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43rd LCCA Chattanooga Convention Banquet Recap

On Saturday, July 20, 2013, the Lionel Collectors Club of America's 43rd Annual Convention concluded on a high note with the ever popular Saturday evening banquet.   LCCA members and their families were entertained throughout the evening by the PowerPoint slide show recap of the entire convention week including photos of the members having fun on tours, activities and Special Events.  The evening started with a stirring rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance by our Junior members and family members in attendance.  Convention Manager Bob "Choo Choo" Carter and Tour Chairman Jerry Calkins each acknowledged the team of volunteers who worked so hard to make this convention such a great success and fun week.  Lionel's Senior VP & General Manager, Howard Hitchcock greeted our members and expressed his sincere gratitude to the LCCA and its members for their continued support.

As a token of appreciation for his outstanding performance the past two years serving as club President, outgoing President Dennis DeVito received his very own personalized LCCA decorated version of a Lionel Challenger steam engine and tender.  Dennis thanked the club members for their support, acknowledged some of the accomplishments and initiatives the club is pursuing , outlined some future club goals and encouraged people to step up and volunteer to serve the club in some capacity.   I personally don't think there is anything more worthwhile and rewarding as volunteering and doing some good for the club.  One receives much more than they give.

LCCA members enjoyed bidding on select items in our Silent Auction.   We even had a special silent auction table exclusive for the kids, where the bid increments were 5 Cents.   Thanks go out to all of the members who donated items to be auctioned off, especially Angela Trotta Thomas who could not be in attendance due to her daughter's pre-wedding event.  Angela donated a couple of her autographed, framed original Lionel artwork prints.

A highlight of the evening for me was when each LCCA Junior Member and family member in attendance received their own Lionel/LCCA train product door prize.  You should have seen the kids faces and enthusiasm when their winning raffle ticket number was announced.  Every child was a winner that evening.  After all, our future success and longevity of the club will depend upon these future hobbyist's involvement and participation.

Each of the banquet tables were stacked high with 10 Lionel gift prizes.   Everyone who attended the banquet received a table prize.  One lucky person at each table received the rare and limited edition table prize, a LCCA decorated double bay PS-2 Hopper Banquet table car.  No one left the banquet disappointed.

It was a great ending to a fantastic, Lionel train, Real train, Civil War History, southern hospitality filled convention week.   Thank you to all of the conventioneers and new members who joined us while we were at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel.  We hope you all had FUN!

If you missed out, and were not able to attend this convention, you can listen to daily podcast recaps at or on the convention tab of our website    We hope to see you all at a future LCCA Special event or at our 44th Annual Convention to be held July 21-26, 2014 in Indianapolis IN.

Best regards,

Al Kolis
President-elect and Special Events Manager Lionel Collectors Club of America