NORTHERN NEW JERSEY REGION of the PORSCHE CLUB OF AMERICA 2014 NEW MEMBER INFORMATION This information is intended to give new members of the Northern New Jersey Region Porsche Club of America (NNJR-PCA) some general information about the region’s activities; what they are and how they operate. We didn’t know anyone in the Club before […]
Before joining the club in 2001, I was anything but an auto sports enthusiast. If you asked me what an autocross or rally was I probably would have stared back at you with a blank look on my face. I could drive a car with a manual transmission and truly enjoyed taking our 92 911 Turbo out for a nice drive in the country, but that was the extent of my automotive interests. So when we joined NNJR I had no idea of how our membership in the club was so totally going to change my perspective on auto sports, as well how I would be spending time on many of my weekends in the future. Our first event with the club was in 2001 and it was a social the club held at the Rhinebeck Aerodrome – great air show and great group of people. I remember meeting Sue Smith whom we would later come to learn was a PCA DE legend with her orange 914. I also remember Marlys Thovson greeting us with a big smile when we walked into our first meeting in October of that year. Not only that, but she already knew our names. At that meeting we were introduced to what the club was all about and our eyes started to open to the many activities that were available to us.
This time of year as the weather warms and our thoughts turn more to outdoor activities, NNJR-PCA provides one event that is tailor made to get the entire family out for a truly fun day of automotive pleasures. Our “Welcome To The Club” event is just the right type of activity to get the entire family thinking “Porsche”.
As many of you know this event, in its many incarnations in recent years, was held at Schooley’s Mountain State Park. For this year’s event, we decided to move to a new venue that would be more geographically convenient for most of our members. Somerset Hills Learning Institute in Bedminster, NJ and just off RT 287 fit the bill. The school, being the benefactor of our current charity fund raising efforts, generously agreed to host our event. The school is a beautiful and modern facility set in the rolling hills of Somerset County. With this change of venue we had the comforts of indoor dinning and clean restrooms. We are sure those of you familiar with Schooley’s Mountain would agree the amenities at the school were a significant improvement.
For those unfamiliar with the “Welcome To The Club” event, it is open to all, but its focus is to give new members experience with our concours and rally programs. In concours, Hank Menkes and Craig Ploetner’s goal is to teach the new member how to prepare their cars for a judged event and at the same time to help them preserve their condition and value. Rally master John Vogt started the rally portion of the event with a school so members will be familiar will rally terms and how to follow route instructions. After which participants were sent off on a “Gimmick Rally” that required following instructions, and correctly answering questions on sights along the way.
Wow, what a meeting. You might be asking yourself are they kidding. What could be so exciting about a New Member reception? Well let us start with the fact that we had a record number of new members turn out for the reception followed by what most attending the meeting would agree was one of the most entertaining and engaging speakers to come our way in recent memory. And let us not forget the food. The Villa put out a spread that had everyone at the reception’s taste buds singing.
We began the evening festivities by signing in the new members and giving each a name tag. We also gave them a heads up that after the reception, when the regular portion of monthly meeting starts, we would be introducing them to the club and ask them to speak about what model Porsche they own and what activities they plan on participating in with the club. With the help of the BoG members in attendance, we did our best to answer the new member questions about the Club and its activities. We encouraged them to share stories about their Porsches and themselves and we did likewise. This led to some very lively conversation. While all this was taking place we dined on the aforementioned sumptuous finger foods from the Villa’s kitchen.
This time of year while many NNJR member thoughts turn to a beautiful and relaxing ride though the New Jersey countryside in their Porsches to view the changing colors of autumn, the New Members thoughts turn to the second of the Clubs New Member Reception. With this in mind we began the planning several weeks ago. This included selecting the menu for the hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, making sure the chairs for the clubs programs are notified to be present and preparing the information packets we give to each new member. All this being accomplished prior to the event, we were confident the evening would go well.
The evening of the event we decided to leave extra early to avoid arriving late as happened at the last event due to heavy traffic on 287. Arriving at the Villa, we set up our New Member table and were ready in plenty of time to greet the New Members. Shortly the Event Chairs arrived and we were ready for the New Members. As each arrived we greeted them, gave them there information packet and introduced them to the Event Chairs. While this was going on, the staff at the Villa put out the food. At this point for some reason most of the attendees gravitated to the end of the room where the food was. Go figure! Anyway the New Members got to meet the Event Chairs, have their questioned answered and have some great food while sharing their Porsche stories.