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Application for Award Section of the Year 2008 San Francisco Bay Area Section Celebrating 50 Years 1958 - 2008 Host Section of StarFest 2008 Mercedes-Benz Club of America San Francisco Bay Area Section Members of the MBCA Award Committee: Following is the application submitted by the San Francisco Bay Area Section of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America for your consideration in the selection of the 2008 Section of the Year. The San Francisco Bay Area Section was chartered on May 12, 1958 and in 2008 we celebrated our 50th Anniversary. In addition to hosting our regular calendar of local events for our members, the SFBA also participated in regional events and hosted a very successful national event – StarFest 2008. Our section also participated in several events that raised substantial money for very worthwhile charitable organizations. The internal mechanics of our Section were exceptionally strong in 2008. In keeping with our commitment to developing diverse leaders from within our section we welcomed two new board members in their twenties – Lois Wong serves as our webmaster and Mike Doukas serves as our Director of Advertising. We have a strong succession plan for our section leadership and are always working to identify new board members. Our section Treasurer developed a financial plan that kept our finances strong throughout the year and will continue to serve as a guideline for the future. Additionally, relationships with Mercedes-Benz dealers in our area were substantially strengthened in 2008. Two dealers with past histories of non-involvement sponsored events in 2008. A dealer whose prior club involvement was limited to newsletter advertising increased their support of the club by providing marketing on their website and providing their buyers with MBCA memberships. Events, newsletters, websites and financial reports are important components of any MBCA Section, but the real heart of our organization is our members. In 2008, the San Francisco Bay Area Section members proved their commitment and passion for MBCA through their continued tireless efforts. Our section leaders took pride in the ownership of their board responsibilities and to insure that each receives the individual recognition that they deserve for these efforts I have asked them to participate in the compilation and presentation of our section achievements in this application. In the pages that follow, SFBA board members have outlined the section highlights of 2008. In addition to the information specifically requested by your committee, our application contains information on our recently updated website that is a strong asset for the section. I thank you in advance for taking the time to review our application, and I sincerely hope that you agree that the leaders and general members of the San Francisco Bay Area Section deserve to be recognized for their efforts in 2008. On behalf of the Board of Directors and General Members of the San Francisco Bay Area Section of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, I respectfully submit this application for recognition as “2008 Section of the Year.” Regards, Robert E. Schilling, President San Francisco Bay Area Section Mercedes-Benz Club of America Laura Simonds, 2008 Western Regional Director To the MBCA Awards Committee: It’s my great pleasure to support the nomination of the San Francisco Bay Area Section for the MBCA Section of the Year Award for 2008. As Western Regional Director for most of 2008, I enjoyed working closely with the section on a vast number of projects and events, although they did not need much assistance from their RD. It was very significant year for the section for a number of reasons. But perhaps most important—it was th SFBA’s 50 anniversary! Key reasons for my support to award Section of the Year to SFBA Section include: • Exceptional leadership that makes the section a well-run and fun club. They believe in and practice developing current leaders, cultivating new leaders, and building succession. • Host of the 2008 StarFest. The section spent almost two years planning this well-run national event. The number of volunteers from the section was almost overwhelming. The committee selected the MBCA Educational Foundation as recipient of a $7,000 donation from the financial surplus. This StarFest was the highlight of MBCA’s year. • Host of a regional event. In combination with the All Euro Car Show (hosted by Central Coast Section), SFBA Section hosted a Poker Rally. It made for a complete Mercedes-Benz experience of rally and car show for a weekend on the Central Coast of California. • There were 2-4 events each month in 2008, and a good number of enthusiastic members turned out for a variety of social, driving, technical, and educational activities. Without a doubt, the best attended th event in 2008 was the section’s 50 Anniversary Celebration—attended by nearly 175 members! • Created by President Robert Schilling, “First Sunday Drives” have become a very popular driving activity. No-cost, no-reservation, these activities have brought in a high number of new members and have appealed to a more diverse demographic of members. It’s been gratifying to see the “First Sunday Drives” become the model for similar activities in sections across the national club. • The newsletter was published monthly and always on the first of the month. The section was extremely proud to be “Best of the Best” winner in the 2008 newsletter contest. • Like sections throughout MBCA, SFBA Section has been challenged with declining membership. But their board of directors has tackled the issue in a variety of ways: improving dealer relationships, welcome letters to all new members, acknowledgment in the newsletter, recognition with a gift at their first event, exit interviews to determine reasons for expired membership, and more. • Fiscal responsibility. At each board meeting, the board members thoroughly discussed and evaluated the financial situation of the section. They made sound decisions about the need for a threshold that keep the section operating for a year if there was no further income, and they decided to partially underwrite one “membership appreciation” each year. Without a doubt, 2008 was a memorable year for SFBA Section. Everyone could sense the energy and enthusiasm from countless members. Winning the Section of the Year Award for 2008 would be the final th “icing on their 50 anniversary cake.” Best regards, Laura Simonds Mercedes-Benz Club of America Jack Weir, 2009 Western Regional Director To the MBCA Awards Committee: I support the nomination of the San Francisco Bay Area section (SFBA) as MBCA Section of the Year for 2008. Even before I was elected as Western Regional Director last November, I had become convinced SFBA must be one of the more successful sections in the national club. My brief tenure as RD has confirmed that conclusion. With respect to the other sections in the Western region, SFBA is clearly the most energetic and most vital in its planning, leadership and focus. The current SFBA section exhibits a very healthy combination of planned leadership succession, member-focused planning, and future focus in all its board and committee functions: • The section recruits members to join the board as DALs, or as committee chairs. It is made clear that as new board members gain experience, they may be called upon to “move up the chairs.” The vice-president is asked specifically if he/she is willing to take on the president’s role in the future. When I was asked to become RD, my role as vice-president was quickly and easily filled by the appointment of one of our DALs. • The annual November planning meeting is highly publicized in the newsletter, and at section events. Members are encouraged to attend, and do. They are asked to propose ideas as to future events, and are asked to volunteer to plan and lead them. Many often do, and become candidates for future board positions. In addition to a full calendar of section social, rally and technical events, SFBA sponsors our highly successful First Sunday Drives (FSD). SFBA also emphasizes the importance of making sure that events are planned to occur all over the section’s geography. Specific actions are taken to solicit participation by members who do not live in the section’s core area. In addition to planning for the following year’s calendar, the planning meeting also identifies potential events for the early part of the year after, giving a head start for future event planners and leaders. • SFBA is aware of the problem of declining club membership, at all levels. Lists of expiring and expired memberships are circulated among board members, and calls are placed to determine the cause for the expiration and often result in members renewing their memberships. • The board has adopted a policy of planning events so as to keep member costs low during these economically depressing times. Most events are of nominal cost to members, or are free; FSD drives are free. The section treasury does not subsidize higher cost events. • SFBA not only focuses on its own matters, but also actively supports the region and the national club. SFBA volunteered to host StarFest 2008, and committed a large number of members to the planning committee. SFBA members comprised about 50% of the total event attendees. Whether SFBA is awarded the club’s best section of the year or not, it’s a great section to belong to, and we couldn’t be happier as members! Jack Weir Mercedes-Benz Club of America San Francisco Bay Area Section Members of the MBCA Award Committee: Although the membership of the San Francisco Bay Area Section decreased by 6.7% in 2008, our section fared well in comparison to many other sections during this challenging economic time. In fact, the SFBA section closely tracked the national club membership decline of just over 6% for 2008. The San Francisco Bay Area Section works with the dealers within our geographic boundaries to promote membership in the club. Club membership materials are displayed at local dealers, we work closely with dealers in planning and hosting some of our events and technical sessions, and in 2008 RAB Motors in Marin offered a club membership with every new car they sold as part of their “Consider a Mercedes” sales