COAA Prez Blog

COAA Prez Blog

Mid-Winter Update ...

Greetings COAA Members and Friends,

We’re now in the midst of winter, which, for those who live in the Northern climes, it’s just too cold too often to be out and about cranking organs and operating Carousel Organs. However, it’s never too soon to be preparing for the upcoming rally season.

The COAA Mid-year Board meeting will take place the third week of February. Among the discussion topics are the following: committee reports; officer reports; member recruiting; member directory; nominating committee in preparation for elections next January; and advertising.

To date, there are eight rallies scheduled; and there’s plenty of time to add others. If you’re interested in hosting a rally please contact Suzie Hendricks, Organ Rally Coordinator, at

COAA Events -

January 12-15, Mid-Winter Meeting and Organ Rally
Ron Bopp,

May 27-29, Lake Winnie, Rossville, GA,  
Mark Chester,

June 24-25, Scupp's Grove with MBSI, East Coast
Bob Yorburg,

July 29-30, GermanFest, Milwaukee
Marc Dannecker,

July 29-30, Olcott Beach, Olcott, NY
Kent Zacherl,  

August (TBD) Dutch Village, Holland, MI
Stefan Batist,

September 22-24, Oktoberfest
Gary Stevenson,

November 3-4, Soule Steam Festival and 
Organ Rally, Meridian, MS,
Greg Hatcher, Jean Orcutt,

Wishing each of you a joyous year of music.

Musically yours,

COAA Board Update ...

Greetings COAA Members and Guests,

My President's Message this time is a summary of the actions taken during our Teleconference on November 14

Approval was given by the Board to pay up to $200 for a Plaque of Appreciation to Knoebels Amusement Park for their dedication to operating carousel organs, of which they have five. Board Member Bob Buckler volunteered to contribute an additional $200 to provide for a suitable bronze plaque.

Secretary Venable has volunteered to organize and catalog all Motions enacted since the inception of COAA. The information is currently available on request to members and Wally will be working to make it available to all on-line. By-laws Committee - Secretary Venable is Chair of this committee and will be providing an interim report by April 2017.

Vice-president Yorburg is the COAA representative for the first major event that will combine COAA, the National Carousel Association Annual Meeting and AMICA. The event will take place September 14-16, 2018. VP Yorburg will also be working with President Rulli on a potential fund-raising effort for scholarships to those students interested in mechanical organs.

Publishing Committee - Chairman Bill Hall will be coordinating with Editor Ron Bopp on the implementation of a variety of subjects as prepared by Chairman Hall. The various actions will be announced to the membership in the coming months.

Editor Bopp will be collecting information about the estimated cost of including additional color to the 
Carousel Organ and also how much it will cost to do a full color edition. There will be discussions regarding a drawdown of treasury funds to accomplish this goal. Alternatively, and perhaps in concert with a drawdown, there will be discussions regarding a fund-raising drive to accomplish a full-color magazine. Editor Bopp will be creating a cross puzzle to be included in future issues of the Carousel Organ.

When recruiting new members a new Membership Recruiting form will be created to make it clear it is for new members, not renewals.  Some current members were confused as to why they were being recruited when they were already members. Member Chair Stevenson will be responsible for the new form and it will be sent to the Board before it's approved for printing.

A discussion was conducted regarding the Wurlitzer Rollography Project and that COAA is paying for it to be on our Website and also on the Mechanical Musical Digest, in essence paying twice for the same information to be communicated, costing $425 total.

All COAA members are invited to the Jasper and Marian Sanfilippo estate on December 17. Member Secretary Gary Stevenson sent out an email blast on November 17 and only four emails were returned, indicating our email list is essentially up to date.

The next Board Teleconference meeting will be February . The first in-person meeting will be either at the COAA Organ Rally at Dutch Village in Holland, MI in August or the Rally at St. Charles, MO in September.

