Blue Ridge Gathering 2018 Recap + Thanks

Link to the FB file

BRG18. What can I say? It was awDsome!

I wanted to thank, again, all of our sponsors + participants for making BRG what it is; an annual event of many car enthusiasts that were brought together by the l♥ve of the 3000GT and Stealth. While the 3/S platform is our common denominator, we are a group of people that welcome all breed of car, truck or motorcycle (including friends just riding shotgun). As a result of many factors, this event is more of a family reunion that has bonus points of the automotive variety. I have met my very best friends at BRG, my sister was proposed to at BRG, my dad loves BRG (and was really sad to have missed it this year, especially after learning about Beer Fest ;) and my kids cried when they realized we were actually leaving BRG on Sunday (But I want to staaaayyyyyyyyyy at BRRRRRRRRRG, mommy!). I know that there are kinks along the way that would make this event better. And every year I make note of those things I see so that I can improve the experience for everyone. If you ever have a suggestion, correction or would like to take on the task of planning/volunteering parts of BRG, please let me know! I give it my all every year and I am sure there are things I do not notice or see. And I sure would welcome the help :)

There were several things I missed at awards. I realize that most years, but this year with how I was feeling and sounding, I wanted to make an oldschool 3Si gathering recap post to fill in those holes :)

I have been AWOL since we left BRG. Whatever happened to my voice also ended up taking my motivation + energy, as well as knocked me completely on my ass. It was everything I could do to get through work just to be home and sleep. Thankfully, I have a partner that was willing to tame the offspring long enough for me to recover. My apologies to anyone trying to contact me - I promise to communicate ASAP!

TROPHIES!!!!! (In no particular order)
  • FASTEST LOOKING CAR (because racecar) sponsored by GONZO INC STUDIO: Andy Tye, Lotus Evora
  • MOONSHINE AWARD sponsored by HARRIS CONSULTING GROUP: Brent Long, 2014 Ford Flex Limited EcoBoost
  • BEST VANITY PLATE sponsored by BAREFOOT RACING: Aatif Sheikh, Subaru TAG: 3AT THE (families first)
  • BEST 3000GT/STEALTH sponsored by 3000GT/STEALTH SUPPLY: Jan Gunter, 96 Spyder SL
  • BEST ROUNDERS (wheels) sponsored by GROUND ZERO PERFORMANCE: Christy Pensinger, 07 Subaru STi (hyper blue TE37s)
  • THE MACGYVER AWARD sponsored by SNOOK MOTORSPORTS: Micolle Pawlowski
  • MOST UNCOMFORTABLE (that actually drove to BRG) sponsored by MADDOG PERFORMANCE ENGINEERING: Matt Matthew Windsor, 1967 Camaro SS Merica Edition
  • THE RESTOMOD AWARD sponsored by IMPROV MOTORSPORTS: Matthew Windsor, 1967 Camaro SS Merica Edition
  • BEST 90S JDM VEHICLE sponsored by ADVANCE AUTO PARTS: Tara Hagen, 1991 Nissan Skyline GTR
  • BEST BMW sponsored by SOUTHERN FIBERNET CORP: Ashley Wrigley, E30 Touring Wagon
  • HIDDEN WARRIOR sponsored by NINJA PERFORMANCE: Mary Moore, 2007 Volvo V70R
  • THE GOLDEN ZIP TIE sponsored by Remys Rides: Mark Mark A Gunter, 99 VR-4
  • KIDS CHOICE sponsored by AMERIPRESS PRINTING: Charlynn Turner, 1992 3000GT VR-4
  • THATS HOT sponsored by DUTTCH + SPYDERGIRL: Christy Pensinger, 07 Subaru STi
  • DIPFEST SWEET: Micolle Pawlowski
  • DIPFEST SAVORY: Joseph Morgan
  • KILLBOY AWARD: Scott Miller

BeerFest was a hit! We had so much leftover craft and high gravity beer that we were able to tote the cooler to DipFest + the Cookout. I think that part of BRG went flawlessly and everyone had a good time. After being back at Fontana for 2 years now, if anyone has a suggestion of an additional place to hold BeerFest, let me know. It was easy to have it in the grass field by our cabin so we had power and for transporting everything. The ground was a little uneven, but that didn't seem to effect much until the end of the night when Ant took me out climbing over the fence haha!

