Vermont Rally Was Positive First Step
Organizers Optimistic About Future
Tuesday June 17, 2008
By Mike Cameron
The event took place during the weekend of June 6th of this year at the Vermont State Fairgrounds in Rutland and although anticipated participation did not meet projections,, events of this size and scope rarely do initially. It is the future that has Rally organizers and sponsors in an up beat mood as they begin to plan Vermont Rally 2009 for next year. Jay Eugair who manages Central Vermont Motorcycles in Rutland one of the event’s major sponsors, remains optimistic about the event’s future. He was one of the original supporters of the event and feels strongly about its potential impact on the entire region. The Voice also spoke with three of the key personalities who helped plan, organize and coordinate the event. It was the first of its kind ever attempted in the Rutland Region. Organizers knew that they would have a large “nut” to crack and weather would be a huge factor. Key sponsor supporters would be needed. Just the learning curve alone for a first time promotion of this magnitude would be a daunting but do-able project and it was.
Bruce Turco, who owns and operates Dan Turco and Son's Yamaha in Clarendon with his family remembers the day he first met the young man who conceived the original idea for the Vermont Rally, Dirk Nakazawa. “Dirk came to the store and was selling T-shirts to promote the event. I was so impressed with the guy that I wrote him a check for about a dozen shirts on the spot. I was invited to a meeting and we discussed the Vermont Rally. The energy of everyone involved was fantastic.” Others were equally impressed.
Dirk Nakazawa's vision of pro-active community involvement was the driving force. He was able to enlist the support of many more equally enthusiastic people like Tom Irish. “A large group of Rutland Region business leaders were contacted and they were excited,” Irish explained during our recent interview.
Irish was quick to thank the entire spectrum of those who made the Vermont Rally possible. “Sponsors, vendors, and volunteers gave us an incredible effort,” he explained. Irish, who is a computer programmer and an accomplished musician also shares a love of motorcycles and the people who enjoy riding.
In a recent editorial published by the state's second largest daily, Irish thanked the musicians, (all volunteers) and the staff volunteers, a force of roughly 240 people gave of themselves to help produce the event.
“Even though the numbers for attendance were not what were projected this year, the event is already being planned for next year and we are encouraged at the collective investment that people have made in the project as we plan for 2009.” Dirk Nakazawa recently told the Voice.
Nakazawa has a history of generating promotional ideas for the Rutland Region, he was a recent Rutland City Aldermanic candidate and has a strong belief that the Vermont Rally. The event although based in Rutland can have far reaching state wide and interstate implications. “As I've mentioned many times before, the key word to describe the Vermont Rally is investment,” he said. He also added, “the future of the event will depend on a long term commitment to the event and we are seeing that. Volunteerism, expertise and a great venue has already begun to pay off for the future. We saw some great talent at work, Tom Irish organized 27-bands and the free style stunt show was just spectacular. The people that attended will be back next year and so yes we are very optimistic about the future of the event based on the feed back that we received this year.”
The three men also talked about the learning curve involved in organizing and managing an event of this size in a remarkably short period of time. An event that could over time hold its own when compared to national headline rallies like Americade in Lake George and The Laconia Rally in New Hampshire.
Nakazawa is quick to point out that making the comparison is inevitable but that does not dampen his energy level at all. “We did in 6 months what usually would take over a year to prepare. We have been developing resources from the Governor's office on down to local town government. The event will happen again next year and we are already working on the planning for it.”
All three men mentioned that they came away from this year's rally with a strong feeling of accomplishment. Vermont Rally organizers look to the future. “It's a winner when you can give as much as you take,” Bruce Turco explained.
Rally planners thank everyone who helped to make this event happen and they all look forward to next year”s Vermont Rally.
Motorcycle enthusiasts can track the progress of the Rutland Rally 2009 on their web site www,vermontrally.com. Links to other motorcycle events are available and how to become a sponsor for next years events is explained.
For more information and a list of those who participated in this years Vermont Rally plus some exciting photography of the event you can access the Vermont Rally web site at: www.vermontrally.com