The idea of the club was founded on the beach in 2013 at the Jeep Beach Sunday ride.
Tony and Patty Boatright and Karen and Myself met on the beach early in the morning, while in staging for the beach parade. His jeep was just in front of us as it turned out, and we started talking about the lack of a local club in Brevard county and then I asked what if? We exchanged phone numbers and joined the parade.
While driving home that day, Karen and I talked about Founding the club, what would it take? How much would it cost us? As soon as got home we started to investigate the whats, whens and and wheres. Knowing the who's would come if we built it.
On May 6th, having obtained an EIN and completed paperwork for both the State and Federal government, I started a very basic Facebook community page and a website. I announced a Meet and Greet at the Long Doggers in Melbourne on May 10th and not having communicated with anyone other than Tony we were not expected many people. But our first meet and greet brought us to meet Rob Alvarez, Tony Santos, Brain Deboer and Kevin Zari. We parked along the street, as there was little room in the parking lot, and attracted a few more people. Over dinner we discussed what we wanted the club to be. Karen and I knew then our ideas where correct at the beginning and this was going to grow bigger than we expected.
Having had connections with the Jeep community over the past 20 plus years, I made some calls and asked for "club" support from vendors and suppliers. We got a few items for donations, and decided to have a scavenger hunt with giveaways. It was a typical June Day, mostly cloudy and had rained for the past two days, but the event went off. A few more people showed up at the Meet and Greet, there were now 12+ of us Jeepers and the word was getting around fast.
Over the next few weekends, I held training and knowledge building classes as most of the people joining never ever went off road with their jeeps before. I had created monsters... in a good way.
In July we held our elections of officers so that we could meet a deadline with the state. All the while explaining details of the founding and what it took financially to each member. We had a club, elected officers and all. 24 members strong and growing.
Keeping true to or ideas, and getting a little free advertising from sponsors and vendors and using my gift in graphic arts. We had several major trail rides and large Meet and Greets growing membership daily. By the time for the required elections in October the club had grown to more than 75 registered Jeeps and over 100 members.
As Karen and I noted the first day, if we build it, just like a Jeep, keep it simple, keep it family orientated, and make sure everyone stays muddy, it would grow a life unto itself, and it did more than you could imagine.
Charley "Capt" Loraine Sr.
Copyright 2016 Space Coast Jeep Club Inc.
Space Coast Jeep Club 4001 US Highway 1 Rockledge, FL 32955-5308