On February 7th, the GRAACA held its Annual Dinner and Installation of Officers for 2015 at the Mechanicsburg Club in (where else?) Mechanicsburg, PA. The evening began with a brief message from President Howard King and Vice President Ron Green. GRAACA Trustee and 2015 AACA President Don Barlup delivered a short but heartfelt invocation before everyone dived into a delicious buffet style meal which included carved sirloin, chicken masala, and of course, a delightful assortment of cakes for dessert.
After dinner, Don Barlup presided over the installation of officers. In previous years, the installation has involved some fairly elaborate and humorous antics–our club has never had much tolerance for stuffy ceremonial fuss. This year, however, Don decided to do something a bit more intimate and lasting. First, he brought forth a wooden cut-out of an antique car with the GRAACA logo on it which he happened to find at a meet. Next, he invited all the old and new officers and board members to line up. One by one, all of the attending club members proceeded down the line to thank each officer for his/her service with handshakes, and sometimes hugs. At the end, every member and officer signed the cut-out which is to be placed on display in the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing!
In attendance that evening were several special guests. AACA Executive Director Steve Moskowitz and AACA Museum Director Mark Lizewskie came out to show their support for our region and offered a few words about what is going on in regards to the museum and AACA National events. We are truly grateful to them for all they do and were very pleased that they could join us.*
The final “business” portion of the evening’s events was marked by the presentation of the Outstanding Service Award for 2014. This award is given every year to two members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their service to the club. These members do not hold office, but rather work behind the scenes. This year’s recipients were Ken and Nancy Schaffer. Over the years, Ken and Nancy have done a lot for the GRAACA including managing the White Elephant Table at the Latimore Valley show and organizing our events calendar. For all they’ve done and continue to do, we are sincerely thankful.
The night ended with a hilarious performance by stand-up comedian Seth Knorr. Seth was a finalist at the 2014 Clean Comedy Challenge and is host of the shows put on by the Clean and Funny Comedy Tour. I highly recommend that you check him out on his website.
Many thanks should be given to everyone who helped make this year’s Annual Dinner such a success, particularly Ron and Valerie Green who organized everything from booking a venue to designing the programs. Not many people realize all the hard work that goes into putting on an event of this magnitude. It will be hard a hard act to follow next year, but we will see what the future holds!
Chris Ritter, Head Librarian for the AACA Library and Research Center, was unable to make it due to illness. Many people expressed concern, so I just wanted to say that I’ve spoken to him since then, and he is feeling much better.