promotion. (www.consideramercedes.com) As Membership Chairman I personally send a letter of welcome to each of our new members. This letter provides a listing of the upcoming section events. Additionally, all of our new members are recognized publicly with the listing of their names and home cities in the “Welcome New Members” section of our monthly newsletter. When one of our members is attending their first event with our section we welcome them publicly and present them with a gift – an MBCA “Mercedes Parking Only” sign. We publish a photograph of these first time event attendees in our monthly newsletter. In addition to publicly recognizing our new members and first time event attendees, we also recognize and reward our long-standing members as they celebrate milestone membership anniversaries. In addition to mailing a personalized letter thanking them for loyal membership, our members are also presented MBCA Anniversary Pins for their five-year interval anniversaries. As Membership Chairman I also closely monitor the monthly reports and send a personalized reminder letter to all section members who have allowed their membership to lapse. This letter is sent in addition to any renewal communication at the national level and has proven to be an effective reminder at the local level. I am providing copies of the three personalized letters that have been prepared to welcome our new members, celebrate our member anniversaries, and remind member’s of their membership expiration. Regards, Ann Bornstein, Membership Chairman San Francisco Bay Area Section Mercedes-Benz Club of America San Francisco Bay Area Section Members of the MBCA Awards Committee: The San Francisco Bay Area Section’s newsletter, the Golden Gate Star, was recognized as the “Best of the Best” winner in the 2008 MBCA Newsletter Contest. The Golden Gate Star was regularly published in each of the twelve months of 2008 and contained eight to ten pages per issue. Every issue of the newsletter always includes the following: • Upcoming events for the next 3-month period (i.e. front page calendar, publicity articles, reservation forms) • Officer or Board Member’s Message • Directory of officers and board of directors • First Sunday Drive feature • Welcome New Members list • Classified ads • Recap of previous recent events with pictures • Special features (i.e. series of articles on section’s history for its 50th anniversary) Officer’s Messages and event articles are written by event chairpersons, event attendees, newsletter editor, section officers and board members. As available, other articles include technical features; publicity for regional and national events; member’s car features; news from MBUSA (i.e. loyalty reward program, etc.). These articles are written by section technical director, newsletter editor, section president, regional director, and section members who simply submit an interesting article from time to time. Educational content (i.e. technical, MBUSA/Daimler AG news, MBCA national news) always comes directly from the company, the national club, or published books. PDF copies of all newsletters from the past 12-month period (on a rolling calendar basis) are posted on the section’s web site. The Golden Gate Star accepts commercial advertising. Our advertisers include local Mercedes-Benz dealers, independent garages, and other car-related businesses. Advertisers can buy half- or quarter- page, or business card size space for a one-year period. As Newsletter Editor I work closely with our Advertising Director to ensure the proper design format for the newsletter printer. A copy of the August 2008 Golden Gate Star is included in this application for your review. In addition, the CD enclosed with this application contains a PDF copy of every Golden Gate Star published in 2008. Sincerely, Laura Simonds, Newsletter Editor San Francisco Bay Area Section Celebrating 50 Years! 1 9 5 8 - 2 0 0 8 After more than a year of planning and publicity, StarFest 2008, hosted by San Francisco Bay Area Section with Sacramento Section, is almost here— September 26-October 1. Be part of the excitement at the world-famous By Robert Schilling venues, and hear from the best speakers that MBUSA has to offer. To get the discount registration rates, you must register by August 28 (after that, rates —Our National go up). President Pete Lesler will be at Park Avenue Motors in Palo Alto to lead the MBCA Concours d’Elegance Featured speakers will be Ernest Lieb, CEO of MBUSA, for our ﬁnal banquet Judging School. The reservation deadline was July on Wednesday, October 1, at Thunderhill Raceway Park; and Michael Kunz, 25, but if you want to attend, please contact Robert Manager of Mercedes-Benz Classic Center USA, and Nate Lander, a member Schilling (firstname.lastname@example.org or 650.619.7550) of his staff and an MBCA Educational Foundation scholarship recipient, for immediately to ﬁnd out if there is space available. our concours banquet on Saturday, September 27, at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway in San Francisco. Attendance at this school will certify you to be a judge at any national MBCA Concours event— speciﬁcally you will be able to judge the cars on the Following the Welcome Reception at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway in San ﬁeld at Treasure Island at StarFest 2008 in September! Francisco on Friday, September 26, The Great Lawn at Treasure Island will be MBCA standards are easy to understand, and the site of the Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, September 27. The Concours attending this judging school will provide you awards will be presented at the banquet that evening. with all of the knowledge and practical experience you need to participate as a StarFest judge. Judging On Sunday, September 28, the rally-drive will take us across the Golden Gate is usually done in teams, with more experienced Bridge to the North Bay, Wine Country, and the Central Valley, ending in judges paired with the newbies, so don’t worry Willows, California (location of the track events). This will be a highly scenic about being set out on your own to judge! drive through some of the most beautiful and famous Northern California countryside—through several wine appellations, past a sleeping volcano, and Our school is being held at Park Avenue Motors in into California’s vast agricultural heartland. You can compete in the rally or Palo Alto. The day will start with morning coffee and introductions at 9:30 a.m., and we’ll start Pete’s just take the drive. presentation at 10:00. We will take a short break for lunch and then resume the school by splitting On Monday September 29 through Wednesday, October 1, Thunderhill into teams and actually judging the cars of the class Raceway Park in Willows will be the site for all the track events and ﬁnal participants. The day will end around 3:30 p.m. banquet. The track events and rally awards will be presented at the ﬁnal after a Q&A session to answer any questions that banquet on Wednesday, October 1. Other activities planned for these days have arisen during the school. include Leadership Development and Membership Development workshops and day excursions. If you are considering entering a car in the Concours (Continued on page 9) at Treasure Island, this judging school is a “must attend” event. Not only will you be schooled in the standards to which your car will be judged, your car will actually be judged as part of the class, and AUG. 2 Concours Judging School, Robert Schilling (650) 619-7550 you will go home with a detailed punch list of AUG. 3 First Sunday Drive items you might want to address before StarFest. AUG. 17 Tire Kicker And yes, you can participate as a judge even if you SEPT. 7 First Sunday Drive have a car entered in the show! SEPT. 21 Tire Kicker SEPT. 26-Oct. 1 StarFest, Richard Simonds (650) 592-7613 If you are interested in attending a judge’s school but OCT. 5 First Sunday Drive are unavailable on August 2, contact Hank Pezzetti at OCT. 18* Oktoberfest, Lindsay Drobilisch (408) 782.2305 email@example.com or (916) 687-4792 for information OCT. 19 Tire Kicker on the Sacramento Section’s judging school to be held on OCT. 25 Technical Session, Richard Simonds (650) 592-7613 (Continued on page 9) * Reservation form on page 9 by Eva Gordon, Activities Director How Did I Get Here? www.mbca.org/sfba Treasurer, HOWARD STRAUSE One day I am someone who happens to drive a Mercedes-Benz and Executive Board 925.939.5050 Fax 925.937.7744 the next I am on the board of SFBA Section. I have to ask myself, firstname.lastname@example.org “How did I get here?” President, ROBERT SCHILLING 650.619.7550 Secretary, LINDSAY DROBILISCH As long as I can remember, my family was into cars. There was a email@example.com 408.782.2305 Fax 408.782.1518 firstname.lastname@example.org steady progression of makes and models which ended with Mercedes- Vice President, JACK WEIR Benz. Once my parents bought their ﬁrst M-B, they never bought Ex-Ofﬁcio, HAL HARPER 925.934.7720 Cell 925.899.4298 another make of car. It also helped that when my father traced the Fax 925.930.0446 email@example.com 503.747.4792 family tree, he found out that his long-ago relative had married the firstname.lastname@example.org original Mercedes, the woman after whom the car was named. I was fortunate enough to get the hand-me-down cars as they purchased new ones, and eventually I bought my own M-B vehicles. Board of Directors As time passed, I married an ofﬁcial “car nut.” Being car enthusiasts, Activities, EVA GORDON Hospitality, PORTIA STRAUSE we naturally sought out others who shared a love for cars as we 650.834.2614 Fax 510.234.4574 925.939.5050 did. A friend recommended joining MBCA. They said we would email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org especially enjoy reading The Star magazine, and they had an active Membership, ANN BORNSTEIN Advertising, VACANT group in the Bay Area. We paid the dues and joined. The ﬁrst year we 831.786.0782 just read the magazine and monthly newsletters. For months there email@example.com were many events that passed us by as we just didn’t make them Editor, LAURA SIMONDS Technical, RICHARD SIMONDS a priority. Finally one day we were free and interested in seeing a 650.592.7613 650.592.7613 Fax 650.592.6318 private collection of military vehicles