First Settlers Region is 60 Years Old!
Can you name the most significant events of 1959? In case you don’t remember, here is a short list: Dwight Eisenhower was the President, Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th States, the Boeing 707 came into service with Quantas in the first trans-Pacific jet service, Barbie Dolls were ‘born’, “Gigi” won the Oscar for Best Picture, Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba, NASA announced the names of the Mercury Seven astronauts, Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash, and the aluminum beer can was introduced by Coors. The British Motor Corporation introduced the Mini, and the American Motors Corporation (AMC) was formed in a merger of Nash and Hudson. The first Daytona 500 was run. The average cost of a new car was $2,200 and a new house was $12,400. A gallon of gas cost a quarter. But the most important event to occur in 1959 was the establishment of the First Settlers Region of the Porsche Club of America!
The Porsche Club of America was still in its infancy having been established only four years earlier. Thirteen car enthusiasts showed up for the first business meeting on September 13th, 1955 but one who owned a VW was asked to leave. The meeting was announced in a press release in the Porsche magazine, Christophorus, and the word spread. At the time of the second “Porsche Parade” in 1957 PCA had grown to 550 members in 21 Regions. The petition to form the our region was filed on March 31, 1959 by Allen Fine, who became the president when the charter for the “Richmond Region” was granted on April 22, 1959. The name was changed to The “First Settlers Region” in 1964 as the region grew to include counties in West Virginia. As membership grew, the Blue Ridge Region was split off in 1980, and the Shenandoah Region was formed in 1995.
The annual party in January 2020 was a great opportunity to celebrate the accomplishment of achieving a milestone as significant of a 60th Anniversary. We wanted to have a party and nearly 100 members agreed! Great music was provided by “Hot House” and the dance floor was busy most of the night. The buffet was excellent again this year but seemed to taste just a bit better at this gala!
Rather than our usual White Elephant auction, we added a twist this year with a focus on “Time & Talent” items offered by our members. A huge fan-favorite was the home-cooked Greek Feast offered by Pam and George Michaels and served at their house which we know from the photos on Facebook that is was a great success. It looked delicious! Eric and Jill Cruz donated a weekend at their trackside villa at VIR and the bidding was fierce. After they realized there was so much interest, The Cruz’s donated a second weekend! Mary Cook donated a personal chef experience in your home. In another example of charity, Mary decide donate two personal chef experiences! By the end of the night when totals were tallied $7,160 was donated to our four charities. Thank you very much to everyone! First Settlers Region – YOU ROCK!
The First Settlers Region has won some significant awards over the years and the hardware was on display at the 60th Anniversary. Our first national level recognition was being selected as Runner-Up for Region of the Year and the Best Website in 2011. We stepped to the top of the podium as Region of the Year in 2012 and have won the website award a couple more times with a podium nearly every year. We won third place the National Public Service Award in 2012 and 2017, and first place in 2013 and again in 2019! We’ve grown from 300 members in 1986, to 500 members in 2009 to over 700 members in 2019!
Staying a viable club for 60 years doesn’t happen without the dedication of lots of people who have “made it happen” for six decades. And it’s not a party if no one shows up! Let’s keep it up and see you at the next gala!