Perspective piece courtesy AMVETS National Riders President Tom McNamara
I've been a motorcycle rider for many years now. I've heard of Rolling Thunder. I've heard of the freedom ride. I've heard of the Saluting Marine. I know the legacy of the past 33 years protest ride that has aimed to hold our government and nation’s feet to the fire when it comes to ensuring that our nation's prisoners of war and missing in action are never forgotten.
NATIONAL RIDERS CONVENTION MINUTES 2019
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY AUGUST 23- 24, 2019
Riders National Convention called to order by President George Cummings at 8am EST, August 23rd.
Prayer led by National Chaplain, Jeremiah Botkin. Pledge of Allegiance by membership. Convention Rules read by National JA, Jim Whitcraft. Motion made to accept, motion 2nd and passed.
Motion made to move into nominations and elections of National Officers, motion 2nd and passed.
“JUDGE ADVOCATE: Jim Whitcraft, you were nominated at Mid-Year, do you accept? Jim-Yes.
Are there any other nominations for JA? (X 3). Hearing none, nominations are closed.”
“SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: Mike Campbell, JD Dotson, Curtis Allen and Larry Saad, you were nominated at Mid-Year, do you accept? Mike-Yes, JD-Yes, Curtis-Yes, Larry-No. Are there any other nominations for SAA (X 3). Hearing none, nominations are closed.”
“TREASURER: Beverly Munoz, you were nominated at Mid-Year, do you accept? Beverly-Yes. Are there any other nominations for Treasurer (X 3). Hearing none, nominations are closed.”
“2nd VICE: Dan Macdonald, Kristin Orem, you were nominated at Mid-Year, do you accept? Kristin-Yes. Standing in for Dan Macdonald is Don Cox. Dan accepts nomination as written in a letter to the membership. Are there any other nominations for 2nd Vice (X 3). Hearing none, nominations are closed.”
“1st VICE: John Reando you were nominated at Mid-Year, do you accept? John-Yes. Are there any other nominations (X 3). Hearing none, nominations are closed.”
“PRESIDENT: Tom McNamara, you were nominated at Mid-Year, do you accept? Tom-Yes. Are there any other nominations (X 3). Hearing none, nominations are closed.”
JD Dotson elected to SAA position. Dan Macdonald elected to 2nd Vice position.
Secretary, Karen Cox, casts one vote for all uncontested nominees (JA-Jim Whitcraft, Treasurer-Beverly Munoz, 1st Vice-John Reando, and President-Tom McNamara).
The newly elected National Riders Executive Board:
John Reando-1st Vice
Dan Macdonald-2nd Vice
Jim Whitcraft-Judge Advocate
George Cummings-Immediate Past National President
Meeting adjourned until 3:00pm, August 24th.
August 24, 2019 3:00pm Riders Convention continued.
Officer Attendance: All present except Dan Macdonald-excused. David Ray-excused.
Delegate count: Total Registered: 117
Total Delegates: 82
Voting Delegates: 81
In Attendance: 111
Majority Vote: 41
1st Vice Report, Tom McNamara: 124 Chapters. Just approved Hawaii-III as a new chapter. We have several new chapter applications. I submit my report as written.
2nd Vice Report, John Reando: I appreciate all the programs that were reported and participation in the fund raising. There are training videos on our website. I submit my report as written.
JA, Jim Whitcraft: Nine resolutions were submitted. The committees recommended all nine be passed. Motion was made, separately, on all nine. Each were 2nd and passed by the membership. Submit report as written pages 13 through 22 (to include all resolutions). To see details of all resolutions, please visit our website.
Chaplain Report, Jeremiah Botkin: Chairing the Gold Mothers Ride. Looking for chaplains or anyone who would like to be on the committee. Submit my report as written.
PNP, Don Cox: Keep up the good work. Thanks for all your help over the past 8 years. Report is in book. Submit report as written.
Secretary, Karen Cox: DRF’s and Revalidations, most submitted them on time. To see how to do an application to start a new chapter, see this one submitted by MO. It’s perfect. Report is in book. Submit as written.
Communications Officer, Kathy Campbell: It’s been my honor to work with Rolling Thunder. I’ve started a list of volunteers. Trying to get as many riders as possible. It’s been my honor to work with our President, George Cummings. A gift was given to George. A banner of “Rolling Thunder”. It was signed by all the National Officers.
Publications Officer, Kelly Reando: I have brochures available. I will be ordering new ones with Tom McNamara’s picture on them. I have been working on a training section to put online. It’s on our website now. It’s online help with programs, filling out different forms, etc. My report is in the book.
Historian, David Ray: Had to leave for family reasons. Health concerns with his mom, so please keep them in your prayers. He has been working to finish a book on the history of the organization. His report is in book.
Treasurer, Bev Munoz: Thank you for allowing me to serve in this position. Reports are on pages 8-12.