in Portola Valley. Ofc 650.691.9123 Fax 650.592.6318 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com The day came, and as good Mercedes enthusiasts, we showed up in our ofﬁcial Picnic Car “LUE,” a 1957 220S Cabriolet. At the event we Photographer & Historian, Webmaster, LOIS WONG SANDY DROBILISCH 415.601.1329 were pleasantly surprised to meet so many other like-minded car firstname.lastname@example.org 408.782.2305 Fax 408.782.1518 enthusiasts with old and new M-B’s. The group welcomed us with email@example.com friendly smiles, and at the end of the day, they gave us ofﬁcial “ﬁrst timer” sign and took our photo for the newsletter. As time went on, Director at Large, RICH PERSOFF Director at Large, JERRY TERSTIEGE 831.786.0782 650.574.0741 we attended more and more events, each different but with the same firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com friendly faces. Director at Large, STEPHAN VON CRAMM Director at Large, BOB DOERR I have always enjoyed planning events. It was just a matter of time 415.567.1478 650.784.0842 before we would volunteer to organize something for the club. Our firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com ﬁrst event was the Ponton Cabriolet Reunion. This was a result of ﬁnding out there were several other cars in the area just like ours. Next event was a drive to Sonoma which included a wine tasting, Western Regional Director, luncheon, and the ultimate private M-B collection tour. 650.592.7613 LAURA SIMONDS Ofc 650.691.9123 Fax 650.592.6318 firstname.lastname@example.org One day, section president Robert Schilling asked me if I would consider being on the board. I was thrilled. This was a dream come true to combine my love of cars with my enthusiasm of organizing events! This past January I was voted onto the board as Activities The GOLDEN GATE STAR Director. My ﬁrst task was to organize the 50th Anniversary Members Appreciation celebration for SFBA Section. This was not an easy Publisher Anza Group - San Jose ﬁrst-time task—it was a lot of pressure! Finally the day came, Editor Laura Simonds and everything seemed to miraculously fall into place. It was a Photographer Sandy Drobilisch spectacular day full of entertainment and surprises, and hopefully The Golden Gate Star is published monthly by the San Francisco Bay Area everyone who attended enjoyed themselves. Section, Mercedes-Benz Club of America, Inc. Copy deadline: 10th of the month preceding the month of issue. Please type and double space copy. Now I can take a break and relax, at least until the next event— ABOUT OUR ADVERTISERS: We hope you will support our advertisers. No inference, however, should be made that advertising in THE GOLDEN StarFest in September. GATE STAR implies approval of their products or services by the Club, its Ofﬁcers or members, or by Mercedes-Benz - USA Inc. or Daimler AG. As Activities Director, I am always looking for new ideas and venues MEMBERSHIP information or renewal, call toll free 1-800-637-2360 for club events. If you have ideas, please contact me and share them. Our next planning meeting for the coming year is November 1 in Redwood City. We would love to have additional input from You can send that wonderful article or ad via E-mail members—if you have some, please attend. or FAX to me for inclusion in the Golden Gate Star email@example.com or FAX 650-592-6318. Laura Don’t let the price of gas get you down—drive safe and have fun! 2 by Lindsay Drobilisch Saturday, October 18, 2008—The traditional Oktoberfest season begins in September and ends in the middle of October. In past years we’ve celebrated in early September. But this year we will be closing the Oktoberfest season. So, join us for a SFBA Section Oktoberfest on October 18. By popular request, we We had a great turnout of 36 cars—including six smart cars will return to Teska’s Germania restaurant and beer garden in and one gullwing—for our July drive in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Stops included the Thomas Fogarty and Byington San Jose, along with our friends, the 9-piece Alpine Band. Our Wineries—both of which made special arrangements for our special German lunch selections include Roulade (stuffed beef group. We ended with a fabulous lunch under the redwood roll), Jagerschnitzel (breaded pork cutlet), Schweins Hax (pork trees in Felton where our group danced with the patio shank), Wienerschnitzel, and Halibut. All are accompanied umbrellas to dodge the sun as we waited for our meal. Many with appetizers, garden salad, dessert, and coffee. There will thanks to Rick and Cherie Perez for planning and leading this be a no-host bar for our drinking refreshments. fabulous drive! As usual, we will have contests, including a German outﬁt contest. Ladies, you can ﬁnd patterns by Burda and NuMode that have authentic styles. If you have an outﬁt from another European country that would be in the same ﬂavor, why not With expanding membership in the North Bay, our section is working to increase activities north of the Golden Gate. SFBA give it a try! Even though there will be an Oktoberfest outﬁt member Andre Bertauche has agreed to work with any interested contest, special outﬁts are optional…and just fun! And, don’t North Bay members in setting up some local events. Member forget your steins. “People Choice” awards will go for the best BBQs, a monthly visit to a local winery, or maybe lunch at an stein and men’s and women’s outﬁts. interesting new restaurant close by? Anyone interested in helping to form a satellite of the SFBA Section in the North Bay, please We will have a fun-ﬁlled afternoon of German celebration contact Andre Bertauche at firstname.lastname@example.org. And, remember, with dancing, good food, good beer, and the good company of the monthly tire kickers are on the third Sunday of each month at 9:00 a.m. at Border’s Books in San Rafael, right next to RAB our friends and a chance to meet new members. It is always a Motors (in clear view from Highway 101). The next couple of tire memorable event! kickers will be August 17 and September 21. (Continued on page 9) If it doesn’t say Smythe you probably paid too much. 3 50TH ANNIVERSARY by Hal Harper, Ex-Ofﬁcio, President 2007 Looking back at 1958: were new and almost unheard of in other makes (fuel injection, Dwight Eisenhower was in his second term as president. disc brakes, four-wheel independent suspensions, safety cage The ﬁrst man-made satellite, Sputnik, was launched the construction, unit-body construction, traction control, airbags— previous year by the Soviet Union. by now, you probably get the idea). The 45 rpm single had displaced 78 rpm records. Elvis Presley joined the US Army. In addition to the evolution in our favored make of car, our Electronic fuel injection ﬁrst appeared on certain GM club’s membership has seen changes with the times as well. In models (though later abandoned). my years with the SFBA Section, from 2001-2007, I’ve met long- Mercedes-Benz cars were sold through Studebaker dealers time owners and those who acquired their ﬁrst M-B, whether in the USA. new or previously owned. All have been fun, interesting people who share a passion for their cars and getting to know others And the SFBA Section was formed… who share these interests. Some of us own more cars than we have garage space for, but that’s a whole ‘nother story! A lot of events have taken place since the inception of our section, just two years after the formation of the MBCA which To that end, our section has evolved with the times and will took place in 1956. And here we are—more than halfway continue to do so. At the core, we have the dedication and through 2008. passion of members who keep the momentum going. Here’s to a great 50th and keep up the good work—it’s been a fun journey… We have seen import cars become a major part of the American and getting there is certainly part of the entertainment. landscape, from initially being a curiosity or niche market to being an everyday sighting. Mercedes-Benz cars have certainly Greetings from Portland, Oregon to all of you—the SFBA been a signiﬁcant part of that movement. Since the beginning, Section will always hold memories of friendship, camaraderie, the marque has eschewed gadgets and chrome for a solidly and good times for me. engineered vehicle that could run on the Autobahn all day, negotiate around a curving road, and stop in a predictable manner. And do so year after year, mile after mile. Many models showcased emerging technologies that are mainstays in our current models that not many years ago June 2008 (Order name badges from the National Business Ofﬁce, 1-800-673-2360. Check them out in the back of The Star magazine.) Myra Benjamin & Randall Harder, Redwood Shores Wally Steven Buch, Atherton William Childers, Morgan Hill Jay Chua, Hayward FOR SALE: 2005 SL55AMG. Brilliant silver with charcoal Giovanni Corbelletta, San Francisco interior; 16,000 miles with warranty, very rare McLaren Michael De Ulloa, Santa Clara look, one owner, all books and records, original paint in Michael Doukas, Burlingame ﬂawless condition. Contact R.R. Perry at (408) 265-1534. Gordon Fong, San Francisco Megan Ilog, Walnut Creek Please support our commercial advertisers! They support David Milton, Foster City our club. Be sure to tell them that you’re a member of the Susan Phelps, Redwood City club and saw their ad in this newsletter. Patrick Russell, Clayton Francis Scarpulla, San Francisco [Remember, classiﬁed ads are free to members, $25 for Timothy Staley, Corte Madera non-members. Your classiﬁed ad will appear both in Gretchen Verner, Oakland the newsletter and on our web site for one month. Send Dave Waddell, San Francisco your “for sale” or “wanted” ad to Laura Simonds, editor, Alex Waddington, San Jose email@example.com, or (650) 592-6318 fax.] Donald & Kyong Walker, Fairﬁeld Celebrating 50 Years! 