2017 Checkered Flag Dinner Highlights
Saturday night was the Chicago Region SCCA Checkered Flag Dinner and celebration of a successful 2016 season. As in years past, it was quite a fun-filled evening surround by amazing cars and even more amazing people. This year we returned to Lake Forest Sports Cars, and it was just as memorable as it was last year if not more so. I say that as I, and two of my favorite people in the club were recognized and awarded for our efforts.
I will start with 2016 Soloist of the year. This award goes to a racer in the Autocross/SOLO discipline who has made him or herself stand out in a field of hundreds of competitors. Not an easy task, but one that this driver all the while making it look easy. Congratulations Chris Perry! I personally was part of the group of folks who offered up our cars to him throughout the year for advice/input, lunch, or just because we know he would be more than happy to do the same for us in a heartbeat. It was not just this musical-chairs of cars that set him apart; it was his efforts that went well above and beyond that of the average member. Early arrival to help with course setup, chairing events, designing courses, being an open book to anyone willing to ask for help, and the list goes on and on. I didn’t have the best year performance wise and Chris was always there to cheer me up and get me to put down my best runs regardless of any external factors. So as a friend, and on behalf of the entire club – thanks Chris.
Next, I will take a moment to thank everyone who allowed me to take home Chicago Region’s “REcognition” Award. While it may not of been my best year results wise, this has been my best year as a member of the club. Members low and high have been there for me and shown me that they have my back and support what I’m doing. While I may propose some out-there/new age ideas, not once have I gotten anything more than support and cooperation, and because of this the club has seen some amazing turn-out at events along with higher attendance numbers than we have had. I definitely can not take all the credit, but I hope that the actions I’m taking are allowing our members to shine as bright as possible. It’s not just about having all the best team members on your bus, but it’s also about having them sitting in the right seat. Thanks everyone; 2017 is going to be even better than 2016.
Last, and most certainly not least is the award for Member of the Year. Again, I am gifted enough to say that through my different tasks as volunteer I got to work with her directly on the registration team for our TrackDay/PDX program. She is the best! Funny, sweet, helpful, knowledgeable, patient, and I could keep going. Nothing to the other members or their beautiful cars, but her smile is one of my favorite things to see at a PDX event. The thing is, that is only one of the many things she does for the club. While we’ve both been in the club the same duration, her “volunteer rap-sheet” is about 10 pages longer than mine. She is a pillar in the foundation of the Chicago Region. For those reasons and many more the region named Linda Novak Member of the Year.
Thanks again Linda for everything you do, and thanks to all the volunteers. From the person shucking cones at the end of an Autocross to the flagger at Road Racing event. The Chicago Region, and the SCCA as a whole is nothing if it isn’t for it’s members.