AMA President Announces 2009 Membership Drive Winners

Dave Mathewson
AMA President

     The first Academy of Model Aeronautics nationwide membership drive concluded on September 14, 2009, and I’m proud of the effort that 900 individual members, 300 clubs, and 117 hobby shops put into this campaign. “Bringing Modelers Together Begins With You” was the theme, and attracting newcomers to aeromodeling was our goal.

     Do you remember how you were introduced to flying models and the AMA? It was most likely through a friend or family member. Model aviation has changed rapidly in the past few years, and as a result of this membership drive, many more people have the opportunity to enjoy our hobby.

     Our members need to be the support base to help ensure the success of these new pilots—for better, safer flying and to support the Academy’s mission. For all of you who participated, well done!

To all AMA members, clubs, and hobby shops across the country, get ready for another membership drive in 2010. It really does begin with each of you—and I’ll be there with you when we launch another successful campaign. In the meantime, let’s celebrate this year’s winners!

Member to Member
Grand Prize
Wins a Lifetime Membership, AMA recognition brick, plaque

Binyamin Elkouby
16 new members
North Hollywood CA; District X

      Binyamin was the top member-to-member recruiter, securing 16 new memberships. In fact, when called after the drive in November, he indicated that he had yet another new member’s application in hand.

“I just ask newcomers all year long about joining,” says Binyamin, an Israeli native who has been flying models for only the past two-and-a-half years. “They see how cool it is and then I tell them about how helpful Model Aviation is and the fun of joining a club.”
      What does Binyamin fly?
      “Everything,” he says. “Planes, helicopters—but I really enjoy my micro jet.”
      Binyamin is the electric director of the San Fernando Valley RC Flyers, of which he is a member. The club Web site is For the past two years, Binyamin has organized the biggest electric event in Southern California: the Western States Electric Fun Fly. You can learn more about this event at
Prize: $100 AMA Cloud 9 Museum Store gift certificate

Steve Stoll
Tri-County Aero Club
7 new members
Odon IN; District VI

Ralph Brown
Omahawks R/C Club
7 new members
Omaha NE; District VI

Anthony Desimone
Crosswinds RC
5 new members
Shamong NJ; District II

Kenneth Kehlet
Hi Desert Aero Barons RC
4 new members
Oklahoma City OK; District VIII

Tony Naccarato
San Fernando Valley RC Flyers
4 new members
Burbank CA; District X

Charles Howe
Lake City R/C
4 new members
Mills River NC; District IV

John Curtis
Rock Valley RC Flyers
4 new members
Rockford IL; District VI

Ronald Wegrzyn
Suburban Aero Club of Chicago
3 new members
Mokina IL; District VI

Dale Galland
Glendive RC Bush Pilots
3 new members
Terry MT; District XI

Robert Gizzie
Spirits of St. Louis RC Flying Club
3 new members
Saint Charles IL; District VI

Tony DiLeo
San Fernando Valley RC Flyers
3 new members
Van Nuys CA; District X

Paul Caleca
Belen Area Radio Control Club
3 new members
Los Lunas NM; District VIII

Club to Club

Alpha: 5-10 club members
Prize: $500, banner for club flag, AMA recognition brick, plaque

White Cloud Area Tail Twisters
2 new members
White Cloud MI; District VII

Bravo: 11-24 club members
Prize: $500, banner for club flag, AMA recognition brick, plaque
    Note: There was a five-way tie for first place in this category, so the $500 prize was split evenly among the five Bravo clubs. Kings Bay Modelers signed up its new members first, so that club wins the banner, plaque, and AMA recognition brick.
Kings Bay Modelers
2 new members
King Island GA; District V

Gulf Coast Gulls
2 new members
Corpus Christi TX; District VIII

Rochester Modelers Club
2 new members
Rochester NY; District I

2 new members
Okinawa; District XCIX

Hardin County R/C Modelers
2 new members
Vine Grove, KY; District 6

Charlie: 25-49 club members
Prize: $500, banner for club flag, AMA recognition brick, plaque
    Note: Due to a three-way tie in this category, the clubs split the $500 prize (and received $170 each). The Kankakee Valley Modelers signed up its new members first, so it received the banner, plaque, and AMA recognition brick.

Kankakee Valley Modelers
4 new members
Kankakee IL; District VI

Capitol Area Flyers
4 new members
Mechanicsburg PA; District III

Carolina Fun Flyers
4 new members
Mt. Pleasant SC; District V

Delta: 50-99 club members
Prize: $500, banner for club flag, AMA recognition brick

Sun Lakes Model Airplane Club
6 new members
Sun Lake AZ; District X

Echo: 100 or more club members
Prize: $500, banner for club flag, AMA recognition brick

Skymasters RC Club of Michigan
4 new members
Troy MI; District VII

Hobby Shop to Hobby Shop
Prize: Ads in MA and Park Pilot, AMA recognition brick, plaque

Walt’s Hobby Shop
17 members
Syracuse NY; District II

District to District
Prize: Banner for district flag, AMA recognition brick, plaque
    Note: District-to-district points were calculated by the percentage of overall growth in each. The total weighted score for each district varies based on the size of the district.

District XI
Bruce Nelson, Vice President

District Total Points Weighted Score
 District XI  126  1,755
 District I  92  1,574
 District IV  138  1,563
 District VI  182  1,551
 District VII  152  1,551
 District III  170  1,522
 District IX  78  1,481
 District II  121  1,323
 District VIII  157  1,281
 District V  233 1,146
 District X  200  947
How the Drive Worked

• April 1-September 14, 2009.
• All AMA membership categories valid, except $1 Youth.
• Only US residents accepted as new members.
• New members don’t have to be members of your club, although encouraged.
• Only for new members, or members lapsed for five years and reinstated.
• This membership drive is separate from other membership-development programs, including the Ambassador Program.
• District drives based on highest percentage gain relative to their size.
• Members recruited for Club to Club drive not counted in Member to Member category.
• Tiebreakers in the club division were decided based on earliest submission.
• Commemorative AMA bricks to be laid on the AMA Walk of Fame.
• Winners announced on the AMA Web site, in MA magazine, and in Park Pilot magazine.

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