This group, based just west of Phoenix, takes its fun on the road.
By Peggy Jordan, Associate Editor, FMC magazine
If you live in an area such as central Arizona where snowbirds flock each year, it can make finding a rally site for your chapter a little tricky. Plenty of RV parks are filled with motorhomers from the north, limiting the options of where to stage a rally. So, what do you do? The Arizona Sun Chasers chapter members usually solve this problem by finding fun places to visit outside of their home base territory.
Chapter president Ed Edelstein said he and his wife, Karen, formed the chapter after moving from Florida to the suburban area west of Phoenix. They found one FMCA chapter in the area that interested them, because they preferred smaller chapters; however, there was a long waiting list to join the group. So, with the help of FMCA's Chapter Services Department, they started the Arizona Sun Chasers.
The Arizona Sun Chasers chapter was chartered in January 2007 and currently has 26 member families. At this point, it has no limit on its size. However, membership is confined to a geographical boundary: the area west of Phoenix that is north of Interstate 10 and west of Interstate 17. Aside from that, the only other requirement is that members need to attend at least three rallies a year.
The summer heat means that many members leave town during that time of year, so the chapter's rallies are held from October through May. Rallies usually take place on weekends.
So far the young chapter has truly "been around." Members gathered in towns such as Bisbee, Tombstone, Tucson, and Tubac in 2007. In 2008, spots such as Palm Desert, California; Benson, Arizona; and Laughlin, Nevada, have been on the schedule. Ed said the latter trip was memorable for its tour of the tiny burg of Oatman, a "relic of a town" only a block long where resident donkeys vie for visitors' handouts.
Ed said rallies usually include a chance for chapter members to tour interesting area locales. Two host couples plan these activities, as well as happy hours, dinners, breakfasts, and so on. "We do it differently every time," Ed explained. "There's no set pattern." That way, members get a variety of activities at each rally.
This fall's schedule lists Tucson in October; Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), Mexico, in November; and a close-to-home holiday party in Sun City West, Arizona, in December.
Chapter dues are $10 per person per year and $20 maximum per family. A $10 initiation fee is charged for new members' badges and window banners. For more information about the chapter, contact Ed Edelstein at 13535 W. Gemstone Drive, Sun City West, AZ 85375; (623) 474-3938; e-mail
. For general information about FMCA chapters, contact the Chapter Services Department at FMCA: (800) 543-3622;
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