1 9 5 8 - 2 0 0 8 4 by Laura Simonds With great ﬂair, fun, and enthusiasm, we celebrated our SFBA Section’s 50th Anniversary at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton on June 28. More than 170 members enjoyed a day full of camaraderie, beautiful Mercedes-Benz vehicles, a delicious barbecue, and even a polo match! The Menlo Circus Club provided the perfect settings for members to display their beloved Mercedes-Benz cars on either the grassy lawn in front of the horse stables or in the parking lot in front of the club house. The variety of M-B vehicles displayed by our members was truly staggering: for example, ‘55 300SL Gullwing, Maybach 57, ’07 McLaren SLR, ‘69 280S, ’58 220S Cabriolet, ’86 500 SEC, ’39 170V, ’65 230SL, ’69 280SL, ’85 G-Wagen, ’56 300Sc Cabriolet, ’08 smart, and many, many newer models. We were honored to have MBCA Executive Director David Cummings (from Colorado Springs) as our special honored guest, as well as other honored guests Past National Presidents Chad Hunt and Richard Simonds; Past Section Presidents Becky Hunt, David Hunt, and Richard Simonds; Past Western Regional Director David Hunt; and current Western Regional Director Laura Simonds. As members mingled among the displays of cars before lunch, there were many conversations about memories of our section’s past activities and lots of “ohhh’s and ahhh’s” over the magniﬁcent cars. New members met long-time members, old friends got reacquainted, and everyone soaked up the sunny atmosphere. Soon our lunch was ready, and everyone enjoyed a traditional summer barbecue of chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs with all the usual trimmings. Somehow everything tasted better as prepared by the Menlo Circus Club chefs! And, what an extra thrill it was to have a polo match going on in the background on the ﬁeld right next to our patio. As we ﬁnished lunch, SFBA Section President Robert Schilling welcomed everyone and shared a bit of our 50-year history. MBCA Executive Director David Cummings then presented several awards and recognitions. First, the Daimler AG Silver Star Award to Richard Simonds (the announcement was made at the fall ’07 national board meeting but the actual award recently arrived for the presentation). Second, the MBCA “Best of the Best” 2007 Newsletter Contest Award to our Editor Laura Simonds. And, at last, from the MBCA national ofﬁcers on behalf of the entire club, a very special framed 50th Anniversary Certiﬁcate of Recognition for SFBA Section was accepted by Robert Schilling. A great rafﬂe of countless door prizes concluded our lunch. We extend a huge “thank you” to Autobahn Motors in Belmont for donating all the door prizes, as well as bringing a couple of ’08 models for our car display. We greatly appreciated their support! To say our 50th Anniversary celebration was a huge success is an understatement. Activities Director Eva Gordon and her husband Scott organized and hosted this delightful day. Numerous members volunteered to help with parking cars, check-in, and other various tasks. Thank you, everyone! Afterwards, comments from many members could be heard: “Everything was stellar from the beautiful venue, precision logistics, delicious food, and smooth program.” “What a great event on Saturday! We really had a great time, and the venue and luncheon were really the very best!” “Congratulations for putting on a splendid and memorable event for SFBA’s special occasion.” “The day was unique from beginning to end in the care and detail taken to provide such a wonderful club experience. It will be difﬁcult to match and will not be forgotten.” 5 Then our large group was divided into two smaller ones and was By Sandor Drobilisch guided to the “bowels” of the ship to the engine room or to the “island” (the navigation and ﬂight control bridges) respectively by the docents. When one group ﬁnished their respective tour with Déjà vu again! In October 2001 we gathered at the awesome bow their docent, the group was taken over by the other docent—a very of the magniﬁcent USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier, and just like then, expeditious method—but what else would you expect? This is on May 31, 2008, an enthusiastic crowd of 51 section members the US Navy! These guys served on this ship for years, and their waited while shivering in the chilly wind of the San Francisco Bay lectures were excellent whether it was given in the engine room or at the former Alameda Naval Station. the ﬂight control bridge! When we ﬁnally walked into the Hanger Bay, the enormous Speaking of service, in the 2001 tour we had one section member— size was overwhelming as we sat down for a well-prepared Jay Carter—who served on the older Hornet (CV 8) during the introduction. We learned about the speciﬁcations of the ship and war in the Paciﬁc prior to its sinking and he was elated to see the history of the most decorated aircraft carrier of the US Navy: the campaign ribbons displayed on this Hornet (CV12) which indicated unit citation he also received. Jay now lives in Florida. • Inherited the name of the earlier Hornet (CV8) from which Jimmy Doolittle took off for his famous Tokyo raid in 1942 Now, this tour of the Hornet produced another section member and was sunk in October of the same year. who actually served on this ship (CV12)--none other than our • This Hornet (CV12) was built in just 16 months by the beloved Treasurer, Howard Strause, who served in 1962 during the tremendous effort of the ship builders—a quarter of whom Cuban Missile Crisis when the political tension was very high and were women! the Hornet was ready for “all out” action as she was heading into • Attacked 59 times during its service but never hit by bomb the Caribbean waters. Of course, the crew was oblivious of what or torpedo or Kamikaze planes! No wonder they nicknamed was happening and learned much later how WWIII was avoided. it “The Gray Ghost!” Howard served as a reservist sailor for eight years and was offered • Her aircrafts destroyed over 1,400 enemy aircraft and way a commission after the crisis but declined. We always held Howard over a million tons of enemy shipping—a fantastic feat! high in our esteem and now he went up another notch. • In 1969 the Hornet recovered the Apollo 11 space capsule and the ﬁrst man who walked on the moon. It was a good event even if we had to climb up and down those • Now she is designated a National Historic Landmark and is steep ladders for hours. We had our box a public museum in the care of the Aircraft Carrier Hornet lunches in the Ofﬁcer’s Mess and Foundation. enjoyed the surroundings, where the posters depicted the past of the ship. 6 As you know from reading the Golden Gate Star newsletter and the national club’s magazine, The Star, our SFBA Section is hosting by Hal Harper, Ex-Ofﬁcio StarFest, a fabulous national event, in Northern California this fall. Starting with a concours d’elegance at Treasure Island and a As many new Mercedes-Benz owners are aware, we get 24-hour banquet in San Francisco, we then will have a rally-drive through roadside assistance courtesy of MBUSA. beautiful countryside to our track location for our driving events, workshops, and Final Banquet at Thunderhill Raceway Park in This program also extends to all years of Mercedes Benz vehicles Willows. Check The Star or visit www.mbca.org/starfest2008 for for United States owners, regardless of whether you are the original details of dates, times, special events calendar, and registration or a successor owner of the vehicle. information. This program was piloted in the New York area in the early 1980’s We will need many volunteers for the various events, and over ﬁfty and then expanded to include the other 49 states. It provides stalwarts have come forward already. There is still need for many technical assistance, jump-starts, vehicle lock-out, and towing to more, and the section has provided a series of incentives, including the nearest service facility if your car is disabled. If you run out of Welcome Reception and Concours Banquet tickets for volunteers fuel, they will bring a few gallons to allow you to get to a station to and their spouse or guest. This incentive alone more than covers re-fuel. If your car is equipped with Tele-Aid, you can contact the the cost of registration. But the real beneﬁt will be participating in Roadside Assistance via that system in your car (or call the toll-free making this gathering the best and most fun national event ever, number on your cell phone if you’re locked out of the car). as well as meeting and working with some of the greatest M-B aﬁcionados in the country! To volunteer, please contact Volunteer I recently had the experience of having my original battery wear Coordinator Jack Weir at firstname.lastname@example.org or (925) 899-4298. out and die one night after an evening out after work with my 2001 CLK that I purchased new. This battery lasted for 7 years—5 months longer than my previous record of 6 ! years with my other car. It worked ﬁne earlier, but when it died, it was gone for good. In my case, the operator advised that she would tell the service tech to bring a new battery along, since it was a likely to have expired of old age and natural causes. I received a phone call from the technician, and he arrived in less time than his ETA. by Richard Simonds, Technical Director It took the tech about 10 minutes to change out the battery (cordless power tools), and he re-synched the power windows, Brake Assyst/ Saturday, October 25, 2008—Looking for a high-class shop that ESP, and radio codes. I paid the cost for the replacement battery, can make your Mercedes-Benz glow and perform to its best? Our but the installation is complementary with Roadside Assistance. next technical event will be held at Performance Art in Gilroy on Saturday, October 25 from 10:00 a.m. to noon. We’ll start with Within an hour’s time, I had a new OEM battery and was on the coffee and snacks around 9:30 a.m. road home with everything back in order. That is a level of service that you get by being a Mercedes-Benz owner, whether it’s new or Performance Art has a 25,000 sq. ft high-tech facility that provides not. a wide variety of services. They can make your brakes stop on a dime and give nine cents change (almost literally). They do alignment with the latest John Bean equipment to improve control of your Mercedes-Benz. In fact, they even have their own nitrogen plant so that your tires can beneﬁt from using nitrogen instead of Finally, if this were not enough, they offer a convenient coffee bar air to inﬂate the tires. The beneﬁts of nitrogen are: less pressure and wireless network access for customers who choose to wait variation when the tires heat up from driving, less loss of pressure while their car is being serviced. over time, and less