RPW Column By: LAURIE FALLIS / RPW – WATERVLIET, NY – Change is coming for the New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) and it was teased last weekend at their 2019 Awards Banquet.
While the ceremony was getting ready to honor many drivers for their 2019 accomplishments, second-year president Dan Wood took to the stage to begin the evening’s festivities with his annual welcome speech in front of a crowd of approximately 350 people.
As all eyes were glued on him as he announced that the 2019 ceremony would be the last the organization would hold in the current format.
Many people were wondering why the change, so who better to ask than the President himself.
“First things first, I want make clear that we are still having the Hall Of Fame Inductions along with the Award ceremony,” Wood said. “We are just looking to make the program shorter and affordable. We want it to be an event that the new generation would attend and enjoy.”
Does Dan and the organization have any ideas as of yet?
“We’ll be changing the venue and using a different format,” he said. “However, things are still in the works on what exactly will take place. It’s way early.”
Wood was quick to say that if anyone has fresh or new ideals, they are all welcomed to offer them. Please go to our NYSSCA website or Facebook page and post your suggestions there or through private messenger.
“Things have changed from years ago,” he said. “Our program now lasts about five to six hours, unlike it did in the past. Those days were much shorter due to the fact that there were only four member tracks. We had a band afterwards and many stay around and enjoy.”
Differences today with the event are a great problem to have. The organization has expanded, covering eight tracks and two series which, in turn, make for a longer awards program. Lengthening the program means many in attendance are ready to leave as soon as it’s over due to travel time home. Many come from very long distance to be a part of this event.
“We’ve noticed that over the years, attendance by the drivers has also declined,” he said. “Another factor is the lack of man power in which it takes leading up to the day’s activities. This is a huge event for the organization and it takes a great commitment by all involved to have everything in order.”
Another factor possibly contributing to the decline may be other banquets. Some drivers run two and even three tracks a week. Many of those have policies in place where you must attend the banquet in order to receive point money.
By time a team pays for everyone to go, the costs of tickets adds up.
“NYSSCA has always been about honoring their members,” he said. “We enjoy giving awards, but they’re not monetary awards. If you had to choose, which one’s will you pay to go?”
In any event, Wood and the organization want to bring the event to the next level, and make it more appealing to those who attend.
“After so many years, things could get stale and people lose interest,” he said. “With that, we are certainly excited to keep it going and are looking forward. We will have something fresh and different for the 52nd annual event to honor those from this season.”
The New York State Stock Car Association works hard for it’s members, all year, not just at banquet time. It’s a great group to be a part of and for a small membership fee, the benefits are endless. For more information on the group, check out www.nyssca.com or like them on Facebook or Twitter.