Provinz: 2017 UCR Annual Banquet

By Kathleen Wong, UCR President Photos by Peter Blake and Stefan Walther

Celebrating Record Participation at 2017 UCR Events

On Saturday October 29, about 160 Upper Canada Region (“UCR”) members and friends celebrated a record year of event participation at our Annual Banquet, which took place at the Islington Golf Club. The annual banquet is an occasion to give recognition to our long-time partners, volunteers and members who are the best ambassadors of the Porsche brand. We cur­rently have 2,800 primary members, which makes us the largest region among 143 regions at the Porsche Club of America. If we include the affiliated or family members, we have close to 4,150 members at the end of October. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Downtown Porsche and Porsche of London, who’ve been supporting UCR membership growth by offering free first year PCA membership to everyone that bought a car from them.

Our banquet began with an opening prayer by John Adam, Past President & Club Historian. Cindy Jacisin, National Secretary of the Porsche Club of America was the special guest of honour at our banquet, flying in from Chicago to attend. Cindy did a “Stand Up Sit Down” by asking all participants to stand and then count down the years that each member joined UCR. She then presented a PCA flag to the longest-serving members – John & Rosemary Adam, who joined UCR in 1983.

Special Guest Elyse Saunders entertained with an inspiring performance of her beautiful song, “Rise”.

At the banquet, I thanked all UCR volunteers for delivering a total of 65 events for more than 4,000 par­ticipants in 2017. About 30% of these events were track-based performance driving events with the remaining 70% for members and families. I have classified these events in the following four categories:

Photos by Peter Blake
Left and above: About 160 members and guests gathered for our annual banquet

  1. Our performance driving events include the Introductory Driving School in April, monthly Driver Education events from May to October, annual Can/Am Challenge Club Race in August and Autocross. These attracted more than 1,000 participants in 2017.
  • Our Driver’s Education events (DE) had a record number of participants in 2017. Huge kudos to our DE track chair Dave Osborne and his team (Co-Chief Instructors – Stephen Goodbody and Tim Sanderson; Registrar – Mary Iantorno; Work Assignment – Del Bruce and Tim Venturelli; Attitude – Andy Wright; Safety – Scott Bodo; Tech Chair – Paul Neto; Tower Control – John Adam and Track Treasurer – Graham Jardine) and all the DE instructors who worked tirelessly during DE weekends to help students develop advanced driving skills. Congratulations to Dave Osborne and Andy Wright who recently received their “Certificate of Appreciation” for each of their 25th anniversary of UCR membership!
  • 2017 Can-Am Challenge Club Race at CTMP (aka Mosport) was one of the best races we ever had, espe­cially with the inaugural visit from the Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series. The huge success of our club race was supported by three sponsors: Porsche Centre Oakville was the Presenting Sponsor and brought a GT3 and a BMW i8 pace car to our club race; Porsche Cars Canada has been the National Sponsor of our club race during the past 22 years; Braidan Tire was the trackside tire sponsor. Thanks to our Club Race Co- Chairs – Walter Murray and Terry Cassan and the Club Race Committee: Brion Charters, Matt DiStefano, Neil Dowdell (Volunteer Coordinator), Steve Revoy (Regis­tration), Allan Lewis (BMW Trillium Club Race Chair) and Isi Papadopolous (BMW Trillium Club President). Moreover, the entire event was made hugely successful with the help of 30+ UCR volunteers who worked at registration, manned the grid and managed the control tower during this four day long weekend event.­
  • Autocross: Mario Marrello organized six Auto­cross events together with the BMW Trillium Club at two locations (Powerade Centre in Brampton and John D. Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham) between March and October in 2017.

The 25th Anniversary certificates being awarded by Kathleen Wong to Peter Earnshaw, Kevin and Lilian Kurnik, Auguste and Penny Lecourt, with congratulations from Michael Pohlmann.

Kathleen Wong (President) congratulates the 15th Anniversary recipients: Henry Au, Henry and Debbie Goslett, David Mew, Michael Pohlmann (VP), Scott Samuel

More 5th Anniversary recipients with Kathleen Wong Jill Clements (Co-Chair Drive2Smile), Sandra and Benny Mendlowitz, Michael Pohlmann