risk of damage to the rubber from moisture in the air. All of this provides more consistent performance and Join us for another fascinating and fact-ﬁlled technical session from handling of your treasured Mercedes-Benz. Performance Art even a ﬁne shop that serves the South Bay and the Monterey-Carmel uses a “touch-less tire removal system” to protect your wheels areas in particular and anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area that and uses “road force” measurements to assure perfect tire-wheel wants exceptional quality and service. balancing for a smoother and safer ride and more consistent performance. Reservation form will appear in the September and October issues of the newsletter. Questions, contact Richard Simonds at (650) 592- They also do alignment and suspension upgrades and can provide 7613 or email@example.com. you with body kits from Brabus and Lorinser that will dress up your car. You can then add custom wheels and high-performance DIRECTIONS: From Highway 101 in Gilroy, exit at 10th Street and tires and truly personalize your car just about any way you want go west to Monterey Street. Turn left on Monterey Street (south) it. In addition, their technicians will cover detailing of your vehicle and turn left on Luchessa Avenue. It will veer to the right after by demonstrating proper maintenance needed for the paint and crossing under Highway 101 and become Rossi Lane. Performance interior. The use of a clay bar, for example, can do wonders by Art is at 3755-B Rossi Lane, Gilroy, CA 95020. Phone: (408) 848- making the paint fairly glow. 6325. 7 The first official Body Shop for Mercedes-Benz in Northern California and currently the only one on the Peninsula! www.eurotechco.com Read this Have you recently repaired your car at a Body Alarming Shop? Is your car safe? Not sure? News Alarming from MERCEDES-BENZ CRASH TEST LAB News and find out why your life may depend on it! FOR NO EXTRA COST YOU WILL RECEIVE: Honest Service & Quality Repairs Lifetime Warranty Dedicated Tools & Equipment Work with All Insurance Factory Trained & Certified Technicians All Makes & Models Factory Repair Procedure Detail Included w/Service For free Consultation & Inspection Call (650) 654-6805 or Visit www.badrepair.com 171 Industrial Road, San Carlos, CA 94070 OKTOBERFEST Saturday, October 18, 2008 RESERVATION FORM Name: Address: City/Zip: Phone: E-mail: First Event: ( ) Yes ( ) No ____ persons @ $47 ea. = $________ Make checks payable to SFBA/MBCA and mail to: Lindsay Drobilisch 3410 Blue Grass Court Morgan Hill, CA 95037-6417 (408) 782-2305, firstname.lastname@example.org Reservation deadline October 11. For conﬁrmation, enclose a SASE or e-mail address above. (Continued from page 1) Track events include: Defensive Driving School—Learn how to control your car for maximum safety on the road (Continued from page 1) Autocross—Learn about and practice vehicle control and how your Mercedes-Benz responds Sunday, August 3, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Sacramento Accelerations Runs—Practice how to get the most straight- Executive Airport. line performance from your vehicle Time Trials—Practice vehicle driving techniques with an Directions: Park Avenue Motors is located at 3241 Park instructor. When you are ready, drive your Mercedes- Boulevard in Palo Alto. From Highway 101: Exit at Benz on the track to improve your driving skills on the Embarcadero Road/Oregon Expressway following signs for road. This is not racing! Oregon Expressway West. After ~2 miles, exit right at Birch Street (signs for Business District). Turn right at Sheridan Avenue and right again onto Park Boulevard. Park Avenue Quite a few club members have said that the Defensive Motors is on the right side of the street in 0.5 miles. From Driving School and Track Events saved their lives because they Highway 280: Exit at Page Mill Road East and drive ~3.1 miles. learned how to control their Mercedes-Benz when conditions After you cross El Camino Real, bear right as the roadway were unsafe. Defensive Driving School stresses control—of veers left under the crossing. Turn right on Park Boulevard. acceleration, steering, and braking. You’ll learn emergency Park Avenue Motors is on the right in 0.5 miles. moves and evasive maneuvers—what you can do with your car and what your car can do. Increased driver awareness and conﬁdence in coping with emergency situations are life-saving skills. Host hotels will be the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway in (Continued from page 3) San Francisco on Friday and Saturday, September 26-27. In Willows, there are three motels with blocks of rooms reserved (headquarters hotel will be the Golden Pheasant Inn). Hotel Cost is $47 per person, and be sure to send in your reservation information is on the StarFest web site. reservation (on page 9) before the October 11 deadline. Directions will be in the October newsletter and also sent Register now at www.mbca.org/StarFest2008, or you may contact with your conﬁrmation. Questions, please contact Lindsay our StarFest Registrar, Sue Morrison, at (330) 673-7885 (Eastern Drobilisch at (408) 782-2305 or email@example.com. Time Zone) or Slm2teach@aol.com for a Registration Packet. 9 AUG Please send any address changes directly to MBCA at 1907 Lelaray Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80909, or call 1-800-637-2360. We cannot process address changes locally. 50 Mercedes-Benz Club of America San Francisco Bay Area Section Members of the MBCA Award Committee: It’s been almost two years since I became webmaster for the San Francisco Bay Area section. When I first took over management of the site, I was pleasantly surprised by the ease of use. Information is displayed in tab format, with continuity being carried out by the header image and membership benefits panel on the left. Materials for members and non-members are clearly indicated, and no more than three clicks away. In a time when online presence is increasingly crucial, I am glad to take part in this tool that markets SFBA section and provides information to our members. The SFBA Section website is designed and maintained to provide information on the club and section to both current members as well as prospective members. With the prevalence of on-line research we understand that the initial introduction to the club and our section is likely to be through our website. The website is updated monthly. On a regular schedule I post a PDF copy of the most recent section newsletter and also post information on the First Sunday Drive and any other recent section events. Photographs supplied to me from these events are posted in the on-line photo albums. Additionally, I work closely with our newsletter editor in keeping classified advertising current on the site. In addition to on-going content management, I also work to keep the SFBA site well positioned with search engine optimization techniques. On the following pages I have provided an overview of the website content and its intent. I have also included a screenshots of the web pages for your review. The CD enclosed with this application contains screenshots of the current site and I invite you to review the site personally at www.mbca.org/sfba. It has been a pleasure to work closely with my fellow SFBA board members to help communicate the activities and benefits of the section to existing and prospective members. Sincerely, Lois Wong, Webmaster San Francisco Bay Area Section SFBA Website – Selected Screenshots SFBA Website Structure Marketing MBCA and SFBA to prospective members: Homepage: The homepage message is the most important on the site, as it is the first thing a visitor sees. On the SFBA section site, our message briefly describes when the section was established, the geographic area covered, member and vehicle counts, and activities our members enjoy. The passage indicates that we welcome new members from other geographic locations as well as non-Mercedes-Benz owners. Our homepage definitely sets the tone for the rest of the site - welcoming, social and knowledgeable. Links to Membership Application: Visitors are encouraged to join MBCA on every page of the SFBA website. They are free to browse around the section and national site to see what we are about. Greeting message on the homepage indicates that geographic location is not a criterion, neither is Mercedes-Benz ownership. Membership benefits are clearly listed in the left panel along with the link to MBCA membership application – displayed on every page. Therefore, if visitors decide to become part of the community while checking out our event calendar or our newsletters, the application is never too far away. Information on First Sunday Drives: One of the most popular events of the section is the monthly First Sunday Drive. It brings members together for drives through the back roads of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is also an introduction to the club for non-members, as membership is not required to participate. Information on these events is listed on the section’s site. The First Sunday Drives page briefly describes what the drives are like and provides details on how to join the e-mail list and review. Photos of these events are provided in a dedicated photo album on the website. Providing information to existing SFBA members: Event Calendar: SFBA Section plans a wide variety of events throughout the year for our members. The event calendar is posted and updated on the SFBA website. Individual events listed on the website are usually linked to a PDF copy of the newsletter article containing pertinent details about the event. Having the event calendar and information available on-line provides a quick resource for our members as well as an opportunity for prospective members to gain an understanding of the events we plan. Board Contact Information: Names, phone numbers, and email addresses of our board are listed on the SFBA website – even our former president. This information is posted for people working with any board members and in need of contact info, members who have questions about events, or anyone who would like to get in touch with members of our board. Mailing addresses are not listed for privacy purposes, but the contact list is updated whenever there are title or contact info changes. Section Newsletters: