Well the end of the year is finally here. We’ve been on one hell of a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs but in the end, its all been worth it. This blog post is all about WCEC and looking back at 2015. This is more of a candid blog post so I apologize about any awkward sentences or fragments.
Where have we gone since 2014?:
2014 was the honeymoon year for sure. We grew exponentially and everyone was gun-ho to create the top tier car club in Wisconsin. We hit the ground running with establishing administrators, members, and a strong Facebook presence. The worst thing about honeymoon’s however, is that they always end.
The Beginning of 2015:
This is the 2nd year of WCEC operating, did you know that? 2015 marked the beginning of putting “nose to the grindstone.” We had some incredible ideas for 2015 but had no idea on how to accomplish it. 2015 we had goals for a stronger website, more robust social content, comprehensive member involvement, and much more. In my eyes, I’d say we knocked it out of the park. In 2015, WCEC managed to host MONTHLY car events/car shows throughout the state of Wisconsin. Many of these events were free, and I can safely say that nearly everyone had an absolute blast attending. We grew at about 1,000 members a month and haven’t slowed down too much since then. I personally believe 2016 will continue to see growth in our Facebook page as we continue to host more weekend events, rally’s, and much more.
It’s safe to say that while we had quite an amazing year, we also had some tough times. As WCEC rose onto the mantle of monthly meets and events, other clubs either saw us as either a great partner, or a huge threat. In some ways you can say that the decision of other clubs on their opinion of us has influenced how some outside enthusiasts view WCEC as a whole. However, each and every day WCEC works towards becoming the go to car club for shows, meets, discounts, and opportunities. In addition to this, the growth of WCEC has bred more people that dislike the trend. That is bound to happen. Counter culture groups and individuals will not like the popular thing because it’s who they are as a person. Nothing wrong with that(just kidding yes there is).
Another large struggle was managing the huge influx of members onto the page. Helping new members learn the ropes and the rules was always a challenging task for the members and administrators. 9 out of every 10 1st time bans set in place were members added within 4 weeks. In addition, it became clear that the inexperienced enthusiasts would begin to be targeted by the elite’s. We curbed that with the addition of more administrators as well as more daily coverage of the page.
The final struggle was somewhat a personal one. As I write this paragraph, I speak as a person, not as WCEC. I (Alex) had been ultimately put into the spotlight and that wasn’t always a good thing. Banned members took their time to belittle and insult me behind closed doors and within other groups. Every time that happened, it made it truly difficult to cope with moving the club forward. People have no sense of liability when it comes to the internet because they are able to say what they want behind the computer, but it certainly did affect me some days. In addition to that, club leader’s that were supposed to be trusted and mature ultimately left WCEC “high and dry” for their own personal gain. With that being said, that just leaves me and the club stronger for 2016.
Even though the struggles suck, they help you grow and learn more about people. WCEC has learned a lot in 2015. We learned that we were capable of hosting monthly events throughout Wisconsin with huge turnouts. We learned that we could give back to the community in ways most clubs didn’t think about. Non-perishable food drives, purchase buy-backs, Toys 4 Tots, GoFundMe’s, and much more. We’ve dedicated events to fallen enthusiasts and we’ve gone out of our way to help members cope with more than car problems. Our successes far outweigh any struggle we’ve had this year. Here are some fun facts for you.
-Oconomowoc Opener held in April of 2015 saw over 650 cars and 1300 enthusiasts. Our members came together and helped pool enough funds to support our last minute location change.
Video for Oconomowoc Opener: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P5Bu809CSQ
-Midwest Modified: Our first official car show ever hosted. A total of 20 trophies, 320 contestants, 3 models, 4 photographers, 10 vendors, 1 DJ, 60 booked WCEC hotel rooms, were a result of this show.
Video for Wisconsin Modified 2015 Event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjy8IOuqohM
-Marshfield Meet: Hosted for the purpose of a non-perishable food drive saw over 350 items out of roughly 300 attendees. Jesse Noll from Highline Motorsports was kind enough to host us.
