals, like you, who are looking for something interesting to do with their BMWs on any given weekend. The board encourages members who would like to contribute their time and talents to join us at a meeting or event and let us know what you would like to do.
Getting involved is not hard. I did it a year or so ago and have survived with most of my faculties intact. If there is an activity -- driving school, rally, tour, kart night, bicycle ride, picnic, dinner party . . . (you get the idea) -- that you would like to help with, call or e-mail the person listed in the DZ who is in charge of that event or contact any board member; we would be delighted to help you help us.
You are also invited to attend board meetings, either to offer your thoughts or just to see what goes on. Um, OK, as the newest board member, let me tell you what goes on at meetings: we all arrive around 7 p.m. at the appointed date and place (not so easy; see below). We have previously called the appointed host (published in the DZ) to let him or her know we will attend. Traditionally, each meeting begins and ends in a state of mild chaos. A light supper is consumed with a certain gusto (arrive early). Supper generally consists of a salad and sandwiches or pasta, soft drinks, maybe a glass of wine or beer (trust me; this is not a very hard-drinking crew). Cookies on a good night.
The business meeting, ordinarily chaired by Bob Morin, (now Willy Wiley - ed.) cranks up around 8 p.m. Members in charge of various activities report on their exploits or bemoan the lack thereof. We fight over money and menus. (The burning question, “Chicken Picata or Chicken Marsala?” ate up a half-hour one night.) We worry about whether to cancel an event that has had a poor advance registration (like the late, lamented May 1 dinner). We speculate on what popular or novel events might bring out members, and we plan as far in advance as we can. At the April meeting, for instance, jerri Wiley (you’ll get used to the lower case “j”) suggested that the chapter run a fun (or gimmick) rally in conjunction with ’02 Fest in September. We complain about the way the national organization has done this or that. And we talk about cars: our own, others’, F-1 drivers, Boris, wax, race tracks. . . . The meeting peters out between 10 and 11 p.m., and people socialize for another few minutes to an hour.
Here’s some REAL inside skinny: the meetings are often NOT at the location printed in the DZ. Sometime in 2003, I set out to attend my second meeting, assuming it would be in the Bethany Town Hall like my first meeting (and like many meetings), but gosh! it had been moved to Bob & Sheila Morin’s house in North middle-of-nowhere Granby. I arrived late. Inside skinny No. 1: call the host (or Willy) and get the location (and directions).
Inside skinny No. 2: You may not know many of the people at the meeting. Well, yes, that’s true; otherwise you wouldn’t be new. And, yes, it may be at someone’s house. Get over it.
We’re always looking for young blood (although in my case, they must have been just looking for blood). If you have a couple of fresh ideas and are willing to invest an evening or two, come see what we’re all about.
Our Business Meetings are Fun!