Members of the SFBA section receive our monthly newsletters through the mail. For those who are in the process of address changes, or want to see the newsletters when they don’t have the physical copies can access our newsletters on the website. However, in order to ensure that our section members see the newsletters first, PDFs of the newsletters are posted after the 15th of each month. Newsletters published in the past 12 months are kept online as an archive for easy reference. Classified Ads: Section members can submit classified ads to the newsletter and website for free. Once our newsletter editor receives and posts the ads in the printed newsletter, the same ads are be sent to me for website update. Ads posted on the website are open to the public to view, and most stay on the website for one month. Information in these ads is also added to the “meta” tags of the page for search engine indexing. Section Photo and Video Album: Photos and videos taken of any MBCA events can be found on the SFBA website. These materials were either taken by one of our official photographers, or by participants of the events. At the moment, a video slide show of photos taken during the Filoli Garden tour can be seen on the main gallery page. Photos are divided into two collections: Events, and First Sunday Drives. Similar to newsletters, photos taken in the past 12 months are kept online as an archive for easy access. Mercedes-Benz Club of America San Francisco Bay Area Section Members of the MBCA Awards Committee: This was my first year serving on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area Section in the capacity of Activities Director. It was a banner year for events in the SFBA Section as we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Section and also hosted StarFest 2008. Planning activities in the SFBA Section is challenging as our section extends geographically from south of Pebble Beach all the way to the California Oregon border. The bulk of our membership resides in the nine counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz. In planning events it is my goal to have a balance of social, technical and driving events distributed in the north, south, east and western portions of the section. Also, as a section we strive to plan events that strike a balance to make them financially approachable by all of our members. Event planning is done at an annual Planning Meeting held every November. During this meeting we invite our members to come and brainstorm a calendar of events for the following year. Our members are enthusiastic and in 2007 we had more suggestions that could be accommodated on the 2008 calendar! The events that were scheduled for the year included great social events, tours of local attractions, automotive technical events and driving events. Additionally, our section participated in a co-sponsored weekend event with the Central Cost Section, our neighboring section to the south. And, of course, a huge amount of section volunteerism and planning went into our successful hosting of StarFest 2008. We judge the success of our events on multiple criteria – the event must be of interest to our membership as evidenced by their attendance and participation, the event must be self-supporting unless the board has approved an event subsidy, and the event must be well planned and executed. By these standards, all of the events held in 2008 were considered successful events. We strive to be inclusive of families in many of our events and in 2008 the Scharffen Berger Chocolate Factory Tour, our Anniversary Party and the USS Hornet Tour would all be considered “family friendly.” Additionally, our First Sunday Drive events are always family friendly and we often have members bring their young and teen children along on the drives. In the pages that follow I am pleased to present our planning calendar and a synopsis of the events planned and enjoyed by the members of the San Francisco Bay Area Section in 2008. I thank you for your time and consideration of these events as you select the recipient of the award for Section of the Year in 2008. Sincerely, Eva Gordon, Activities Director San Francisco Bay Area Section 2008 Planning Meeting Event Calendar (as of planning meeting held November 2007) January 6 First Sunday Drive auto / driving 13 SFBA Board Meeting club management 19 Technical Session – “Tire Tech” auto / tech 20 North Bay “Tire Kicker” auto / social February 3 First Sunday Drive auto / driving TBD Scharffen Berger Chocolate Factory Tour & Brunch social 17 North Bay “Tire Kicker” auto / social March 2 First Sunday Drive auto / driving 16 North Bay “Tire Kicker” auto / social April 6 First Sunday Drive auto / driving TBD “Chardonnay Cruise” on Monterey Bay social 20 North Bay “Tire Kicker” auto / social 20 SFBA Board Meeting club management May 4 First Sunday Drive auto / driving TBD Technical Session – “SL Models” auto / technical 18 North Bay “Tire Kicker” auto / social TBD Tour of the USS Hornet and Luncheon following social June 1 First Sunday Drive auto / driving 15 North Bay “Tire Kicker” auto / social TBD SFBA 50th Anniversary Car Show & Luncheon auto / social July 6 First Sunday Drive auto / driving 12 Paso Robles to San Luis Obispo Rally (Regional) auto / driving 13 Euro Car Concours (Regional, co-sponsored) auto / social 20 North Bay “Tire Kicker” auto / social TBD SFBA Board Meeting club management TBD Technical Session – smart® introduction auto / technical August TBD Concours Judging School auto / technical 3 First Sunday Drive auto / driving 17 North Bay “Tire Kicker” auto / social September 7 First Sunday Drive auto / driving 21 North Bay “Tire Kicker” auto / technical 26 StarFest Welcome Reception social 27 StarFest Councours d’Elegance at Treasure Island auto / social 27 StarFest Concours Awards Banquet social 28 StarFest Rally from San Francisco to Willows auto / driving 29-30 StarFest Driving Events at Thunderhill Raceway Park auto / driving October 1 StarFest Driving Events at Thunderhill Raceway Park auto / driving 1 StarFest Awards Banquet social TBD North Bay Satellite Group Meeting club management TBD Oktoberfest 2008 social 19 North Bay “Tire Kicker” auto / social TBD SFBA Board Meeting management November TBD 2009 Planning Meeting social / club management 2 First Sunday Drive auto / driving TBD Dillon Beach Rally auto / driving / social TBD North Bay Planning Meeting management 16 North Bay “Tire Kicker” auto / social December 7 First Sunday Drive auto / driving TBD Holiday Party social 2008 Section Events 6 January – First Sunday Drive – Castro Valley to Crockett Thirteen members participated in the first drive of the year - along the back roads east of the San Francisco Bay. We ended at a great local seafood restaurant on the shores of San Pablo Bay under the Carquinez Straits Bridge. Our January First Sunday Drive was planned and led by Robert Schilling. 19 January – Tire Technical Session Fletcher Jones Motorcars hosted an excellent tech sessions where our members were educated on tires and tire technology. In addition to being presented with great information, the dealer also provided attendees with gift bags and generous raffle prizes. The Tire Tech Session was planned by Richard Simonds. 20 January – North Bay Tire Kicker On the third Saturday of every month a small group of North Bay members gather informally in the parking lot of Border’s Books in San Rafael. These Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts chat about their cars and local politics and often chat with some of the local dealer representatives who may join them for a cup of coffee. 3 February – First Sunday Drive Due to foreboding weather conditions only six members participated in the February First Sunday Drive – but true to our promise of driving “rain or shine” a great drive was planned and run by an adventurous few! Our route took members along great back roads with several stops in the Livermore wine region. We ended the drive in the tiny town of Niles, an old downtown area now surrounded by modern strip malls and tract homes. The drive was spectacular and we managed to avoid any rain! Our February First Sunday Drive was planned and led by Robert Schilling. 9 February – Scharffen Berger Chocolate Factory Tour Scharffen Berger Chocolate is world famous and MBCA members were given the opportunity to see the manufacturing process close-up. Our day included a presentation on the history and process of making chocolate, a walk through the factory floor and a lunch in the Cacao Café. Due to the popularity of the event we had both morning and afternoon tours. The Scharffen Berger Chocolate Factory tour was planned by Chardonnay Vance. 17 February – North Bay Tire Kicker For details of this monthly event please see previous description. 2 March – First Sunday Drive A beautiful spring day and a great coastal route brought thirty-nine participants out on to the great back roads of the Peninsua. Starting in Pacifica and hugging the coast, we ended the drive at an historic old lodge in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains with an adventurous no-host brunch just as the facility lost all power. The fun had by all was a testament to the nature of these events and the resourcefulness of our members! Our March First Sunday Drive was planned and led by Laura Simonds. 16 March – North Bay Tire Kicker For details of this monthly event please see previous description. 6 April – First Sunday Drive Thirty-two participants had the opportunity to drive the back roads leading to the top of Mt. Diablo in the East Bay. Although the incredible views were obscured by spring fog, all reports were that this drive was a huge success. The route will be repeated in 2009 with hopes for a clear day! The April First Sunday Drive was planned and led by Jack Weir. 12 April – Santa Cruz Cruise aboard the Chardonnay Forty-five members set sail about the Chardonnay, a custom-built 70 foot sailing yacht berthed in Santa Cruz. The excursion lasted two hours and the weather was picture perfect for this event that included a beautiful luncheon. This event has been a past favorite for SFBA members and is sure to be repeated again at some point in the future. The Chardonnay Cruise was planned by Lindsay and Sandor Droblisch. 20 April – North Bay Tire Kicker For details of this monthly event please see previous description. 