-LaX Speedway Car Show: Our second ever official car show. 7 total trophies were given out, Judge’s Choice going to the mother of William Edward. William passed away and was an avid enthusiast within the community. In remembrance of Will, Jesse Noll from Highline Motorsports and his team took Will’s DSM from pieces into a fully functional driving car within 72 hours. LaX Speedway Car Show will always be a time to take remembrance of Will and his impact within the community. #forwill
Video for LaX Speedway Event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgbUu8CTYaA
-Appleton Meet & Greet. Appleton Meet and greet was an extremely large and free event for our members which saw nearly 650 cars and around 1500 individuals. Car Limbo, photo scavenger contests, and much more were here and everyone had an absolute blast. 350+ items brought for our non-perishable food drive.
Video for Appleton Event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNNIBr9CEn8
-Eau Claire Closer – Smaller meet in the original town that WCEC was created in. Non-perishable food drive resulted in about 300 items and about 200 cars.
Video for Eau Claire Event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pFD0cgpZDs
Some other amazing successes: Donating $1,000 to Darren Goforth and his family in Texas. $150 contribution to fight for Darren’s continuing car show.
The successes we carry are what will help us continue to push us forward into 2016. With the knowledge we have learned this year, you can expect nothing but incredible events, products, service, and fun from Wisconsin Car Enthusiast Club.
Financials: We end 2015 as a filed LLC and will ultimately end up paying taxes into the state. I'm ok with this because our goals and vision along with how we operate is best to remain as a LLC. WCEC will continue to act as a NOT FOR PROFIT style company. As of 1/7/16 no administrators or founders are paid in any way. As we go through 2016, determining if admins/event coordinators/founders will ever be paid will be discussed with members before any action. We will be analyzing our request to adjust to a NFP but the status is not a priority for us. After all, Mayo Systems is NFP, but they don't act like it. Any profits WCEC has earned sits in a capital business account and is used for our donations, event costs, permits, legal fees, and much more.
What to Work On:
Our main focus is to work on taking our member base from “good” to “great.” We will be focusing majorly on bringing features and benefits to our members that follow our core values and actively participate in our community. We will also be working on more Saturday events since the only complaint was that there were only shows on Sunday! We will begin focusing more as a club based entity with website content and event coordination as well as partnering with exclusive clubs to make weekend long events.
What’s planned for 2016:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pFD0cgpZDs
-We will be returning to Oconomowoc for our Seasonal Opener on April 16th. Vendors, Games, Giveaways, Models, and Photographers will all be present at our opener!
-We will be organizing for a drag day at Rock falls Speedway in Eau Claire WI.
-We will be returning to Wintergreen Resort in Wisconsin Dells on May 21st for our 2nd annual Wisconsin Modified. We will be bringing exclusive cars, drivers, models, and music to create the ultimate car show for Automotion.
-We will be hosting our 1st event in Green Bay, Wisconsin on June 18th. This will be our first meet and greet in Green Bay.
-We will be hosting a weekend road rally in mid to late July. A closed invitation will be sent out to our most dedicated members, followed by an open invitation for the remaining spots. This will be our 1st ever hosted weekend road rally.
-We will be hosting the LaX Speedway Car Show for the 2nd time on July 16th. Burnout competition, Exhaust competition, and limbo contest!
-We will be having our annual Eau Claire meet on September 18. This will be another free event for our members to attend and have fun while we generate more non-perishable donations.
-We may host an October meet depending on weather on October 9th.
-We may host a club drag day at Great Lakes Speedway depending on interest and cost.
-We will be expanding into Youtube and other media with original content and contests!
It goes without saying that we wouldn’t be able to do this without all of you guys and girls. It truly means a lot to sit here and write this knowing that we have some amazing things coming your way. 2016 will be filled with amazing opportunity, as well as some challenges that we will all face together. We have absolutely nowhere to go but up! I encourage all of you to continue posting on the Facebook group, as well as make it out to our amazing events! We do all of this for you. To those that purchase gear and decals from WCEC, thank you! We would simply not be able to operate as we do without your purchases. It is incredible that we have so much tremendous support, and we promise not to let you down. And as always just remember, It’s not just a hobby, it’s a passion™.
Alexander Martinez & The Admin Team.
Wisconsin Car Enthusiast Club
Written By: Alex Martinez
Edited By: Alex Martinez