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Summer - 2002 by Dan Adovasio

After just returning from our 5th Annual Birthday Bash, many people asked both Jake & I about how the Birthday Bash came about. As I re-live Birthday Bash history, I wanted to share the story with the 6600+ members who have joined the C5 Registry since the "original" 22 members signed up!

Jake Drennon has always loved Corvettes. Over the years he has owned a í78 25th Anniversary Edition (which Jake bought specifically to take Susanne, his wife, on their honeymoon), í88 Convertible, í92 Coupe and a í95 Indy Pace Edition Corvette. When the C5 was introduced in March 1997, for Jake it was love at first sight. On the other hand, I had never owned a Corvette. After 30 years of being Vette-less, I ordered a 1997 Torch Red C5 coupe sight unseen after Jake sold me on the idea of the proposed new C5 Corvette. I immediately fell in love with my new ride after taking delivery from Meadows Motors in Manchester, Georgia, in May 1997.

Shortly after purchasing my new pride and joy, we realized that no information network existed for the latest generation Corvette. This inspired us to form a Registry for the new C5. At the 1997 NCM Labor Day show, 20 C5 owners brought their Corvettes to be displayed. Nineteen signed up to become members of the newly formed C5 Registry and each received a one page C5 Registry newsletter. The new members wanted to participate in events and asked, "what kind of events is the Registry going to put on?" We both quickly answered "we are going to do a one year birthday bash for the C5 in March 1998 at the NCM!" Thus the phrase "Birthday Bash" was born.

On March 27, 1998, the first bash was held at the NCM. Three hundred Registry members showed up to participate in this first "one-of-a-kind" event. As an additional bonus, Corvette was named 1998 Motor Trend "Car of the Year" and in celebration of this monumental achievement, GM contacted Wendell Strode, NCM executive director, and Wendell suggested they join the Bash for an official celebration.

The celebration continued to grow in size and attendance each year. Fast forward to April 2002. The Registry now has over 6600 members and the Birthday Bash is a major event on the NCM calendar. Because of its size and the fundraising impact on the NCM, the Registry decided to turnover the event planning and management to the NCM staff in 2000. Today, ninety percent of the Birthday Bash attendees are Registry members. We hope that this event continues to be fun and exciting for our members along with being a tremendous benefit to the NCM. I need your input. What did you like? What did you not like? We want your ideas about the Birthday Bash so that we can relay the information to the NCM for planning for the future. I am more than willing to lobby the NCM for the desires of our members. I want this to be YOUR Birthday Bash!

In addition to the Birthday Bash, April was overwhelmingly full of Corvette events! Besides the Bash, another highlight of the month was being invited by Chevrolet to go to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the press introduction of the 50th Anniversary 2003 Corvette. What a thrill! I got to take a ride in the 50th Anniversary Pace Car as we took a few hot laps around the famed Indy 500 track.

Along with the ride, I had a chance to meet some racing greats and soon-to-be greats! The event included remarks by Sam Hornish, Eddie Cheever, Arie Luyendyk, Buddy Lazeer and I got to have dinner with the man himself, Tony George, owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

You can imagine my smile during the Indy Press event when Rick Baldick, Corvette Brand Manager, informed me that Chevrolet had decided to bring the 50th Anniversary Corvette Coupe & Convertible to the C5 Birthday Bash for itís first public showing! This was the best news I had heard in a long time! Top this off with the Birthday Bash and it was an April to remember! Now if we could only get rid of that April 15th government ritual (ha ha)!

You will receive this newsletter after the Big Bloomington event. We are very happy to return to Bloomington this year in a BIG way. This is the "granddaddy" of Corvette events. And with itís new venue, I believe it will be a GREAT event!

You may receive this in time to join us July 4-7 at Road America in Elkhart Lakes, Wisconsin. This is a new area of the country for us and we are excited about this regional event. Be sure and check the Events Page http://www.c5registry.com/events.htm for more information on this and other C5 Registry events.

The big event on our horizon is the West coast event . . . The 3rd annual Birthday Bash West. This year it will be held in conjunction with the Monterey Historics where Corvette has been crowned the Marque of the event. Once again, Janet Curran [C5R# W0477], our West Coast coordinator, is putting together probably the best event we have ever had on the West Coast. If you like Corvettes, if you like road tours, if you like beautiful countrysides, old Corvettes, new Corvettes, historic race cars . . . this is the event for you. Join us August 9 Ė 14 for a fabulous event! Donít forget the actual races are August 16-17 and you are welcome to stay for those as well!

The growth of membership, the newsletter, the Birthday Bash and the C5 Registry have sure come a long way from their humble beginnings in 1997!


Previous Dan's Say:

2002 April Dan's Say

2000 December Dan's Say Special Edition February 2000 Dan's Say
1999 September December Dan's Say 1999 July  August Dan's Say
1998 November / December Dan's Say  1999 April / May Dan's Say
1998 Special July  Dan's Say 1998 June / July  Dan's Say
1998 April / May Dan's Say 1998 January / February Dan's Say
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