History of Northern Recon Group Donations
In 2016, Dann Spear, the Museum of Forgotten Warriors Founder and Curator contacted the Northern Recon Group about a military vehicle display request from the Feather Falls Casino. The Feather Falls Casino wanted to rent some of the military vehicles from the Museum of Forgotten Warriors. Dann Spear explained that the vehicles at the museum were on permanent display and not able to be rented. Dann Spear then suggested the Northern Recon Group (NRG) was a partner with the Museum and that the NRG could help with a display of historical military vehicles.
The Feather Falls Casino then contacted the NRG President, Floyd Jones and arranged a historic military vehicle display. This was the very first experience with the NRG and Feather Falls Casino partnership. Following the display of our vehicles, the first donation check from the Feather Falls Casino was presented to the Museum of Forgotten Warriors in November 2016.
The Feather Falls Casino was impressed with how we displayed our historic military vehicles and the professionalism of the NRG members. The Casino then invited a few NRG members to assist with parking and event safety at large outdoor events located at the Casino. In return, the Casino would donate to non-profit organizations that the Northern Recon Group suggested.
Since 2016, the partnership with the Northern Recon Group and Feather Falls Casino has developed into a one of a kind that has donated to approximately 35 veterans’ groups, museums, and non-profit organizations. Over the last three years, since 2016, the Feather Falls Casino has donated approximately $70,000 to veterans’ groups, museums, and non-profit organizations, on behalf of the Northern Recon Group.
2021 Non-Profit Donations
Beale Air Force Base 9th AMX Booster Club Beale Air Force Base 9th AMXS Booster Club
Back the Badge Yuba-Sutter Habitat for Humanity in Marysville, CA
Feather Falls Casino Fundraiser Tattoo Convention Feb 2020
Check delivered to Habitat for Humanity Patti Archuleta family services Supervisor
Check delivered to St Vincent De Paul
Durham American Legion Commander Rick Farley is shown holding the $1,000 donation received from Feather Falls Casino for having participated in the military vehicle display at Feather Falls’ Rib Cook-off event on Saturday, September 21, 2019. The American Legion 5-ton cargo truck was displayed along with a number of other historic military vehicles provided by members of the Northern Recon Group, as well as the Huey helicopter provided by members of the Vietnam Helicopter Association – with the two groups’ members present to provide answers to the many questions posed by the attendees at the Cook-off. The generous donation to Durham’s Post will help with maintenance and upkeep of the large vehicle. While Durham has not had a lot of high-water years in recent memory, the A.M. General, six-wheel drive high clearance truck owned and operated through the auspices of the Durham American Legion, with the primary driver Vietnam veteran Rick Farley could be pressed into service if needed. The high clearance of the vehicle, along with the non-skid ladder attached to the back will allow for safe removal of people from homes or businesses if flooding occurred.
Floyd presenting a donation check to Roberta Spear for the Museum from the Feather Falls Casino on behalf of the Northern Recon Group
NRG presents a donation check to the Linda American Legion Post 807 from the Feather Falls Casino on behalf of the Northern Recon Group.
NRG presents a donation check to the Olivehurst VFW Post 4095 from the Feather Falls Casino on behalf of the Northern Recon Group.
NRG Donation to CHP Explorers
Thank you for your organizations generous donation to Explorer Post 285.
Officer S. California Highway Patrol Yuba-Sutter Area
Donation Veterans Historic Association
Editor, Military Trader and Military Vehicles Magazine
5 Tips for making the Hobby STRONG
“Went to a show. Talked to vendors. ‘Gotta get the young involved’ was the most common statement I heard.
Though this was my show synopsis for an event I recently attended, it could have described any show I have I have attended during the last three or four years.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR THE HOBBY LATELY?
I just nod and smile when I hear someone on the other side of the table insist, “We have to get the young involved.” My first reaction has been, “In your collecting career, when have you EVER seen the young involved in numbers that made a significant impact?”
This is an old person’s hobby. Collecting militaria and restoring military vehicles tends to be done by people who have two things: Money and time on their hands. These are two characteristics not generally associated with the “young” who are just beginning their careers and families.
Yes, you can hand out a free patch to a kid or give a scout troop ride in your deuce-and-a-half, but these kids are not going be dropping thousands of dollars in our hobby during our collecting careers (unless you are willing — or able — to wait for about 20 or 30 years for those seeds to mature).
Oh, but it sounds noble to say “get the kids involved.” That is a nice, empty demand that makes the speaker feel powerful, but it actually doesn’t deliver any solutions.
The second thing I say when someone tells me “You gotta get the young involved!” is, “Let’s get YOU involved!” If you want to make a difference in the hobby, the best method is for you to get involved.