Your input and suggestions are always appreciated. Please write me at

Wishing Holiday Joy to all!
COAA President

President'sMessage ...

Greetings COAA Members,
The Organ Rally season has one more to go, which will be at the Sole Steam and Rail Fest in Meridian, Mississippi, November 4-5. This will be COAA's fourth rally at this special event, which takes place in a historic "living museum" that celebrates America's golden era of industrial steam production. The Sole factory is fully operational  with dozens of skilled former employees  operating the many machines and devices. Additionally, there will be several historic trains on display as well as antique autos. The hospitality offered to Rally attendees is incomparable and includes a welcome dinner at an authentic Denzel carousel with free rides all evening, a live Vaudville-type show, lunch and pure Southern hospitality.  Meridian is one of the premier cities of MS and is just 2 hours from New Orleans, making this a special destination, which many of us do.

The other rallies of this year were as follows: Ella Sharp Museum, Jackson, MI; Lake Winny, Rossville, GA; Knoebels Amusement Park, Elysburg, PA, and Princeton Rally, Princeton, NJ. With special thanks to the hosts who produced the rallies: Bob Cantine, Wally Venable, Mark Chester, Glen Thomas, Jean Orcott and Greg Hatcher, Rally Hosts and Suzanne Hendricks, COAA Rally Coordinator.

Looking forward to next year COAA rallies are proposed at Lake Winnie Memorial Day weekend, Olcott, NY, Germanfest in Milwaukee the last weekend of July, Dutch Village in MI, tentatively in August, and St. Charles, MO, in September.

Because of the exceptional volunteers who lead the COAA, our treasury is in the best shape ever, due to the extraordinary leadership of Treasurer Marc Dannecker and Membership Chair Gary Stevenson. A full account will be published in the January edition of the Carousel Organ.

Sam Harris, COAA Board member, has created a COAA Facebook page which offers information about COAA activities, photos, and real-time reports from organ rallies, etc. Check it out at Facebook/COAA.

Gordie Davidson, COAA Webmaster, continues to provide all necessary COAA information and all of its programs and possibilities in one place. For details go to

COAA Secretary Wally Venable is well on his way to collating all of the previous Board Minutes, a monumental task that will assist in leading COAA into the future.

Bill Hall, Publications Committee Chair, continues to provide leadership for the Carousel Organ, and Ron Bopp continues to edit an exemplary magazine.

Please remember that the COAA is a Non-profit 501-c3 organization and your donations are sincerely appreciated, especially as we develop Education Programs under the leadership of Vice-President Bob Yorburg.  Donations may be sent to: Marc Dannecker, COAA Treasurer, 1900 E. Cora Ave, St. Francis, WI 53235. Thank you for your consideration.



Summer Update ...

Greetings COAA Members,

The rally season has two more to go: August 6-7, Princeton, NJ, and Meridian, MS, November 4-5. The Princeton rally will be in conjunction with the AMICA (Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors Association.) Please see the Rally Calendar in the Journal for details.

Because the COAA has no regional chapters, our only official gatherings are at Organ Rallies or Winter Meetings.  About 25% of the members attend Rallies and, of course, all members receive the
Journal. There is occasional discussion about whether the Rallies or the Journal are both vital to the COAA and each time there is a poll of some sort the overwhelming answer is that both are vital. Annual dues of $40.00 (domestic) pays for the Journal and the rally registration fee of $10 pays for all other activities and incidentals. In 2015 the net revenue from rallies was $2,300.

The balance of
Journals and Rallies has been successful now for nearly 20 years and it's expected we will continue with this success. To date the only COAA Rallies on the West coast have been in the Spokane, WA area. Try as we have, there has been no interest in a COAA rally in CA, which is remarkable considering that region was considered one of the few "hotbeds" of mechanical organs in the USA. Anyone who wishes to explore the idea of hosting a rally is invited to contact Suzanne Hendricks, Rally Coordinator, at

Lastly, if you haven't yet  paid your dues, please do so now. Again, details are in the
Journal on page 12. Please remember that all COAA elected officials are volunteers, and most especially the Treasurer and Membership Chair who collect and tabulate all dues. Their duties are greatly extended when dues are not paid in a timely matter. The COAA year is from July 1-June 30. Please remit your dues if you haven't already done so. 