4 May – First Sunday Drive – 37 & 24 In May of 2008 we ventured to the California Gold Country for a weekend First Sunday Drive. On Saturday we had 37 vehicles participate in a drive through the famous gold mining towns between Folsom to El Dorado Hills. After a great overnight, 28 vehicles followed a great route continuing on to Jackson. The weekend drives and accommodations were planned and arranged by Joshua Robinson. 10 May – SL Tech Event at OurSL.com Sixty-two members attended this excellent technical session where Roy Spencer presented a comprehensive view of the entire SL model line. Roy had examples of every SL available for visual reference during the event. During his presentation on each individual model Roy presented details on model history, restoration and current values. In addition, Roy provided information on the website he has created for SL enthusiasts – www.OurSL.com. This site provides probably the most comprehensive resource available for any SL enthusiast. The SL Tech Event was planned by Richard Simonds. 18 May – North Bay Tire Kicker For details of this monthly event please see previous description. Because of waning interest in these events, the May North Bay Tire Kicker was the last officially supported by SFBA. A North Bay Planning Committee was been formed to explore more event options in this geographic region of our section. 31 May – Tour of the USS Hornet in Alameda Forty-eight members joined this great tour of the USS Hornet, an aircraft carrier preserved as a National Historic Landmark in Alameda. Members climbed aboard and took a three- hour historical tour learning the rich history of one of our Navy's most decorated ships. The well-planned event included a catered box- lunch in the mess hall of the ship. A highlight of the tour for members and guides was the news that one of our section members had served aboard the USS Hornet. The tour of the USS Hornet was planned by Sandor and Lindsay Droblisch. 1 June – First Sunday Drive Western Sonoma and Marin Counties Forty-nine Mercedes-Benz and smart® cars participated in a drive that has been a perennial favorite for the group. With slight variations in route we visited two of our favorite stops – Hog Island Oyster Company and Wild Flour Bread. The June First Sunday Drive was planned and led by Robert Schilling. th 28 June – SFBA 50 Anniversary Party th In celebration of the Section’s 50 Anniversary, 171 members with 85 cars gathered for a family style BBQ at the prestigious Menlo Circus Club in Atherton. It was centrally located and subsidized by our section so more members would be inclined to participate. The event included a display of our members' cars in a “show and shine” car show on the club's lawns surrounding a newly built barn and clubhouse. A trio of musicians played in the background as members mingled and strolled among the displays of cars before lunch. Once our lunch was served everyone enjoyed a traditional summer barbecue of chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and all the usual trimmings. Entertainment was provided by a regulation polo match played literally feet away from our patio setting. Autobahn Motors arranged a display of the latest model Mercedes models and provided a huge selection of door prizes and giveaways. A raffle was held and almost everyone in attendance was able to win a prize. MBCA Executive Director David Cummings presented several awards and recognitions. First, the Daimler AG Silver Star Award was presented to Richard Simonds. The “MBCA Best of the Best” 2008 Newsletter Award was presented to our Editor, Laura Simonds. th Robert Schilling accepted a framed Certificate of Recognition of the Section’s 50 Anniversary. The 50h Anniversary Event was planned by Eva Gordon and Robert Schilling. 6 July – First Sunday Drive Forty-nine Mercedes-Benz and smart® cars participated in one of the best attended drives of the year. The Santa Cruz Mountains proved again to be the perfect opportunity to enjoy our cars and the company of our fellow members on a gorgeous Sunday morning. The July First Sunday Drive was planned and led by Rick & Cherie Perez. 12 July – San Luis Obispo Tour Twenty SFBA Section members participated in this first day of a combined two-day regional event. The rally consisted of an urban observation rally in the city of Paso Robles and a Poker Run from Paso Robles to San Luis Obispo. The Paso Robles to San Luis Obispo Rally was planned by Laura Simonds and Robert Schilling and executed by Laura Simonds. 27 July – smart® Tech Event Forty SFBA Section members were introduced to the new smart® car at a presentation hosted by smart® of San Francisco and Mercedes-Benz of San Francisco. The smart® Tech Event was planned by Richard Simonds. 2 August – Concours Judging School at Park Avenue Motors Forty-two club members from the SFBA (40) and Sacramento (2) Sections spent a day learning how to judge Mercedes-Benz vehicles to MBCA standards. Our planned instructor, Pete Lesler, was unable to lead this class but our Technical Director and practiced SCCA Concours Judge Richard Simonds stepped in and provided an informative class. A majority of the attendees of this event went on to judge the Concours d’Elegance on Treasure Island at StarFest 2008. The Concours Judging School event was planned by Robert Schilling. 3 August – First Sunday Drive - 21 Santa Rosa to Lake Sonoma through the Alexander Valley. Twenty-one club cars participated in this great drive through the Alexander Valley. We enjoyed wonderful stops at the Jimtown Store as well as a private tour and tasting in the wine caves of the Robert Young Winery. We ended the day taking in the stunning vista over Lake Sonoma and enjoying our picnics in a reserved covered picnic area bordering the lake. The August First Sunday Drive was planned and led by Andre Bertauche. 7 September – First Sunday Drive Woodside to Princeton by the Sea through the Santa Cruz Mountains Thirty two cars came out for this great early fall drive over the Santa Cruz Mountains and along the coast. With quick stops in the towns of Pescadero and San Gregorio we ended the drive in the picturesque fishing town of Princeton-by-the-Sea. Our drivers visited with fishermen and purchased the catch of the day right from the decks of the boats before enjoying lunch at one of several local restaurants. The September First Sunday Drive was planned and led by Robert Schilling. 26 September to 2 October – StarFest 2008 Information on this multi-day national event is provided in the StarFest Section of this application. StarFest was planned by a team of volunteers from the SFBA and Sacramento Sections under the leadership of Richard Simonds. 18 October - Oktoberfest A traditional style Oktoberfest celebration was held at Teska's Germania Restaurant and Beer Garden in San Jose. A contest was held for the Best Traditional German Style Costume and Best Beer Stein. Music was provided by the Alpine Band and our members proved their abilities on the dance floor! Oktoberfest was planned by Lindsay and Sandor Droblisch. 25 October – Tech Session at Performance Art - 23 Performance Art of Gilroy hosted 23 members in an informative tech session at their 25,000 square foot facility. The well planned presentation included information covering high-performance vehicle dynamics, tires, brakes, suspension and body modifications. The Performance Art Tech Session was planned by Richard Simonds. 1 November – Planning Meeting Fourteen SFBA members gathered at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City to brainstorm a great event calendar for 2009. We successfully identified a full calendar of driving, technical and social activities for our section members in 2009 and by the end of the meeting every event had an assigned organizer as well as a tentative date on the calendar. Participants in the meeting enjoyed a hearty Hofbrau lunch after the meeting. 2 November – First Sunday Drive - 16 Sixteen Mercedes-Benz joined together on this great exploration of a seldom-traveled road in the Santa Cruz Mountains. After miles of tight twists and turns and the unfortunate separation of fourteen cars from the drive leader, all participants managed to gather together to enjoy an outdoor lunch at the Alpine Beer Garden. The November First Sunday Drive was planned and led by Robert Schilling 8 November – Dillon Beach Rally A rally starting in Sausalito and following a route around Mt. Tamalpais and along the coast to the Pt. Reyes National Seashor. Participants visited an oyster farm on Drake's Bay before the final leg of the route brought the caravan to the Dillon Beach and a feast of hot clam chowder and sandwiches. The Dillon Beach Rally was planned by Jack Weir and Mauna Wagner. 7 December – First Sunday Drive Thirty-three cars participated in the perfect drive to close the year. A misty morning gave way to perfect weather as our caravan explored the levy roads along the banks of the San Joaquin Delta. After two stops to cross the water on small cable ferries we ended the drive with a very festive no-host lunch at Al the Wop’s restaurant in Locke. The December drive was planned and led by Jack Weir 13 December – SFBA Holiday Party (postponed to February of 2009) The SFBA Holiday Party is usually a highlight of year for many members. However, in light of the economic situation at the end of the year, and in an attempt to protect our club treasury from a burdensome event subsidy, the section board decided to postpone the Holiday Party and plan a more appropriate celebration in the beginning of 2009. Mercedes-Benz Club of America San Francisco Bay Area Section Mr. Scott O. Suits 795 CR #1, Lot 205 Palm Harbor, FL 34683 Dear Mr. Suits and Members of the MBCA Award Committee: The San Francisco Bay Area Section has a long-standing history of sharing our good fortune through the support of local and national charities. In 2008, our section participated in the planning of two events that were specifically identified as events that would support worthwhile local and national causes. One event, The Gathering of Friends All European Car Show, raised a total of $8,000 to benefit local charities in the San Luis Obispo area in Coastal California. In our initial planning to host StarFest 2008 our section leaders agreed that the event should have a