DipFest is always amazing. I love Dips. I think most people love dips. Dianna Kline Sheikh is amazing at throwing DipFest - thank you thank you thank you! JoMo is clearly fantastic at making dips! We needed a few more tables this year to hold the dips. Renting more tables than I brought will be a non-negotiable for next year now that I know we have money from the raffle to carry over.

As for our sponsors, a few words:
  • Ninja Performance: Chris + Vicki. You two are wonderful to always sponsor and offer additional help by the way of registration bag goodies. I was really sad that Vicki was not able to attend this year, but I am so thankful for every year that you are able to attend. <3
  • Ground Zero Performance: Hans + Emilie, love you two! Wondering when Otto + Odette are going to sponsor since you’re always cutting fabric ;) So glad our kids can grow up together, especially since they’re so far away
  • DuTTch + Spydergirl (with a capital d): Mark + Jan, you two always offer to help and stay to help even when we don’t ask. Clean up, carrying heavy stuff from location to location in your truck or rental, offering to and having paid for our Dip Fest location + being truly genuine friends.
  • Maximal Performance: Terry! We missed you, Molly, Rin + CJ this year! But every year, no questions asked, you have supported this event. I hope that our July dates next year allow you to attend :)
  • 3000GT Stealth Supply: Josh, what can I say? You have printed kids shirts for our BRG kids + you have custom BRG decals on your car in support of the years! Thank you!!
  • AmeriPRESS Printing: I can’t say that I would be able to do the calendars, printed road sign raffle, participants books, banners, maps, participants books, etc without AmeriPRESS /Matt. But, you take that an extra step and cook food, make sure everything is set up and cleaned up + go beyond even that to make BRG what it is today. I love you!
  • Remy’s Rides: Jeremy! THANK YOU for being a sponsor this year! It means a lot that you’re Georgia 3/S as well and for all you have done to help members, Ninja, Marek and more.
  • BeerFest by Frederick + Sarah: What an event, guys! You guys organized and executed what was already casually being done at BRG, while adding a little BRG flare (tasting glasses). It was a great idea that will no doubt continue @ BRG! Also, thank you for all the additional help with the kids + set up!
  • Snook Motorsports (David): Thank you guys for everything! You two are amazing people and you have one sick EVO! I also like your ideas for trophy categories and have a plan moving forward in light of that talk.
  • Gonzo Inc Studios: Greg! You always take fantastic images and use your drone for our group shots and I am so thankful for that! I wish that I had the time to stop and shoot + I know that I won’t miss out on those moments because you captured them.
  • Harris Consulting Group: Alexander! I wish that you + Mer + Harper would have been able to join us this year. I’m not surprised that the moonshine award was your choice, either. Certainly sounds like grown up you + young you wrapped up in one category lol
  • Southern Fibernet Corp: Mike Figueroa— someone has to represent the Bimmer Boys ;) But in all seriousness, thank you for all of your support. I love that Brody has attended + I look forward to him growing up with our BRG kids … you are good people!
  • Maddog Performance Engineering (Dan Maddog Dillon): Well brother, it’s about time that you took the reigns! I am always so thankful for your presence at BRG, except that time you missed Ashley getting proposed to by Brett! Other than that, love you like the brother you are and thank you for always supporting our group. Even when that group was a different gathering and that gathering took advantage of your kindness. You still win.
  • Barefoot Racing: Richard! Reeeechard! Wish you were here this year. There was a hole this year for sure. I wish I had remembered to take the #tink pic in your truck since it managed to make it ;) Graham, Blake, Eli + Luke will all be a regular part of the group that will probably, someday, take over the world or just bring massive Frankenstein forced induction automobiles to future BRGs lol
  • Pezcore (Aatif Sheikh): I'm just going to say "lol" here! Thank you for also being a Subaru Ambassador and sharing that Subaru love with our Subaru attendees at the car show, as well as donating to the raffle. I hope that everyone enjoyed that nice surprise. Will you send me the pics you tool?? Also, my neighbor would like to thank you for the alarm clock ;)
  • Improv Motorsports: Drew! Thank you for suggesting additional trophy categories and stepping up to sponsor this year! As a result of your suggestions for categories, I think BRG will try to supplement as well moving forward. I hope that you continue to sponsor, attend and entertain my requests for suggestions moving forward.
  • Advance Auto Parts: Steve! Thanks to you too for the additional trophy categories and being a new sponsor this year! We greatly appreciate you and your contribution to BRG! I think that your trophy category was legit.