You may send your dues of 40.00 to Marc Dannecker, Treasurer, 1900 E. Cora Ave., St. Francis, WI 53235

Thank you and Happy Cranking.

COAAfully yours,

Summer Message ...

Greetings COAA Members and Friends,

COAA is embarking on exciting paths to more fun and more opportunities for involvement in this great hobby. My campaign for re-election was focused on more ways to make this hobby fun and less emphasis on bureaucracy.   

COAA is now poised to assure there will be more opportunities to enjoy our hobby and look to the future so that COAA continues to increase its membership and enjoy "The Happiest Music on Earth."

The following members volunteer hundreds of hours per year for the betterment of the COAA. Their contributions go mostly unnoticed, yet without them the COAA could not exist. 

Membership Chair: Gary Stevenson, has single-handedly renovated the retention methods which have kept COAA membership within 98% of its peak four years ago. Please  pay your dues on time; Gary devotes countless hours to keep COAA's membership stable and vibrant. 

Vice-President: Bob Yorborg, Education Chair, will be unveiling a program of activities for young people and the possibility of college scholarships for those interested in mechanical music.

Webmaster: Gordie Davidson, has innovative ideas to draw attention to our hobby, utilizing the power of the Internet to keep hobbyists informed while appealing to young people who are  enthusiastic about digital technology.

Social Media: Board Director Sam Harris. This is a new committee and will be focused on keeping members connected while offering opportunities to involve legions of new members via the Internet. 

Publications: Board Director Bill Hall will be leading the direction of our publication, The Carousel Organ Journal, and other publications. Recruiting more advertising and  more authors will be among the primary goals. 

Advertising: Director Bill Nunn, will be spearheading a campaign to increase ad revenues so that more  pages and color can be added to the Journal.

Organ Rally Chair: Suzanne Hendricks, will continue to seek venues for the rallies that attract more than 1/4 of  our members and to seek and support  local hosts for the rallies. Typically there are 6+ rallies per year and more venues are always welcome. Rally Hosts: The COAA Organ Rallies could not happen without members who volunteer to make the rallies happen. They are recognized in the annual Organ Rally Edition. 

Organ Rally Website Coordinator: Ted Guillaum, as Immediate Past-President, Ted contributes to  the COAA by creating the websites for every Organ Rally. He appreciates the input from all Rally Hosts to provide accurate information to all.

Treasurer: Marc Dannecker continues to track every dollar that COAA takes in and spends, providing fully accurate accounts to the COAA Board. Marc's unwavering commitment is appreciated. 

Records and Retention: Secretary Wally Venable,  newly-elected in January, is creating a digital history of the COAA policies and actions. This will be the first easily accessible documentation of the COAA Board's past work. Wally has developed a digital records retention and destruction policy which the Board adopted at our May Board meeting. It is based on the important past work of Mary Jo Bopp and Fred Dahlinger.

Liason to Related Hobby Groups: Director Bob Buckler, this is a new post that will create ways in which related hobby groups can cooperate with the COAA to further the enjoyment of this marvelous hobby.

Fund-raising: President Angelo Rulli will be focusing on raising donated funds designated for educational and outreach activities such as: providing Scholarships to budding composers and enthusiasts and funding special projects, i.e. publishing a Directory and Organ Census, producing a Promotional DVD of Organ Rallies, etc." Further, he will be ex-officio on all other committees.

Board Director Ron Bopp is a member of the Publications Committee and often leads the COAA Winter Meetings in Florida. Beyond his salary as Editor, Ron contributes many hours in producing the Journal and annual Rally Edition.

For the COAA,