model train set on track

The TCA National National Convention 2002

e*Train Issue: Sep 2002   |   Posted in:

St Charles, Illinois, June 23-30th 2002

by Dr. Paul Wassermann

The Midwest Division, under the leadership of Chris and Marlene Rolfing and Steve Holic provided approximately 1000 registered members with a fabulous convention. The years of careful planning were fully realized in what appeared, to me, to be a smooth week of fun and great toy train related pleasure. Since I was participating in the board meetings for two of the days, I didn’t get a chance to do as much as I would have liked, but my early arrival on Monday did allow me to compete in the TCA National Golf Tournament Tuesday morning. Forty (that’s right…forty) golfers participated in a great event that including wonderful prizes for all kinds of “bests” including best drive, best putt, best shirt, best shoes. Thanks to the Callaway Handicapping system my gross score was netted into the winning score and I won a $50 gift certificate at the pro shop, which I turned into a nice silk shirt.

Highlights, from my perspective included:
Best public layout displays I have ever seen at a convention. (Lego, Dorfan,
Erector, Standard Gauge Girl’s Train Layouts!)
Great layout tours including a visit to the Hoge collection of toys and trains
A fabulous dinner cruise, complete with fireworks and a mouth-watering steak.
Wonderful Kids Club racing events
Huge welcoming party full of near euphoric train collectors!

From start to finish this was one wonderful week, which literally flew by! But the most gratifying moment, for me, occurred when the National Board of Directors unanimously approved our request to shift the National Convention date from June to July, 2009. . This exception will allow us to use the Desert Ridge Resort as our convention hotel and means the attendees in 2009 will be staying in a five star resort, complete with 4 acres of pools, 100,000 square feet of exhibition space, 950 rooms (all with view balconies), two golf courses, 9 restaurants, all for a 2009 guaranteed price of $135!!! I am already trying to think of ways to make 2009 a “Star Spangled” convention and I hope you all start thinking in that mode too. We have the opportunity, with seven years of planning, to really do something extraordinary and special.