Here is the kicker…buying another Jeep, helmet, uniform, or medal is a self-serving activity and does not count as “Getting involved.” If you REALLY want to make a difference, you have to look beyond your personal passion and share your enthusiasm. You have to share it with groups of people who have the means to contribute to the lifeblood of our hobby—buying and selling militaria and military vehicles.
If you are really worried about the health of the hobby, you are going to have to think farther than your table, “war room,” or garage and actually participate in the “community of the hobby.” Here are five suggestions for how you can do this:
1. Pay your membership /subscription dues to OVMS (Ohio Valley Military Society), MVPA (Military Vehicle Preservation Association), OMSA (Orders and Medals Society of America), ASMIC (the American Society of Military Insignia Collectors), local club, favorite internet forum, etc. A good first step in participating is by joining. Any good military strategist will readily admit, “there is strength in numbers.” Your membership gives the leaders of those organizations, clubs, publications, and electronic venues the means to extend their individual missions.
2. Become an “Outside Rep” of the hobby. Put together a dog-and-pony show that talks about THE HOBBY (not your collection) and what positive impact it can have. Turn your hobby obsession into a mission for engagement by offering a fresh perspective on what it is you enjoy doing. Speak to groups about the positive qualities enhanced through collecting military relics and vehicles: The awareness of history, preservation, technology, and national motivations and reactions. You can further talk about the discipline skills and commitment required to be a dedicated collector. This may get an audience thinking, “Hmmm. This DOES sound like a noble, worthwhile hobby…”
3. Be a hobby evangelist through social media. I am not talking about participating in hobby-specific bulletin boards or forums here, but becoming active on broad-reaching media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Okay, this is KILLING me to type this…I hate at least two of those channels, but I concede that they are great tools for engaging a whole lot of people at very low investment. When your posts, photos. or tweets go out to thousands of people who might be casually curious, you might just snag one or two who actually will go to a show, visit a business, or log onto a web site with the intent of buying some militaria or “an old army truck to restore.”
4. Teach the “business” of the hobby to others. Admit it. Unless you are one of the “hoarders” in our hobby, you are a wheeler-dealer. You have built your collection by buying, selling, and constantly upgrading. These are some very specialized skills that we tend to take for granted. There are people out there who are intimidated by our seemingly “closed door” events that are not actively promoted through local media channels, who might benefit from community education classes in which you talk about how you have turned your hobby or obsession into a mini- (or maxi-) business. For example if you love military vehicles and you also believe in buying and selling parts while you restore a vehicle, you could devote a bit of time and energy into educating people on ways that they can restore a vehicle on a budget. Not everyone knows that we can turn a bucket of patches, medals, or motor parts into something that we are proud to add to our collection.
5. Push your Board to do more. “Get the young involved?” How about, “Let’s get the Board of Directors involved.”
I confess, this week’s blog has been building up to this specific point: Elect board members to your national organizations who understand that they have a very specific role in the sustainability and growth of our hobby.
While it is far too easy to nominate our collecting buddies to fill slots on the boards of directors of our national hobby organizations, we must push the organizations to provide a slate of candidates who understand that their role is protecting the health of the organization through financial management and membership growth. It is time for our nominating committees to understand that if a potential candidate has tables at a show or is actively involved in the buying and selling of the hobby materials, he or she might not be the best candidate for the board.
I write this based on my experiences in the museum world. Years ago, museums (that are still in business today) realized that the local historians probably didn’t make the best board members. These museums began to look outside their membership to recruit people who brought a broader view of mission to the organization: Someone who understood that growth was imperative to sustain the mission, that promotion had to be done outside the “museum membership parameters,” and had the ability to raise money for the mission of the museum.
Your board of directors are the people who we have elected to safeguard the hobby. Do you know who they are? What is their strategy to grow your club? How are they accountable to you, the member? I think it is time for our national collecting organizations to consider recruiting members to their boards of directors who are actually in a position to grow the hobby…not simply sustain the status quo.
Maybe it is today’s political atmosphere that has riled me up about the direction of our hobby. After listening to someone who readily shares their political views on our impending national election, I generally ask, “And to what candidate have you donated money?” I am shocked how many people haven’t contributed dollars. Regardless, they are quick to share opinions.
Within our hobby, the surest way to get someone to listen to your opinion is by paying your membership dues, subscription fees, or contributing to the maintenance of your favorite forum. That is how you obtain the opportunity to vote for board members who are charting the course of our hobby’s survival. Once you have joined, insist on board members who are going to think outside the hobby to sustain and grow it.
Worried about the health of the hobby? Its survival begins with you.
Preserve the memories,
Editor, Military Trader and Military Vehicles Magazine
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