On page 8 there is a correction. The $5000 donation going to WI-13 will be split in half. $2500 will go to WI-13 to help veterans with dental care. The other $2500 will go to 22-Everyday in District 1 in NY. The committee doing the external audit found a few minor issues. The credit card reward dollars can be spent at Mid-Year and Convention. We will put aside $3000 for donations next year. Also, Death Benefit. There was an overage of $250. We had $10,400 from previous year; adding the $250 brings us to $10,650. Each year $2000 gets added so we now are at $12,650. Motion to accept finance report, motion 2nd, passed.
George: We made donations of $200 to the National Commander’s project; $150 to Sons and $150 to Ladies. At Mid-Year, Ladies Auxiliary donated $100 to my project. Son’s donated $250. PNC’s did 22-Push-ups and a lady donated another $100. The $250 will go to the Saluting Marine, Tim Chambers. He does free dental work for homeless veterans. He will be at Rolling Thunder.
OLD BUSINESS: None.
NEW BUSINESS: Motion made to increase Death Benefit (Riders and Supporters) from $250 to $350. Motion 2nd, passed.
FL Department has 30 Days of Christmas raffle. OH Department also has 30 Days of Christmas raffle. John Reando suggested we do a raffle, winner take all, at Mid-Year and Convention. Donation would be $1.00.
1st Vice, Tom McNamara: There were 12 chapters up for revocation. 2 turned in their revalidations. Now 10 are up for revocation: No dues or reval turned in: AK49, FL19, FL26, FL34, MA32, MO181. No reval turned in: FL941, MD10, PA187, VA35. Motion made, 2nd, passed.
GOOD and WELFARE: Had 35 out of 124 who qualify for Quality Chapter. Qualifications are pay dues, turn in revalidation, report programs at least twice a year (Jan-Jun and Jul-Dec), and Increase your membership by at least 1 from previous year. Congratulations to following Quality Chapters: AZ770,FL35, FL42, FL60, FL81, FL88, FL292, FL444, GA118, IA2, IA6, IA31, KY61, LA66, MI57, MI93, MI1941, MI1988, MO1, MO6, MO42, MO48, MO55, MO113, MO114, MO180, NY8, NY245, OH21, OH26, OH43, OH51. OH112, OH333, OH1994, OH2003, VA40. Certificates given to all.
2nd Vice, John Reando: Programs Awards: Chapter of the Year-OH-1776 with $13,837. Total Department Programs Reporting-Department of OH with $1,855,000. Revals and Most Improved Programs Reporting: OH71 with increase of $18,000. Membership Largest Chapter: MO-48 with 70 riders and 25 supporters. Membership Award for LRB/LRS. Revals and overwhelming Aspects: Bob Anderson, MO Department President. Supporter of the Year: Bill Adkins, KY-61. Rider of the Year: Tom “Block” Aiken. Department Rider of the Year: Paul Spuhl, MO-1. Presidents Prestigious Award, Most Improved Chapter: LA-66. Presidents Award for Outstanding Achievement: OH-51.
Incoming President (Tom McNamara) gave the outgoing President (George Cummings) a Riders vest with all National Officer signatures inside. George received his royal blue beret. Tom received his baby blue beret. George wished Tom all the luck and to call if he ever needed. Tom said it was the first time 3 PNP’s were in the room at the same time: Rob Quick, Don Cox and George Cummings. Our new President, Tom, said it meant a lot to him to be on stage for joint installation and looked out and all he could see were all the red shirts the riders worn. He thanked the riders.
Motion to adjourn at 4:46pm, 2nd and passed. Prayer by Jeremiah Botkin. Retirement of colors by JD Dotson, RNSAA.
Karen Cox, RNS
With the 2019 Convention approaching, it is time to send in your nominations for Rider of the Year and Supporter of the Year.
One award will be given for each of these categories.
Please see the attached letters.
Have a great day and we hope to see you all in Louisville!
Kathy Campbell RNCO
ROLLING THUNDER LETTER
From: AMVETS Riders National President George Cummings
Greetings my brothers and sisters of our great AMVETS Riders organization.
It is with great honor that I bring to you information that I have been working on collaboratively with the AMVETS.
We have been working to continue the Call to Action demonstration which was started in 1987 in Washington D.C. by Rolling Thunder to bring attention to those service men and women that were serving our country during war whom never came home. Over 82,000 of these brave men and women, also known as POWs and MIAs, never returned home.
National AMVETS Riders will continue this event starting in 2020 and every year after until we can bring them all home.
What I am asking of all of you is, will you join us in making this a success. We will need many boots on the ground to pull this off.
Rolling Thunder has done a great job showing us the way so let’s keep the message going in the AMVETS Riders traditional ways.
