I had this forward to me, so I don’t know any of the individuals but the names have been omitted so I do have to get a “real” grief.
I have belonged to many clubs – NAWCC, AWI, 4 or 5 car clubs, Optimists Club, Knights of Pythias and more. People love their clubs. Hanging out with other people with the same interest and enthusiasm is fun. But there is often a couple members that use membership or a position in the club to fill a void in their lives. (Especially older peeps – sorry it’s true!!!) That is one reason I like my Corvette club – Arizona Corvette Enthusiasts (ACE). No membership fees, frequent get togethers and drives, and if you show up to stuff for a while….doesn’t matter….you need help a bunch guys will show up at your place and give a hand. That’s cool.
Here’s an interesting letter from the leader of a club, although towards the end it sounds a little like a Mafia Car club.
Dear (club name omitted) Member or visitor,
This letter is not intended to single anyone out, and I owe a lot of people many thanks for all the kindnesses and support they have shown me over the years. If it wasn’t for some of you I would not have a car. But, we still have some major hurdles to overcome. Please read below and don’t skim read:
Saturday, September 14th, 2013
Dear (club name omitted)Member or visitor,
As you know, we are living in very challenging times, both morally (morally???) and financially. The (club name omitted) Club is barely surviving, and for all intensive purposes, the active club really exists solely in Southern California. There was also our original facebook page, which was hijacked by someone in Wisconsin who is against everything I stand for. Facebook in general is becoming a poor substitute for car club events. The users just surf the web, many of which partake in immature flaming. Thankfully, we are still getting new people, but the participation rate is not what it was in 2012. I also get significantly fewer responses to my emails than in previous years, and I think many of our members really do not care about preserving the XXXX-car or appreciate the effort it takes to keep this club going. However, I am optimistic because I have a VP, (name omitted), helping me, and I still manage to recruit more people. We have to try to do something to offset the massive turnover rate in participation. Many come for one event, and then we never see or hear from them ever again. When (name omitted) and I try to help people with their car problems, we often get a lot of whining and then no response. The (club name omitted) is growing by leaps and bounds, and (name omitted) is doing a stellar job. If I can’t find a successor for my presidency, I will be handing over the entire international club to (name omitted) of Mexico. It all depends on what is going on with my life, and it might be sooner than later. They are motivated. Many Americans in the car club culture are not anymore. They’d rather put others down and brag about expensive rides. The (club name omitted) is supposed to be the example of the model car club, and we in SoCal do our best to do just that.
In short, we have a very big show coming up on Saturday, October XXth in Van Nuys, Ca. This is the most important (omitted) show on planet earth. It is how we started, and the larger club at this event (Chrysler Performance West), honored us last spring with the club participation award. Let us not disappoint them. I don’t want us to show up with just four cars. It would be awesome if we actually had more than twenty, like we did in Spring 2012. One only needs to attend between 10:00 AM (when the gate closes), and 1PM. There is food and fun besides. It is $25 dollars, like last year, but it goes for a good cause, the largest Mopar show west of the Mississippi, and that is per car. I expect you to be there if you live within 60 miles of Van Nuys, that is if you have nothing better to do on a Saturday. The club needs your support. If your car is down, please bring yourself.
Why do we do what we do? Because it is fun for me and many others to go out to dinner, go to a car show, go on a boat ride, and enjoy sharing our cars with each other. We share the history and significance. We get to know one another, help each other out with repairs, and basically have fun. That is what a real club was traditionally, and what a real club is all about. Dealing with many competing club facebook pages that poach the traditional club forums and flame their deposed leaders is not my idea of fun.
How are we going to grow the club and solve the communication problem? Well, quite simple. Either we fail, and I let the Mexicans take us over, or we try a new strategy and you guys get behind your leader. I was toying with the idea of just deleting people who ignore my emails, and other punitive actions. Yes, I get offended by the lack of courtesies. However, dealing out punitive actions is not the mature way of dealing with the issue at the hand, and not what a real leader would do. It is kind of immature, and I really am an easy going person until I get really pissed off. I have always gone out of my way to help members and had an open door policy.
So, here is the deal. I have decided to charge $20 a year for all members across the board, and it is an annual membership fee that will stay the same. That is much cheaper than gas, and this club costs $500 a year to run, not including my hours on the computer dealing with people 2000 miles away. Ed XXXX is completely exempted from the dues. He has been a major contributor to this club. These dues will be slowly implemented day by day by me culling through a large roster of 2000 people. If you volunteer to assist me in a club position for six months, and you bring about some good for the club, you get free membership. If you attend one of our two big shows a year, your annual dues is $10. If you attend both shows, free. This will allow me to slowly weed out the inactive people who don’t care about what we do. Each person will have 30 days to pay their fee. If they don’t, they will get one simple email “Your account has been deactived by the president. Your posts have been archived. You did not pay your dues. If the president is in error, inform him to the contrary, pay your dues, and your account will be reinstated.” Also, anyone caught selling their car without telling us will be found out by me. I search online for cars for sale a lot, and there are not a lot left. I will find you easily. I expect your full cooperation at that point, or not, but it is the right thing to do. You should also know most of our models are now bordering on extinction, because most people don’t care about our cars. They have all been crushed now, and most junkyards are running out of parts permanently. Pulling out of our fleet without a word hurts the organization tremendously.
Your fearless leader (the one who made the (club name omitted) a reality).
Mr. Xxx X. Xxxxxxxxxxxx
The International (club name omitted) President
XXX-XXX-XXXXP.S. As a courtesy to me, if you want to support us next month at the show by attending, call me and let me know.
Sounds like fun….huh?
Thanks for reading