by Scott Kuntz, Immediate Past President
One of my favorite things about our annual convention is the chance to wind down after a long day of model train activities and shoot the breeze with a room full of old and new friends. Inevitably, these sessions run well into the wee hours of the morning. The topic of conversation can run the gambit from hysterical to political to philosophical. In Detroit, one person chose the latter tact asking "What should I tell people when they ask why they should join LOTS?" With so many things going on in our club, I thought it appropriate to share my answer with you.
First, we have the Switcher magazine which is published 6 times a year. Our editor does an incredible job writing many of the stories himself and editing member's submissions to produce a balanced magazine that reflects the varied interests of our membership. The photos, artwork and graphics are all first-rate. The Switcher is the club's primary vehicle to communicate with our membership and contains all the club's news, announcements, and offerings.
Our other publication, Track Changes, is also making tremendous strides. Track Changes is posted to the web site on an as received basis and mailed 4 times a year (if the $5 surcharge is paid with membership application or dues renewal) and offers our members the opportunity to list items they wish to sell or purchase. Even better, all listings are free!
National conventions are another compelling reason to join LOTS. The convention cities have been scattered throughout the country and offer a wonderful excuse to visit locales you might otherwise overlook. Recent conventions have taken us to Detroit, San Diego, Mobile, Scranton, Baltimore Milwaukee, Lancaster and Cincinnati, where we have enjoyed many wonderful sights and tours. Aside from the attractions, we had a wonderful chance to make new friends and re-kindle old relationships.
Being a member also entitles you to purchase our annual club car and other commemoratives offered by the club. Made in limited quantities, LOTS cars are often prized by collectors. The annual club car is designed to represent railroading in and around the city hosting our convention and sports prototypical graphics.
Lionel mails their catalogs to us each year.
I could keep going, but it is rude to blow your own horn too loudly. Suffice it to say that we are proud of the benefits we offer and believe there is real value in being a LOTS member. I encourage you share this information with your friends and invite them to join you as a member of LOTS. While we may not be the biggest of the national clubs, we are the friendliest and are always looking for more friends!