A few other things I would like to mention:
  • Brent Long - You have come, year after year, with all of your equipment to entertain and flood our ears with amazing playlists, charismatic commentary + humble conversations. I sincerely hope that you bring your family in future years so that they may experience the event and what you bring to it. Thank you!!
  • Ashley Wrigley - Some may not know, buy you were the artist behind this year’s BRG T-Shirt design. You hand drew the Stealth, let me critique the variations, and you perfected the final logo. I love it so much! Thank you!! Ashley Wrigley + Brett Wrigley - thank ya’ll for coming to my house the weekend before BRG to stuff folders and organize t-shirts. That pre-gaming was a HUGE help for BRG prep!
  • Ashley Wrigley, Micolle Pawlowski + Chris Christopher GIcon Marek = thank ya’ll for stuffing more printed additions in the registration packets when we were there. Ya’ll are truly rockstars.
  • Amanda Shannon - Thank you for offering to help set up and clean up every event we had + offering to bring additional supplies next year. It’s great to have you back after almost 10 years!!!!
  • Nick Mavroudis - Thank you for leading the Cherohala Group! If you’re up for that task annually, let me know. I’d love to have that be an option for those who want to experience it.
  • Stephen Yarbrough - I’m not sure anyone could rock out the raffle like you can. And in that ‘stache. Thank you so much for your help in making all that happen. The raffle money goes towards the next year’s BRG expenses after current BRG expenses are covered. You are a rockstar.
  • Brad House, Courtney House, Emilie Coppola, Kalyn Allen + Amanda Shannon - Thank ya’ll for helping count votes. Once upon a time, it was me and one other person hand counting votes and it would be almost 10PM before awards started. This is a much more relaxed experience with all of ya’lls help. Thank you.
  • Greg Dean + Ryan Avet - Thank ya’ll for capturing the moment of our event. Between drones, 3D cameras and regular SLR imagery, you guys help me and everyone else relive and reminisce :)
  • Thank you to Jeremy’s mother, who made one of the two BRG trophy/statues that were raffled off. She split a portion of her profits with BRG, which I am so grateful for her doing that and the statues were beautiful! Thank you!
  • Bobby + Kelly - Thank ya’ll so much for driving up the food. That was so generous and I wish you guys would have been able to stay. Every hungry BRGer also thanks you ;)
  • Brad House - Thank you for helping so much with awards year after year!!! It means a lot to me to have your help!
  • Rob Latham + Dani Latham, Brad House + Courtney House - Thank ya’ll for making the trip even when your bodies or babies are making it more difficult than a normal trip. I am thankful to have Ellie and Courtis be a part of our BRG family + next generation.
  • Tara Hagan - My son loves your car (and so do I, btw). I know you know that. He won’t stop talking about it and maybe it’ll be motivation to move in that direction when he’s older. Thank you for being so kind and accommodating to him wanting to video, photograph and sit in your car. You made a 6 year olds dreams come true!
  • Killboy- you are awesome to take our family photo every year! Thank you for that :)

Things that I would love to improve/add for next year:
  • An organized BRG kids photo +/- Killboy involvement
  • More volunteers that are willing to take on sections of BRG
  • Additional or modified events
  • suggestions for help or changes for the Saturday Night dinner/cookout
  • Changing registration to requiring a name and car per registration number - sometimes at awards it’s hard to know if the winner is the “PayPal name” or other…

This year was a great year. A great, great year. See ya’ll in July 10-14, 2019!!!