  1. Our Socials (monthly), Rally and Fun Runs attracted a total of 2,000 participants in 2017. Thanks to our Socials Team (Socials Co-Chairs – Peter and Susan Blake, Onsite Registration – Michelle Gananathan, Dag­mar Ruehl-Pegg, Kim Willis); our Rally Master – Sajjad Butt, who organized a spring and a fall rally; Fun Run Co-Chairs – Peter Hoffman, Jason Figueiredo, Cynthia Wong, and our various Fun Run hosts – Jennifer Beau­champ, James Biggar, Paul Biggin, Mike Blinn, Dennis Centis, Hazel de Burg, Neil Dowdell, Humberto Du­arte, Michelle & Randy Gananathan, Guenter Gamauf, Martin Hederich, Peter Hoffman, Greg Oldenburg, John Tsourounis, Stefan Walther, Jennifer & Vaughan War­rington, Laurance Yap and Rick Zuccato.
  2. Our three Signature events were the Open House in the Spring, Concours d’Elegance & Picnic, and theAnnual Banquet that attracted a total of 800 participants. Thanks to our Open House Chair – Gregory Sachs; Concours d’Elegance Chair- Randy Gananathan; and our Annual Banquet team – Peter & Susan Blake (Socials Co-Chairs), Terrence Tong (Treasurer), Stefan Walther, and especially Michael Pohlmann (Vice-President) & Veronica Pohlmann for bringing Elyse Saunders, a Canadian singer and songwriter, to perform her song “RISE” at the banquet.
  3. UCR hosted the following Community Events in 2017:
    • The annual Driven2Smile event was spon­sored by UCR. We had 85 Black and Red run group drivers from our Driver’s Education pro­gram giving rides to 300 physically challenged children for a few laps at Mosport. Del Bruce and Jill Clements are the co-chairs of this an­nual event they have run for the past six years.
    • UCR organized two Street Survival Schools together with the BMW Trillium Club in 2017. Our instructors provide one-on-one in-car coaching to help young driv­ers, who have less than 10 years of driving experience. Thanks to the Street Survival School Co-Chairs, Mario Marrello and Hazel de Burgh and our Street Survival School Chief Instructor – Martin Tekela.
    • At a few of our DE events at Mosport, UCR instruc­tors and members provided dream rides during their lunch break to young children with cancer.

At the 62nd Porsche Parade in Washington, Provinz magazine won 1st place at the Newsletter Contest for Class VI (Regions with more than 1650 members) award. Congratulations to Randy Gananathan (Provinz editor) and his team on this well-deserved achievement. It is a daunting task for volunteers to produce twelve first class issues, 48 pages each, of a printed on paper newsletter that is mailed to all 4150 members of UCR. Peter Helston (Past President 2002) has volunteered to be our Sponsor­ship Chair to assist with recruiting new advertisers for Provinz and UCR sponsors in the coming year.

I want to express my appreciation to the following Past Presidents, who have been giving me excellent advice during the past year – John Adam (1998 President), Rosemary Adam (1989 President), Mike Bryan (2015 & 2016 President), Ken Jensen (2000 President), Walter Murray (2013 & 2014 President).

At the banquet, we recognized many longstanding PCA members, who have been Porsche enthusiasts for five, 10, and multiple five-year periods thereafter. There were 324 UCR members in such categories in 2017.

Michael Pohlmann (Vice-President) and I pre­sented “Certificates of Appreciation” to 20 anniversary members attending the banquet. We welcomed three first-time UCR event attendees by giving Porsche pins to Albert Luce and Michelle Gravina plus Linda Woo, who joined UCR in October 2017 and immediately attended the first available event, our annual banquet!

New members who joined the club in October 2017: Michelle Gravina, Albert Luce, Kathleen Wong and Linda Woo.

The last recognition of the evening was for our “2017 Enthusiast of the Year”. I met this gentleman (who joined UCR in 2016) at a new members’ social in March 2017 when he pitched his first Fun Run in Niagara Falls. Through my network, I learned that he experienced some issues during his inaugural Niagara Falls Fun Run in May, but he was not discouraged. He wrote an email to me explaining the issues that he encountered and what he planned to do to improve his next Fun Run. Since then, he has organized six out of 20 Fun Runs that we had in 2017. He lives in Niagara Falls and two Fun Runs he co-hosted took place in the Muskoka region. In one of his Fun Run follow-up articles, he wrote “People thought I was crazy. I was going to wake up at 4:00 am to drive over two hours to Muskoka, then drive few more hours during the event and drive another two hours to get home. But I told them, I am driving a Porsche!” Congratulations to Stefan Wal­ther, who won UCR’s 2017 Enthusiast of the Year Award!

During the banquet, I conducted a quiz. The ques­tion was “How many UCR volunteers do we have at the banquet tonight?” I asked all banquet participants to write their answers on the back of the table place cards. After Michael Pohlmann (Vice President) and Terrence Tong (Treasurer) had collected the table place cards, I asked vol­unteers at each table to stand, so I could call out the total number of volunteers at each table. Terrence Tong, our Treasurer who is a Chartered Accountant, added up the numbers and revealed that there were 43 UCR volunteers at the banquet. It was interesting that eight participants had 42 as their answers but only Angela Sun had the cor­rect answer of 43 and she won a $50.00 UCR Goodie Store gift certificate.

