In the summer of 2004 word spread that some folks from the Buffalo, NY area were seeking International Harvester collectors and enthusiasts in organizing a New York Chapter of the International Harvester Collectors Club (IHCC). For years many of us talked about forming a chapter and were excited to learn that someone was actually getting one started.
ORGANIZING OUR CHAPTER
In September of 2004 organizers were at the Western NY Gas & Steam Engine Association Show at Alexander, NY spreading the word and taking names of interested people. October 22, 2004 a flyer and letter was mailed from the IHC Formation Committee. The Western New York Gas & Steam Engine Association (WNYG&SEA) offered the use of their clubhouse for a meeting to get the club started. A meeting was scheduled for November 7, 2004. An excellent idea to contact the National and glean NYS members creating a mailing list proved to be successful for the committee.
A card was included in the mailing to gather information such as names, addresses, special talents/skills, interests in IH and collections, etc. Dozens of interested people showed up at the November 7, 2004 organizational meeting.
Monthly meetings were conducted most of the first year to get everything done in concert with the IHCC National rules. Charter members were recorded. We adopted by-laws and established many committees that made the club run like a well-tuned Farmall tractor. We were granted our official chapter number 35, and charter at the 2005 Winter Convention at Madison, WI. Chapter 35 region includes the entire state of New York and continues to call Alexander, NY our home. We maintain a membership of about 200 people. Our board of directors is made up of seven members elected by the membership.
Membership drives were conducted most of our first year by attending a variety of agricultural related events around the state such as the NYS Farm Show, Empire Farm Days and many tractor shows and fairs. Chapter representatives were on hand distributing literature, answering questions and signing up new members with our Chapter 35 banner and tent as a backdrop.
A contest among members was conducted and a newsletter name was determined by member vote. Our quarterly newsletter is titled, FARMALL FLYER. There are regular columns of interest to all along with a classified ads section. Our membership directory is updated annually and serves as a great communications tool for contacting members and sharing ideas.
OUR FIRST STATE SHOW
We held our first state show titled, Red Power Charge 2006 at the Union Agricultural Society fairgrounds in Hemlock, NY. A 28-page show book listed events, and promoted supporters. We had a surprising turnout of IH red and Cub Cadet yellow. Our Cub Cadet Corral was busy. Despite poor weather, the show was declared a huge success. A daily Parade of Power, museum tours, exhibits, IH auction, sawmill and other demonstrations, kids tractor pull, live music, a radio station announcer at the microphone, great food and new friendships blossomed both days. A fine display of our show featured tractors, the Farmall 300 and International 300 was impressive. Free parking was offered and vehicles were seen with license plates from several states.
It was an ambitious project and was nationally recognized by author and IH enthusiast, Oscar “Hank” Will III who attended and was a highlight of the show. His April 2007 story of Red Power Charge 2006 appeared in Farm Collector Magazine. Subsequent state shows have been held in different regions of New York State hosted by other tractor organizations willing to feature International Harvester for their program.
Four quarterly general membership meetings are held each year in different areas of the state with a schedule of additional activities at winter meetings at the Alexander Clubhouse. Our meetings often carry a theme such as, Wear Red or Patriots Day or “Bring your favorite farm toys,” etc. Guest speakers are a highlight at several meetings. A “Red and Green” picnic was held where we shared fellowship with local John Deere and Oliver clubs. Our late winter meeting has become our annual farm toy show where members are encouraged to display some of their farm toy collection. We have a Christmas Party with lots of food in December. Annual fund raisers have included pedal toys and Cub Cadets.
In the winter of 2008 we were selected to host the National Auction. It was held at Alexander, NY and featured a good variety of IH collectibles, tractors and implements. In the future we hope to host a Red Power Round Up. Chapter 35 has become a reality, long overdue in the State of New York. Attending meetings is exciting and being with our members is productive and fun. We have a great group of people who pitch in when things need to be done. Our membership carries a variety of folks, many retired geezers, large and small farm operators, firefighters, tradesmen, lawyers, veterinarians and even a cardiologist. We have donated specially decaled IH pedal tractors to Children’s Hospitals in New York State.
Seems like not long ago organizers Anita and Ray DeGlopper spread the word of their desire to form a New York State chapter of IHCC. After receiving chapter certification our membership soared. At cut-off date we recorded 126 charter members, and elected Lew Esten our first president.
During 2015 we celebrated our 10th Anniversary as a chapter of IHCC. Much has been accomplished in our first ten years. We created our logo, purchased club jackets, sponsored plow days and conducted meetings, including several at a Case/IH dealership and at large farms. Our first state show was a standalone event at the Hemlock, NY Fairgrounds. We had a local radio station live on the grounds.
As our main event we celebrated our 10th Anniversary at our State Show RED POWER CHARGE 2015, held in conjunction with the Hamlin Antique Tractor & Equipment Show August 29 and 30, 2015 at Breslawski Farms in Hamlin, NY. A custom made 10th Anniversary banner was proudly displayed at the front of our huge red and white striped show tent. Special printed clothing available in our chapter store displayed a 10th Anniversary logo. Individually crafted red and gold color Christmas ornaments with 10th Anniversary decals were given to participants at our Christmas party.
For our 15th Anniversary in 2020 we updated our large anniversary banner for display at all 2020 events and meetings. We designated our 15th Anniversary state show RED POWER CHARGE 2020 to be in conjunction with the 2020 Pageant of Steam Show at Canandaigua, NY appropriately featuring International Harvester products. A handsome window decal with our club logo was be mailed to each member throughout our great State of New York. More 15th Anniversary plans were in the hopper until COVID-19 shut us down.
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