New England Antique Racers (NEAR)
Photos Courtesy of Scott and Cyndi Haskell,
Nick Teto and Scott and Judy Poirier

January 10, 2016

(Click on Photos Below for Full Size)

Just a quick report on the 2016 NEAR Annual Meeting today.

Fantastic turn out with over 60 members packing the hall at the Dante Club in West Springfield, MA. Old and new friends alike mingled and dined on a lunch buffet provided by Kris and Rod Seller. Club President, Paul Masse, presided over the business portion of the meeting which was quite productive with a lot of good input from the members.

One key piece of "new business" was the establishment of an annual award in memory of Hall of Fame member Ron Bouchard. Ron will forever be remembered as a great racer who never forgot his roots or his fans. But even more so, over the past several weeks since his passing people have said over and over how he was just such a good guy and a good human being. He was also a huge supporter of NEAR, and we are extremely proud and humbled to establish the "Ron Bouchard Humanitarian Award" in his honor.

Bill Kemp, Angie Bullock and Paul Masse
Photo by Judy Poirier

A highlight of every Annual Meeting is the presentation of awards for the previous season. Awards were presented to the top five members or teams who participated in the most events during the 2015 season. Taking first place was the team of Angie Bullock (088) and Bill Kemp (199). In second place was the 7NY of Jim Williams and Paul "the wizard" Jacques. In third place was Steve Zukowski in the 53 car followed by the 19 of Rich Belmonte and the Greco-Belmonte-Franco team. Tied for fifth place was Tom Maciag in the 19 Pinto and the 02 of veteran Butch Burbank.

Although awards were presented for points events only, most of the top five attended several additional "non-points" shows to promote NEAR. Congratulations and thanks to all of the award winners and every other member who showed the club’s colors at the various events throughout the 2015 season.

A special "Presidents Award" was presented to Rich Goucher for his work in ensuring the success of the Hall of Fame Banquet, and Rod and Kris Seller for their sustained support in providing the meal for the annual meetings.

Jim Willams and Paul Masse
Photo by Judy Poirier

On a personal note, I would like to thank the board of directors and the membership for the honor of the prestigious Stebbins Award for Outstanding Contributions to NEAR. I'm just happy to be a part of this organization and to contribute to its success, so to be recognized with such a great tribute is really overwhelming.

It's been an amazing ride in the short time since Ric Mariscal took me under his wing as a new member. Initially I had no expectation of filling key roles in the organization. But over time as needs have arisen I've tried to step in and fill some of those needs to the best of my ability. Just to be appointed as the Event Coordinator was beyond anything I might have imagined when I joined NEAR. As if that weren't enough, over these past few weeks I have been honored and humbled to be nominated and appointed to the Board of Directors, as well as the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. To be recognized with the Stebbin's Award is just over the top. I'm grateful, yet I'm happy to serve with or without the recognition. So thank you to all for your vote of confidence. I will do my best to continue to serve the best interests of the organization.

By Jim Williams

Photos Courtesy of Scott and Cyndi Haskell
Angie Bullock, Bill Kemp and Paul Masse Jim Williams, Paul Masse and Paul Jacques Paul Masse and Steve Zukowski
Paul Masse, Rich Belmonte and Billy Greco Paul Masse and Tom Maciag Scott Haskell accepting on behalf of Butch Burbank; and Paul Masse
Kris and Rod Seller accepting the
President's Award from Paul Masse (center)
Paul Masse presenting the President's
Award to Rich Goucher
Angie Bullock accepting Rookie of the Year
from Jim Torok on behalf of Lloyd Hutchins
Judy Poirier, former Stebbins Award
winner, and Paul Masse (R) presenting 2015 Stebbins Award to Jim Williams (center)
Enjoy a few candid shots of the NEAR Annual Meeting at the
Dante Club in West Springfield, Massachusetts
Photos Courtesy of Scott and Judy Poirier
  Scott Poirier (#73) and Curt Snow (2 Flakes Racing)  
Ric Mariscal and R.A. Silvia Nick Teto 2016 NEAR Officers: L-R, Rich Belmonte, Jim Williams, Paul Masse, R.A. Silvia and Nick Teto
Photos Courtesy of Nick Teto