Motorhome Chapter Spotlight | FMCA
By Peggy Jordan, Associate Editor
FMC magazine, May 2007
The name of this chapter — One Hundred Plus — may leave some folks guessing as to the significance of the number. The answer is fairly simple. To join One Hundred Plus, you must recruit at least 100 new FMCA members.
The list of folks who have done so is published in the "Membership Club" section in each January issue of Family Motor Coaching. Among the names on that list is King deBord, L16686, who, with the help of former national secretary Johnnie Linebaugh, L12971, in the early 1990s, started a chapter for those who had reached the 100 mark. The One Hundred Plus chapter was chartered in 1992, and today at least 29 member families belong to it.
It's quite an honor to achieve that level, and those who do are given a special gift from FMCA -- "his" and "hers" wristwatches, plus "100 member" pins. The watches are presented to the members during FMCA conventions.
Since many motorhomers join FMCA as a result of their interaction with existing members, personal member recruitment is important. "My big ambition is for every FMCA member to recruit one member. It would double our membership in a year," King said.
But how do you do that?
"It really isn't all that hard if you don't mind going up and talking to strangers and explaining to them what [FMCA] is," King said with a laugh. FMCA's member benefits attract the newcomers. Talking about things such as "MEDEX, trip routing, and the rallies, and how there are chapters out there," he said, can do the trick.
So many people have recruited dozens and dozens of members that it can't be all that difficult. But how do you get into the hundreds?
First, it pays to stick around. Many members of the One Hundred Plus chapter have belonged to FMCA for decades. It also pays to get around. Chapter secretary-treasurer Iris Schmidt, F60829, travels full-time in a Beaver motorhome with her husband, Wally, and has done so for 19 years. Their opportunities for recruiting new members are greater than for weekend warriors.
The traveling Schmidts have instigated more than 400 FMCA memberships. But top honors go to One Hundred Plus members Jack and Belle Schneiker, L2150, who have more than 1,700 memberships to their credit. It's the highest number ever achieved.
When looking for new chapter members, it's not difficult for One Hundred Plus folks to figure out who's next in line for the potential — just check the "Membership Club" list. "As soon as we know somebody's got 100, one of us usually gets them," King said.
The One Hundred Plus chapter's roster contains the names of many current and former national officers of FMCA. Also, many of the members are still very active in other chapters. Since the majority of the chapter members are so busy, and the group is relatively small, the chapter does not hold big, scheduled rallies. Instead, they get together at each FMCA convention for a meal.
Iris Schmidt said that they planned to meet at a restaurant for lunch during the Perry, Georgia, convention this past March. She said they've also occasionally had post-convention rallies along with another, larger chapter.
This is a friendly bunch of people who have boundless enthusiasm for FMCA — and they care about its future. If you're getting close to the 100 mark in your membership recruitment credits, you're invited to get ready to join One Hundred Plus. If you're not quite there, well, it's definitely something to strive for.