Meet these central California motorhomers at the FMCA convention this month in Pomona, California.
By Sharon Roach, F279409
February 2008 FMC magazine
In August 1990, the California Heartland chapter held its first meeting at the Santa Maria Fairgrounds in Santa Maria, California. By November 1, 1990, the membership had grown to 73 charter members. As of this writing, we have 110 member families, 13 of whom are charter members.
One charter member couple, Tony and Mary Barcellos, hosts an annual chapter rally at the Kings County Fairgrounds in Hanford each November that has become a popular chapter tradition. It began as a four-day rally and, through the years, has turned into a six-day event. Everyone knows that this is the rally to attend. It is a chance to see our friends, honor veterans, and give thanks for our blessings. This year, 57 families attended.
The California Heartland chapter was formed as a social chapter. Most of our member families live in central California, and that's generally where our rallies take place. But we do reach out and travel beyond that area. Each January at the Western Area Rally in Indio, California, California Heartland chapter members get up very early. We are the volunteers known as the Coffee Crew. We serve attendees the coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and pastries each morning of the rally. And this month we are volunteering for the second time at an FMCA international convention in Pomona, assisting in the information center. Come on over and ask us a question!
We like to see the sights when we hold our rallies. Last year while rallying in Bakersfield, we took a bus tour (the bus was driven by a chapter member) to a wind energy farm and an ostrich farm near Tehachapi, and then attended a melodrama that night. At other rallies we have traveled to Lone Pine to tour the film museum in town, and also had dinner while taking a train ride near Bass Lake. After the Oregon conventions, we have held two rallies at Gold Beach, Oregon, so the group could ride the jet boats. While on the way to the FMCA convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we all met in Pahrump, Nevada.
When we get together, it seems as though there is always a pinochle or hand and foot card game nearby. Or, if you like to shop or see the local sights, you can do that, too. We like to have fun and explore new places, yet keep our traditions and revisit some of the same places.
We'd love to have you join us. For more information, contact FMCA's Chapter Services Department, (800) 543-3622.
If you would like your chapter to be featured in Chapter Spotlight, send an e-mail to