Motorhome Chapter Spotlight | FMCA
Rally tours and volunteering at FMCA events are among the activities of this chapter from FMCA's Midwest Area.
By Chris Robinson, F306345
FMC magazine, December 2009
Midwest Pacers chapter members vary widely in age and background; some are retired and others are still working. Our members mostly have grown children, and on occasion, grandchildren may join them at our rallies.
Since most Midwest Pacers members reside in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, our rallies are usually held in those states. However, the Midwest Area also covers Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, as well as the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and we enthusiastically welcome members from those locations as well.
We're active volunteers each year at the Midwest Area Rally, which is usually held in June. We assist with parking and registration at the area rallies and also volunteer to help at FMCA international conventions held in the Midwest Area. At FMCA's 80th International Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, we served as greeters — with lots of waving and smiling. We will be volunteering at the Midwest Area Rally in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, in June 2010.
There are approximately 43 member families in our chapter. We hold regular chapter rallies in the spring, summer, and fall, during which we enjoy socializing and touring places of special interest. Recently in Duluth, Minnesota, we took a scenic train ride and harbor cruise. In Bayfield, Wisconsin, we saw the Apostle Islands, with their water as blue and clear as the Caribbean. In the Amana Colonies area of Iowa, we visited workshops, country stores, and gift shops. And in Carlock, Illinois, we explored a manufactured housing factory.
Of course, our rallies include good food during potlucks, social hours, dining out, or when cooking up a meal for the group over the fire.
Many chapter members spend the winters in Casa Grande, Arizona, and the greater Phoenix area, and get together for an annual winter dinner.
Our chapter was founded 20 years ago as the Midwest Pace Arrows, but several years ago we ceased being geared only to ownership of Pace Arrow motorhomes. Charter member Bruce Holcomb, former Midwest Area vice president, recalled that he and his wife, Jean, were the first to "threaten" the chapter by being classified as SOBers (some-other-brand) owners. "We were truly grateful when the membership amended the bylaws to allow Pace Arrow owner/members to retain their membership if they moved to another brand," Bruce recalled. "Ultimately, as 'diesel fever' spread among us, there were fewer and fewer Pace Arrows, and our name was changed to Midwest Pacers."