Region 8 Roundup
by Jackie Pool, NCC Vice President

Region 8 Roundup in Dallas/Ft. Worth was a huge success and started off with a blast - tornados in the immediate area of the host hotel. The Executive committee, chaired by William Dillard, and committee chairs did a wonderful job of coordinating the event. Seminars were well received with lots of new ideas & information coming from them. Door prizes were abundant, homemade snacks and goodies were available in the Hospitality Suite before and after lunch breaks. At various locations during the day homemade cookies were distributed to those of us fortunate enough to be at the right place.

The decorations were all hand made by Ed Speakmon. On the second level of the hotel was a huge, wooden, red, old fashioned sled and prancing horse decorated with silver bells and a huge wreath on the back. Many pictures were taken with people sitting inside the sled. Ed was kind enough to share his pattern information with those who were interested.

At other locations where major events took place, Ed had made elaborate handmade pieces of large, yard art that fit in beautifully with the overall theme of R8R. Lighted Christmas trees were added to create a
wonderful feeling of Christmas. Such a talented man is Ed.

The event piece was a billboard of their logo designed by Mike Goode who also did a super job on the R8R website. The event pin was the same logo with the addition of flashing lights on the car. Really clever.
Everywhere you looked collectors wearing the pin were flashing lights coming and going just like on a roadway. The logo was on the Registration Form and on the R8R website.

Friday night "Games Night" was a roaring good time enjoyed by all who attended - many prizes were won with laughter heard throughout the hotel.

The NCC, National Council of Department 56 Clubs, was evident in the Marketplace, at a seminar on Friday afternoon, at the Friday Night Games Night, at a Meet and Greet seminar and on Sunday morning as Bob Obenland, President, awarded NCC pieces to one club in each of the 10 regions of NCC. He also gave away one house to a club who had collectors in attendance.

Entertainment on Saturday night was an absolute riot of laughter - "Cruising Down Route 56," chaired by Candy Speakmon. Hired dancers did a fantastic job of keeping the collectors clapping their encouragement as they danced to the 50's & 60's music. Each cleverly written act between stops on Route 56 highlighted the next door prize that would be given away. This was a fantastic way of distributing the door prizes - super idea.

Guest speaker, Steve Ruelle, President of Department 56, reveled some of the future plans for D56, addressed collector's concerns about closure and relocations, and enlightened dealers about plans already in action to expedite deliveries of product. Steve's goal for D56 is to attract new collectors and improve the company's service to retailers.

For those of you who missed this Region 8 Roundup, start planning a visit to San Antonio in 2009 as Linda Cook of the Hill Country 56'ers in Austin chairs this event.

Link to photos from Region 8 courtesy of Jackie Pool