Please contact the Riders National Communications Officer Kathy Campbell or myself if you would be willing to take this pledge.
More information will be coming down the pipeline with possible perks for anyone who volunteers to help put on this event.
This year’s 2019 event had over 1.5 million bikes in attendance!
We project that a lot of the attendees would join our rank and file membership and grow our cause to assist all Veterans far and wide.
AMVETS Riders to the forefront!
Your AMVETS Riders National President;
To: All membership Officers
From: Tom McNamara
National AMVETS Riders
1st Vice President
RE: Hard Deadlines for the smooth operations for DRF’s and Revalidations.
Dues and Remittance forms (DRF);
*September 1st through January 31st – Chapters collect dues from members, $12 for National, plus Department per member. Chapters may charge whatever the Chapter membership decides for Chapter dues. This gives Chapter 1st Vices time to verify individual memberships with parent organizations (AMVETS, Sons of AMVETS and AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary) prior to the end of February. National will start accepting DRF’s as soon as December 1st.
*March 1st – Chapters must remit Dues and Remittance forms to the Department prior to March 1st. Chapters failing to submit DRF to the Department by March 1st will be assessed a $25 late fee. Chapters failing to remit dues to the Department by April 1st WILL be automatically suspended by the Department. Suspended Chapters may be reinstated, no later than June 1st by submitting a complete membership roster, dues, $25.00 late fee, and a $50.00 reinstatement fee. Chapters failing to reinstate by June 1st shall be subject to a vote of revocation by the Riders Delegates at the AMVETS Riders Annual National Convention.
*March 15th – The Department shall collect their Chapters’ dues and rosters and send them to the Riders National Secretary no later than March 15th each year. The Department will submit $12 per member to National.
*July 1st - Chapters must revalidate with Officers form to the Riders Department Secretary no later than 1st of July each year to maintain their Charter.
Retain one (1) copy for your Chapter, submit one (1) copy to the Riders Department Secretary.
*July 15th – The Department must revalidate the Department with a new Officers form to the National AMVETS Riders no later than the 15th of July each year to maintain their Charter. The Department shall have all Chapter Revalidations submitted to the National Riders Secretary prior to the July 15th deadline or the delinquent Chapter will be placed on suspension.
If you have any questions, please feel free to personally contact me, RN1V Tom McNamara to discuss this or any membership issues at (678) 463-2987 (please leave a message if I don’t answer and I will return your call within 24 hours.), or e-mail email@example.com.
1st Vice President
National AMVETS Riders
Good day Riders!
With Mid-Year 2019 approaching, we are once again accepting applications for the AMVETS Riders scholarship program. Three scholarships are to be awarded.
If you or a member of your chapter are interested in applying for a qualified family member or yourself, please complete the application form that can be found on the website under the publications tab. A direct link is provided below.
Qualifications and requirements are noted on the application. Please read carefully and fill out completely to avoid any delay/disqualification of your application. Be sure to submit by the deadline stated.
Kathy Campbell RNCO
National AMVETS Riders are now accepting bids to host the Mid-Year Rally 2021. We are looking to hold it in a central location to All Our Chapters. We would like to visit new states and chapters so please submit a bid if your chapter would like to be considered as the hosting chapter for 2021. The event must be held between the last 2 weeks of April and the first 2 weeks of May. If your Chapter would like to host the 2021 Mid-Year Rally, you must submit your bids to the Riders National Headquarters no later than 1 April, 2019.
All bids must be received by this date.
Mail your bids to:
Riders National Secretary
14 Reid Place
Palm Coast, FL 32164
You may also submit by email (as long as copies of all signature pages are included) to:
If your bid is not chosen, you will be asked if you would like to leave it in to be considered for the following year. If any bid information has changed, you will need to update and re-submit by the submission deadline. You must inform the National secretary if there are no changes and you would still like your bid considered so a copy can be given to the committee.
All bids will be presented to the Mid-Year Meeting Committee. They will then make recommendations to the Riders Mid-Year Body. A vote will be taken and location chosen during Mid-Year 2019.
You must include the following in your bids.
1. Your post has a meeting room capable of holding up to 50 people.
2. The Chapter must submit a letter from the Post Commander or Executive Board stating that they will support the Riders Mid-Year Rally.
3. The Chapter must submit a list of local Hotels/motels and room pricing.
4. The Chapter must submit a cost sheet for meals per person and which meals will be made available to the Rally if the Chapter/Post is providing food.
5. The Chapter must submit a comprehensive schedule for activities for a Riders get together to be held on Saturday night, which shall be funded by the Hosting Chapter.
6. The Chapter shall submit a detailed cost breakdown for any expenses the Riders National may incur.
7. The Chapter must submit a Point of Contact and an Alternate Point of Contact to include Phone Number, e-mail and mailing address.
AMVETS Riders National Secretary
AMVETS Riders National Communications