BRC Plays Major Role in HUMMER Homecoming 2002

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Editorial by Jack Welch,
BRC President
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Jack Welch, BRC President, tries out a big old Hummer at the Hummer Homecoming, 2002.

On August 4th through the 9th, I, as BlueRibbon President, was honored to be a part of the second Hummer Homecoming in South Bend, Indiana. The Hummer is the commercial (civilian) version of the HUMVEE, which is the back bone of the United States military. These vehicles are impressive just to look at, and after driving both the H1, which is the direct descendent of the military HUMVEE, and the new H2, which has more comforts but still is extremely capable, I was impressed!

Before I continue with the details of BlueRibbon's involvement in the event, I want to thank AM General, the manufacturer of the Hummers, their new partner General Motors Corporation and the National Hummer Club for making me feel welcome at the Homecoming event. In addition, I want to thank the Hummer Club for coming up with an unusual activity for getting Hummer Homecoming attendees to donate funds to both BlueRibbon and Tread Lightly. The activity was a dunk tank, and the water was cold; but Lori Davis, Tread Lightly Executive Director, and I knew it was for a good cause.This activity appeared to be heading toward the $500 each mark when Nancy M. Kaza, General Motors Sales Promotion Manager for H1 and H2 Hummers, announced GM would match the total we raised. In the end, both Tread Lightly and BlueRibbon will receive almost $1,000 each!

In addition to the fund raising effort, I had a chance to talk one-on-one with Hummer owners from throughout the United States. These folks are very interested in promoting the safe use of the Hummer in a family oriented atmosphere. The Hummer Club's Mission statement emphasizes "RESPONSIBLE FOUR WHEELING, BEING SERIOUS ABOUT SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY CORRECT OFF-ROADING." Their President, Fred Chin, is correct when he says to Hummer enthusiasts: "Hold on to your seats, the adventures are just beginning!"

The Homecoming activities kept me busy along with being available at the BlueRibbon display area, which had the 2004 Hummer concept vehicle as the center attraction. Another exciting activity was a guided tour of both the H1 and H2 assembly plants. These plants are very modern, and in the case of H1, they were building civilian Hummers on the same line that the military HUMVEES are built on. Did you know that H1 Hummers have an entirely aluminum body with a fiberglass hood? The H2 plant is the most modern, up to-date General Motors assembly plant in the GM system. These steel vehicles are built with many robots helping with assembly!

The next activity was the Hummer show and shine contest followed by the incredible Hummer parade. Picture this: over 160 H1 and H2 Hummers lined up two abreast led by a police escort. The parade stretched for over a mile and the local newspaper reported the value of the Hummer vehicles in the parade at over $ 1.2 million dollars! In the parade we had Hummers for rescuing people, Hummers for going to war, Hummers for teaching kids, and a Hummer that had just finished a journey from Alaska to the tip of South America!

The week's events were topped off with the Awards Barbecue and one last chance for people to buy tickets to try to dunk Lori and I. Oh, I almost forgot. Arnold Schwarzenegger paid a visit to the test track the day I left to celebrate his birthday, receive a new H2 and have pictures taken with the Hummer Homecoming attendees. Darn it, I missed Arnold!

Again I want to thank AM General, and General Motors. A special thanks to Ron Bomhoff, the Hummer Club Vice President and events chairman, for making the entire Homecoming event a major success. All these members of the Hummer family honored Tread Lightly and BlueRibbon by making us the only two outside groups at the Homecoming event this year. In addition, I was very proud when Bill Thompson, AM General Director of Hummer Sales, asked me if BlueRibbon could supply his classroom at the test track with BlueRibbon membership materials and a banner for display in their training room. I know that our relationship with all the Hummer family will continue to grow with our presence at Hummer events!

So when you see a Hummer going down the highway, remember chances are the vehicle's owner knows about the BlueRibbon Coalition and in many cases is a member of BRC.

--Jack Welch is the President of the BlueRibbon Coalition. For questions or comments on this article or related issues, he may be contacted through the BRC main office: P.O. Box 5449, Pocatello, ID, 83202. Phone: 208-237 1008, Fax: 208-237-9424. Email: .

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