The highlight of the evening was the performance by Elyse Saunders, who is a Canadian singer and songwriter. Here is the link to her song: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=4UJ4J_VXyvc

Our thanks to Veronica Pohlmann who invited Elyse to perform the song “RISE” at our banquet. RISE tells the remarkable true story of Jessica Phoenix — a two time Canadian Olympian, f our times Pan Am Medalist and one of the top equestriennes in the world. The song was about how a small-town girl fought through life-threat­ening injuries and injustice to achieve a greater goal — and doing so with a level of determination, confidence, and grace that shines bright. You can follow the story at www.jessicaphoenix.ca, https://www.elysesaunders.com and www.roar-group.com

Veronica Pohlmann also kindly donated an exquisitely handcrafted Verona picnic basket for the prize draw. This is a two-lid willow basket with premium leatherette (weather proof) accents, canvas carry straps and lined with polyethylene for durability. The lucky winner of the Verona picnic basket (retail value $130) was Andrea Heitz!

Kathleen Wong with Verona Picnic Basket draw winner Andrea Heitz and Veronica Pohlmann. (Photo by Stefan Walther)

During the rest of the evening, I showed the follow­ing three UCR videos. These videos were produced by FlightSquad Media, which is a group of university students studying engineering and sciences. The team’s manager is Ryan Tam, who is the son of UCR member Roy Tam. I would like to take this opportunity thank Ryan and his team for the tons of hours they spent to edit the footage and produce these three amazing videos for UCR. You can also see them via the UCR website.

Video #1: UCR 40th Anniversary Picnic, July 23, 2016. There were 150+ Porsches and 500 participants at our 40th Anniversary picnic.

Video #2: Can/Am Challenge Club Race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Mosport), August 5-7, 2016. Ryan Tam captured his Dad’s (Roy Tam) first PCA Club Race at CTMP.

Video #3: Inaugural Race of GT4 Clubsport Trophy East Series at CTMP (Mosport), August 4-6, 2017

Our banquet ended with a closing prayer by John Adam. Mark your calendars – our 2018 Annual Banquet will be on Saturday October 27, 2018.

(Provinz: Dec 2017)

One thought on “Provinz: 2017 UCR Annual Banquet

  1. When can I truly write the truth about the work I find done by other “PORSCHE SPECIALIST’S and that I have had to repair work that other so called techs think they know what they are doing is correct.
    Every new customer that comes to me shop I find so much bad work even from the Porsche Dealer network, its scary because the work I find is so sub-par that they work ruins engines, transmissions and others, not to mention the value of the car.
    We live in a world that should have total transparency yet I can not write the truth I find in regards to really, really bad workmanship and I really stress here it is more than just bad..
    it is beyond dangerous and the work done is totally wrong and in fact can be dangerous for both the driver and the passengers.
    When can the truth be told in our Province that articles I write with back up pictures would make Porsche owners sit up and think twice where they take their cars.
    Its a shame because most of it is a scam.
    Come to my shop and you will soon see the work that needs to be redone that was originally done by Porsche advertisers in the Province.
    Crazy really, you tell the truth and I am the one that gets punished for it.
    Make the change otherwise the club is complicit in some of the shops that advertise and recommend to new members where they should take the Porsche.
    It is a sad state when Porsche techs lie about what they have done to perfectly good KlassiX Porsche’s.
    Just a thought, but it is really starting to piss me off because I am the one they turn to advising me they have no extra money after spending it all at these so called Porsche shop, how crazy and polluted out trade has become, its like a puss infected boil that doesn’t want to go away. I have been threatened “With My Life” in the past for being outspoken but I am a Christian and I am tired of it all. The list is long, yet have we got the “Intestinal Fortitude” to tell the truth. If I write an article explaining and showing pictures of all the crap I find I can guarantee the Club would not have the guts to print it because of their close association with the Dealer Network.
    Its gone way beyond funny now as many Items I find is just plain dangerous for the owner.
    Lets all tell the truth and then maybe we can all sleep better at night.
    Sadly I know this will never happen because I will be silenced.
    I am close to calling it quits after 44 years mainly because the system is so flawed, its so sad that something I have loved and treasured for my entire adult life has become something I now detest.. Though the work I do is still the very best of what I can do.
    Anyway, do with this info as you see fit, but most probably it will get trashed, removed and never get printed, let alone be aloud on any club forum.
    Being a Porsche Tech back in the day we had the knowledge and with that you gain respect because we were trained in the correct ways of Zuffenhausen. Now Porsche Techs are just plain parts replacement people and thats all. In my days we had to repair anything and everything. The future for the car industry looks bleak but we can only hope there will be crude oil 10 plus years from now otherwise all this work we do means nothing.
    No dealer has a fabrication centre internal to their business but that in my day was part of the training, we had to learn Machining, Fabrication and Welding.
    How sad it has become for real Porsche Die-Hards, yet I know this will fall on deaf ears so, whats the point. The only Dealer I can work with and tells me the truth is Downtown Porsche and if something is amiss they will try their best to rectify the problems as quickly as possible, I applaud them for their efforts.
    Sad days as this comment will not even get past this stage because it will be deleted. LOL.
    Jay Lloyds.

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