Piedmont North Carolina Unit History
The Piedmont North Carolina Unit of Wally Byam Caravan Club International was organized April 3, 1976 with a total membership of 56 members. Since at that time most of the members of the unit were still working, the unit meetings were scheduled on the second full weekend of each month and were held within a 100 mile radius within the Piedmont region of North Carolina.
Over the years and through the generosity of its members many of essential items were donated for the hosting of the weekend rallies which enabled the Unit to serve meals, provide entertainment and conduct Sunday morning services.
September 1980 was the first year that the Piedmont Unit was responsible for the NC State Rally which was held that year at the fairgrounds in Winston-Salem. The two previous rallies were held in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. For that Rally the Piedmont Unit provided all the meals and entertainment and has continued to be the host at each sequential four year interval.
Bob Bennett, unit member and International Caravan Chairman, has led several caravans for the Unit, including “Western Adventure,” “Apple Blossom Special,” “Mystery Caravan,” “Island Hopping” and “New York-New York.” These all were very interesting caravans and a great deal of fun.
During its history of nearly three decades the Piedmont Unit has also participated in various and numerous civic and charity events. Recently members helped in the aftermath of Hurricane Fran by cleaning up debris along the trails around Jordan Lake, by collecting hats and sunglasses for the needy in Peru, and by sending money to Honduras to assist the victims of Hurricane Mitch. In 1999 the Unit donated $375.00 to the Salvation Army Flood Relief Fund to assist the flood victims of Eastern North Carolina. During 2003 members collected 363 pounds of aluminum pull-tabs and transported them to the WBCCI International Rally in Burlington, Vermont to be donated to their Ronald McDonald House. Piedmont’s contribution represented more than 10% of all WBCCI units’ donations for that Rally. In addition, during October 2003 and in previous years, several members have participated as volunteers in the “Take Pride in America” program in Virginia for the US Army Corp of Engineers.
Over the history of the Piedmont NC Unit our members have been honored at International Rallies with many awards for their participation as volunteers, their talent and achievement in many categories. However, 2004 and 2005 were especially benchmark years for the Unit as it was honored by WBCCI as the recipient of Superior Merit Awards. Also, in 2004-05, our Unit was honored to have Jessica Cole crowned as the International Teen Queen.
The Piedmont NC Unit has been recognized in many ways, but none more significant than our caring for each member through our Sunshine Groups as well as our fun loving fellowship.
Come join the fun!
Yvonne Crutchfield, Historian