COAA Prez Blog

COAA Prez Blog

October 2012

Meet New Rally Coordinator ...

As the recently appointed National Rally Coordinator for COAA I would like to introduce myself and my background.  I am a retired professor of fashion history and design, having taught at the University of St Catherine, St. Paul, MN.

I have been involved with COAA for the past three years starting with the Waynesville, OH rally.  Since then I have attended at least three COAA events each year and co-hosted two successful rallies in St Paul at Festa Italiana as well as the Sanfilippo/Krughoff event in Chicago last July.

I look forward to working with rally organizers to continue to provide great events for both our members and the public who attend our rallies.  Please feel free to contact me with your suggestions and ideas at

Suzanne Hendricks

Future Rally Considerations ...

Thanks to all who've been contributing to the thread re: rally sites. As has been noted, the sites are totally dependent upon a COAA member who volunteers to host a rally. Over the past 12 years, there have been over 50 rallies, the vast majority East of the Mississippi River. This of course was not by design but rather where the host chose to have a rally. During  the past four-five years rallies have been combined with existing events such as amusement parks and festivals. This assures there would be sufficient crowds to make the event worthwhile for those bringing organs and provides more enthusiasm for all. Another bonus is that COAA members were given free access to the event. Though requiring more preparation, it has proven to be worthwhile to all involved.
Regarding urban vs rural locations, COAA has found it's usually more worthwhile to be in a non-rural area. Lebanon, OH, and St. Charles, MO come to mind as nearly ideal locales for semi-urban sites. To date, St. Paul, MN has proven it's possible to have successful rallies in a downtown major urban city, thus far there have been three highly successful rallies there. Some of the most successful of all rallies have been at Knoebels Amusement Park, about 3 hours from Phila, PA, proving that registrants will go many extra miles, often with trailer behind, for the right locale. Another successful setting has been Olcott, NY, about one hour from Buffalo, NY.
The $15 registration fee has been in place since the very early days of rallies. The money is meant to add revenue to COAA's treasury. This is not met with universal acceptance; and so beginning about four years ago, rally hosts have been encouraged to get the local park or event to provide at least one meal per registrant, plus free access. There have been few exceptions and quite often registrants are offered 2-3 meals plus beverages; occasionally, an amusement park will also offer free rides, etc.
To assist hosts or potential hosts, two articles have been published
here regarding Rally Guidelines.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Because one of the primary obligations of COAA's 501-c3 is that we offer education to the public, rallies are the most entertaining and effective ways we can accomplish this requirement. Anyone who's been to a rally rarely makes it a one-time event. The value of sharing this wonderful hobby comes to life at every rally.
Many members have hosted more than one rally. It's become streamlined and so efficient, for example, only those members without email need be contacted by land mail; i.e. it's possible to reach every member coast to coast who has email with one stroke of the keyboard! Recent rallies have proven the success of these improvements.
It's now my pleasure to announce my successor as COAA Rally Coordinator...Suzanne Hendricks has graciously accepted the position and she will be introducing herself to all within the next day or so.
It's been a special opportunity to serve as your Coordinator for the past four years. Other duties are now taking up my time, for which I also extend my appreciation to each of you.
Stay in Tune,