charitable component. It was agreed from the start that a portion of the profits from the event would be earmarked to support a worthy cause, and in the end we were pleased to donate $7,000 to the MBCA Educational Foundation. Details on the two events mentioned above are provided on the following pages. Regards, Richard Simonds Chairman, StarFest 2008 A Gathering of Friends: All European Car Show San Luis Obispo, California July 12, 2008 In 2008 the San Francisco Bay Area Section and the Central Coast Section co-hosted two Regional Events that dovetailed together to make a full weekend of MBCA activity. The San Francisco Bay Area Section planned and executed a Trivia Rally and Poker Run that provided a day-long activity for MBCA members. The Central Coast Section hosted a Welcome Reception for MBCA members at the end of the Poker Run, and organized the Gathering of Friends All European Car Show the following day. In addition to providing section members to serve as judges at the show, the San Francisco Bay Area Section also arranged for representatives of the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center to attend the event with two very special display vehicles. The San Francisco Bay Area Section donated $500 to the Gathering of Friends event and was also responsible for the solicitation of an additional $500 donation from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center. The $1,000 raised by the San Francisco Bay Area Section represents a full one eighth of the total money raised by the entire event (including entry fees and food sales). The entire Gathering of Friends event raised a total of $8,000 that was distributed to Camp Hapitok (educational program by San Luis Obispo County for elementary age children with communication disabilities), local Boy Scouts troop, and local Kiwanis Club's charities. StarFest 2008 San Francisco Bay Area, California September 26 – October 1, 2008 The StarFest 2008 Planning Committee SFBA Section hosted StarFest 2008. Over 225 MBCA members attended this six-day event that followed a standard format for StarFest. The Welcome Reception and Concours d’Elegance were held in the city of San Francisco, the Road Rally took participants northward from San Francisco to the city of Willows, where all of the Defensive and Performance Driving events took place at Thunderhill Raceway Park. In addition to the 26 SFBA members that served on the StarFest Planning Committee, a total of 104 SFBA members volunteered in some capacity to make the event a complete success. Event organizers were successful in raising over $70,000 from sponsors to support StarFest 2008, and every member of the planning committee worked diligently to stay under budget in order to maximize the charitable contribution that would be available at the end of the event. When the numbers were crunched, the SFBA Section presented a donation of $7,000 to the Mercedes-Benz Club of America Educational Fund. Specific event photos and documentation from StarFest 2008 are included in the following pages and on the CD enclosed with this application. StarFest 2008 Event Photos MBUSA Concours d’Elegance on Treasure Island Rally Drive From San Francisco to Willows Defensive Driving Clinic Autocross Time Trials – Practice and Instruction Time Trials – Competition StarFest 2008 Attendance by State Canada BC 4 ON 5 USA AK 2 AZ 12 CA 143 CO 1 FL 5 IN 2 KS 2 ME 1 MI 5 MN 1 NJ 2 NV 4 NY 4 OH 7 OK 6 OR 8 TN 4 TX 2 WA 5 StarFest 2008 Final Accounting Income: Budget Actual Registrations 64,415 36,024 MBUSA 40,500 40,500 Other Sponsors 21,500 37,996 Program Book Ads 3,000 4,933 Patrons 500 1,749 Tours- Special Activities 600 130,515 121,202 Expenses: Budget Actual Welcome Bags 3,200 3,032 Program Book 5,400 4,628 Bank & Credit Card Fees 3,250 680 Postage Fees & Misc 300 Regis SW, Supplies, Web 1,599 1,902 Treasure Island 1,600 1,600 Portable Toilets 495 516 Volunteers Breakfasts 1,200 850 Thunderhill Track 41,262 36,212 Practice Lap Instructors 6,000 1,980 Timing Services 4,000 959 MBCA Timing Sets Shipping 150 Concours Awards 3,525 2,078 Track Awards 3,700 2,861 Rally-Drive Awards 250 311 Security - SF 1,600 1,600 Security - Willows 1,600 1,500 Registation Room & Table 123 52 Hospitality Room - SF 855 668 Hospitality Room - Willows 374 550 Hospitality Suites Food 3,000 448 Catering Holiday Inn SF 28,699 19,546 Luches Rally-Drive - Misc 2,400 1,814 Music at Banquets 3,000 1,800 Banquets Table Decor 2,400 1,836 Ads/Publicity - The Star 600 434 Tours - Activities 600 Raffle Prizes - Gifts 2,000 Clothing - Volunteers 2,300 3,682 Judges Attire, Hats 900 1,099 City Permits - SF 1,500 Signage at Concours 1,750 2,538 Signage at Track 750 1,088 Guest Speakers 4,000 Committee Meetings 4,800 3,499 Registar's Travel 2,000 2,019 Ass't Registrar's Expenses 1,000 1,425 Holiday Inn Golden Gateway 2,180 3,233 Contingency Fund 12,020 2,776 156,382 109,216 Gain (Loss) (25,867) 11,986 DONATION MBCA / SFBA Section 4,986 MBCA Education Fund 7,000 Mercedes-Benz Club of America San Francisco Bay Area Section Members of the MBCA Awards Committee: As Treasurer of the San Francisco Bay Area Section it is my responsibility to manage and maintain the finances of the section. On a regular basis I manage the income and expenses related to our events, balance the checkbook, prepare quarterly financial reports that are reviewed by the section board and submit the required year-end financial report to the National Business Office. Additionally, to insure for the long-term fiscal health of the section I regularly analyze the financial position and requirements to keep our section fiscally sound and I manage the distribution of the section’s financial assets to maximize return while limiting risk. In 2008 I reviewed the financial data for the three-year period starting in 2005. The annual yearly averages during this period were as follows: FIXED OPERATIONAL EXPENSES ANTICIPATED INCOME Newsletter 15,000 Section Rebates 10,000 Supplies & Postage 2,000 Raffle Rebates 1,000 Tax Preparation 450 Advertising 4,450 TOTAL. 17,450 TOTAL 15,500 This shows that without calculating variable income and expense (events) we have an average annual loss of $2,000. Considering the variables of the current economic situation and several section subsidized events, and the commitment of our Advertising Director to increase revenues from advertising, I determined a reasonable safety margin would be an amount enough to cover all of the fixed expenses of the section for a six month period without any income. This amount is below the assets on hand at the end of 2008 and well below the asset balance once the financial proceeds from StarFest were added to the section treasury early in 2009. Because we are an organization operated for the benefit of our membership, the San Francisco Bay Area Section does not maintain substantial balances of cash as it is our firm belief that our members deserve the benefit of their payments of club dues and event tickets rather than the use of these funds to build a financial “war chest.” Our section has recently implemented a policy on event subsidies, and with this policy in place and our history of hosting cash positive events, I feel our current operations are pretty much recession proof. Based on our reserves the section can operate comfortably for the next five years and I anticipate another similar long range review in three years. I have included a copy of our 2008 year-end financial statement for your review in consideration of our application for 2008 Section of the Year. Regards, Howard Strause, Treasurer San Francisco Bay Area Section SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA SECTION MERCEDES BENZ CLUB OF AMERICA Jan-08 Feb-08 Mar-08 Apr-08 May-08 Jun-08 Jul-08 Aug-08 Sep-08 Oct-08 Nov-08 Dec-08 TOTAL INCOME Advertising 2,900.00 1,500.00 910.90 425.00 25.00 5,760.90 Raffle Rebate 474.50 474.50 Section Rebate 3,344.00 3,333.00 3,278.00 9,955.00 Starfest Repayment 5,000.00 5,000.00 Board Meeting 0.00 Misc 0.00 Tech Events 175.00 200.00 130.00 505.00 Chocolate Tour 364.00 364.00 Holiday by the Bay 3,290.00 3,290.00 Regional Event Reb 500.00 500.00 Hornet Tour 999.50 999.50 50th Anniv Party 3,020.00 3,020.00 Central Coast Rally 390.00 390.00 Judging School 600.00 600.00 Aug Sunday Drive 50.00 50.00 Octoberfest 2,484.00 2,484.00 Bank Charge 1.00 1.00 Dillon Beach 600.00 600.00 0.00 0.00 TOTAL INCOME $175.00 $3,708.00 $6,690.00 $1,500.00 $9,718.40 $999.50 $3,835.00 $850.00 $3,303.00 $2,484.00 $731.00 $0.00 $33,993.90 EXPENSES Newsletter 1,244.38 1,386.45 1,685.44 1,768.26 1,160.57 1,393.44 1,710.73 1,716.89 1,390.70 1,713.29 1,385.30 1,700.80 18,256.25 Postage 123.00 18.91 141.91 Board Meetings 179.63 234.83 163.50 577.96 Supplies 165.88 692.79 457.80 155.60 43.65 1,515.72 Tax Preparation 450.00 450.00 Historian-Photos 321.93 9.60 120.09 451.62 Misc 65.00 10.00 20.00 95.00 Central Coast Rally 289.14 289.14 Tech Events 14.48 51.94 42.77 109.19 Chocolate Tour 263.6 263.60 Holiday by the Bay 2,442.83 480.00 115.56 3,038.39 Aug Sunday Drive 50.00 50.00 Hornet Tour 927.00 927.00 50th Anniv Party 4,749.35 4,749.35 Donation 175.00 500.00 675.00 Judging School 415.36 415.36 Octoberfest 2,906.40 2,906.40 Bank Charges 1.00 1.00 Dillon Beach 689.18 689.18 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 TOTAL EXPENSES $1,825.42 $1,948.53 $4,128.27 $2,941.05 $2,078.37 $2,370.44 $7,079.82 $3,217.23 $1,390.70 $4,640.69 $2,280.75 $1,700.80 $35,602.07 Net Income (Loss) ($1,650.42) $1,759.47 $2,561.73 ($1,441.05) $7,640.03 ($1,370.94) ($3,244.82) ($2,367.23) $1,912.30 ($2,156.69) ($1,549.75) ($1,700.80) $1,608.17 Beginning Balance $7,783.41 $6,132.99 $7,892.46 $10,454.19 $9,013.14 $16,653.17 $15,282.23 $12,037.41 $9,670.18 $11,582.48 $9,425.79 $7,876.04 Ending Balance $6,132.99 $7,892.46 $10,454.19 $9,013.14 $16,653.17 $15,282.23 $12,037.41 $9,670.18 $11,582.48 $9,425.79 $7,964.22 $6,175.24 Investments 0.00 0.00 0.00 Savings Acct 2,054.58 2,055.43 2,055.87 2,056.29 2,056.73 2,057.15 2,057.59 2,058.03 2,058.45 2,058.89 2,059.31 2,059.75 Checking Acct 7,783.41 8,015.46 10,454.19 9,013.14 16,653.17 15,282.23 12,037.41 9,670.18 11,582.48 9,425.79 7,876.04 6,175.24 STARFEST 2008 $5,000.00 $5,000.00 $5,000.00 $5,000.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 TOTAL FUNDS 13,640.93 11,484.68 8,234.99
"San Francisco Bay Area Section"