By Kathleen Wong, UCR Socials Co-Chair
The 2013 UCR Awards Banquet was held at Riviera Parque (Vaughan, Ontario) on Saturday November 23, 2013. We had an attendance of almost 90 people at the banquet. John and Rosemary Adam did an amazing job organizing the banquet and putting together a menu, which offered a multi-course dinner with wine pairings.
The evening started off with members mingling near a colourful martini station, and checking out the brand new 911 Turbo S in the foyer (courtesy of Porsche Cars Canada). A beautiful slide show by Michael Coates,our UCR photographer, was shown in the banquet room throughout the evening.
The banquet began with opening remarks by Walter Murray, UCR President. Walter thanked all volunteers for the record participation at almost every single UCR event in 2013. The two most heart-warming events of the year were acknowledged at the banquet:
1. The Driven to Smile day provided rides for physically challenged children at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) in June 2013. This event was organized by Jill Clements-Bartmann and UCR director Del Bruce.
2. The Hearth Place for Cancer Support in Durham provided rides for young children with cancers at CTMP during three separate Saturday Driver Education events. The lunch-time rides were organized by Carolyn Hoar (volunteer and family support coordinator), Dave Osborne (the chair of DE program) and David Forbes (director).
We have received some special awards from Porsche Club of America. UCR had the largest absolute growth among the 140 PCA regions in 2012, and we are currently the third-largest region in PCA with 2,154 members (as at October 31, 2013) and almost 3,400 members, taking into account affiliated members. The significant growth in members was driven by Downtown Porsche, which gave a free PCA membership to all customers buying a Porsche from them.
Walter thanked the dealer principals and representatives for their great support of UCR. They are: Chris Plater and Clare Molina from Downtown Porsche; Dave Sambrook (General Manager) and Neela Sambrook from Pfaff Porsche; Francesco Policaro (Dealer Principal) and Hans Ulsrud (Director of Sales) from Porsche Centre Oakville.
After the first course with roasted red pepper soup (Amani Pinot Grigio), Walter presented certificates of appreciation to the following long-time UCR members:
- 15th anniversary : John and Albine Cook, Michael Pohlmann and Veronica Low, George Wong;
- 25th anniversary: Barry Whitnell; and
- 30th anniversary: John and Rosemary Adam.
Laurance Yap, Director of Marketing at Porsche Cars Canada, presented the Enthusiast of the Year award to Jill Clements-Bartmann, who organized Driven to Smile events during the last two years, in conjunction with the DE team.
After the second course with risotto and a trio of mushrooms (B&G Partager Merlot), Walter presented awards to both David Forbes and Horst Petermann, who are stepping down as directors due to term limits. Walter thanked Isabel Starck, director and socials chair, who is stepping down to spend more time with her young family; and Kye Wankum, director of communications. Walter introduced two new directors for 2014: Kathleen Wong (director and the co-chair of social events) and Mick Oliveira (director and chair of the club race). Walter also acknowledged Dave Osborne for running a fantastic DE program, and Ken Jensen for doing an outstanding job on membership retention.
Laurance Yap updated us on the latest Porsche news. One of the milestones included the opening of Porsche Centre Oakville, an independent Porsche dealership, in October 2013. Porsche launched its Macan compact SUV on November 20. Camp4, a three-day winter driving event at the Mecaglisse track in Quebec, is currently in its fourth year and the event is almost sold out.
After the third course with giant grilled shrimp and filet mignon wrapped with hickory smoked bacon (Sensi Chianti DOCG), Sondra Radvanovsky gave an inspirational speech about how she rose to be an acclaimed opera star. Sondra specializes in 19th-century Italian opera and her signature roles include Elvira in Ernani, Leonora in Il Trovatore, Elena in I Vespri Siciliani and Élisabeth in Don Carlos. Sondra and her husband, Duncan Lear, are UCR members and own a 1986 911 Turbo and a 2005 Cayenne. We appreciate Sondra taking time out of her hectic schedule to spend the evening with us; she travels over 260 days a year to sing at major opera houses around the world. At the end of her speech, Walter presented Sondra and Duncan with UCR signature caps.
The evening wrapped up with a delicious cherries jubilee flambé dessert (Balbinot Cuvee ‘Prima Stella’ Millesimo). John Adam gave a closing blessing prayer and wished everyone a safe drive home and a wonderful holiday season.