Author Topic: RCW History - Great article from Russ Tyson on FaceBook  (Read 858 times)


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RCW History - Great article from Russ Tyson on FaceBook
« on: February 05, 2019, 11:20:55 PM »
I don't think this is here on the "official" RCW website but it is a great FB post (article) by Russ Tyson I wanted to repost:

"4 years, and a few days ago, Clint Simpson and I were putting a lift on my Jeep in my driveway.

We were talking about how much fun we had riding with the folks at Birmingham JK, but how much of a pain it was to drive all the way down there to attend events.
That led to another conversation. The conversation about trying to start something up here in Huntsville. The original thought was to check with Birmingham JK and see if they wanted to have a "Northern Contingent" in Huntsville. From there the idea changed into just starting our own thing so we weren't tied to another club and could move in our own direction.
We envisioned a club where like-minded folks could get together and have fun, plan and meet up for some off-road adventures, and if this crazy idea ever got big enough (yeahright!) we could do some great things for the community.

So, exactly 4 years ago today, I created the Rocket City Wranglers FaceBook page. It was just me and Clint at first, and there we sat, quietly. Patiently waiting. I figured it was just going to be us... neighbors... posting on facebook... just us two.

Then in December 2014, WHAT.. SOMEONE SEES US!!! Adam Christiansen was our first official member! WOW we just grew by 30%.. Just like that!

Then, Clint had a disturbing friend who was interested in jeeps also. and joined the Facebook page in February of 2015, coincidentally, one day after my birthday. We named him Matt Billings. Then about a Month later, we heard a knock on the (facebook) door. I looked through the peep hole, and saw Austin Stewart and Jared Reeves standing there, so we invited them in.

We got a few more members, and then in June, Michael Neville joined us.

And thus we had our original 7 founding members!

Clint had some koozies made up to throw at unsuspecting jeep owners. Adam procured the web page ( yes! We have a web page! And by 2016, RCW started to grow!

We had our first OFFICIAL RCW ride on February 28th 2016 at Hollytree ORV park. There were 7 jeeps! It was a great time, and the beginning of something. What that something was, had yet to be seen.

Our first OFFICIAL RCW Meet and Greet took place on April 24th, 2016 at Straight to Ale Brewing. We had 10 JEEPS THIS TIME!!! And I wore my kilt. I think that is why the club grew so fast afterwards. Some may disagree, but there is no proof that it isn't true.

July 24th 2016, we had another meetup. This time at Yellowhammer Brewing. This is where we really started talking about club organization, meets, etc. and we determined that we (7) were the founding members of RCW. We were officially on the way to being organized!!!

This is about the time that things REALLY started to grow for the club. We went from 15 or so members to over 100 by the end of 2016.

October 2016 we had a new Logo provided by the one and only Charisma Henzie who quickly became overwhelmed with our need for shirts and decals! She became our most awesome Swag Queen, and we thank her husband, Dan Henzie for allowing her to spend every waking hour making stuff for us!

November 2016 we had our first involvement in the Hunstville Veteran's Day Parade. We had the honor of escorting the Hall of Heros inductees for 2016. It was an unforgettable experience for sure.

In March of 2017, we partnered with our very first sponsor! Lucky Dog Offroad & Hot Rods!! We had our meet and greet at Chad's shop and had a great turnout!

By May 2017 we had over 200 members!!! Not things are getting serious. We did our first "First Wednesday" meet at Providence.

By July 2017... Over 300 Members!! Exponential growth! And by August, we went over 400. We partnered Old Town Beer Exchange and had one of our best meet and greets to date there! Then Rocket 95.1 and star 99.1 joined in! The next day, Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram joined us too! Followed closely by HUNT CLUB Burgers n Grill.

By August, we were still going strong. More members, More sponsors! Taco Mama, and The Brickhouse Sports Cafe came in and gave us more places to enjoy food and drink. Then LINE- X of Huntsville joined in.

Then September 2017 rolls in, and we held our first Poker Run! A resounding success of fun and sponsor love was had by all! Rocket City Wrangler Jeeps were running ALL over town! The club spirit was awesome to see!!

October 2017 brought another great sponsor! CartoTracks! It also brought the first annual RCW Trunk Or Treat at Providence. This was also one of the busiest months for the club as there were rides being set up by members, as well as the official ride and meets. This month also marks the first time that we, as a club were able to make a great community impact. We collected a lot of food and clothing donations for the Downtown Rescue Mission during the Trunk Or Treat!! Man did that feel great! You guys ROCKED it!

November 2017. More awesome members! More community service! We started the month off with our second appearance in the Veteran's Day Parade! In support of the Hall of Heros Veterans as their escorts during the parade. You guys also pitched in and provided a boat load of turkeys to the Downtown Rescue Mission, and in turn, made it possible for them to provide a wonderful thanksgiving meal to many people who would have otherwise gone without on thanksgiving. You provided support for the Heels for HEALS Shoe Drive hosted by Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, and the Rocket City Mustang Club with their annual support of Rally4Kids drive! Once again, you guys ROCKED IT!
Also, we got a new food/beverage sponsor: Mellow Mushroom of Jones Valley AND Mellow Mushroom of Providence.

December 2017, activities start to slow down a little. But we are still growing in membership! In fact, this is the month we surpassed 1000 MEMBERS!!! Holy SMOKES! We hosted our first Blood Drive with Lifesouth! Had a couple of member organized rides, a great Meet and Greet at Mellow Mushroom, and we saw the craziness that was the Magnet Tag game...

January 2018 brought some crazy weather, and another opportunity for community service!! And thus the RCW Emergency Personnel Transport effort was borne! You awesome members got some vital folks safely to and from their work places at Huntsville Hospital, and other locations.
We also welcomed Shoals Drive Shaft, Inc. as a new sponsor!

February 2018 brought about our first instructional class! The first Recovery Class to help new offroaders learn how to safely use their recovery equipment! By the way, the club was still growing!!!

March 2018 got a little country with folks helping out the Jonathan Pierce band with some muddy jeep shots! We also had a great turnout for the Crawling For Reid ride at AOP.

April 2018 brings the beautiful weather, and the new season of First Wednesday Meets!!! Also, it brought us one of the most epic of all RCW Meet and greets, and another great sponsor! NuVintage Corvettes who allowed us to invade their shop and plow their fields during the Crawfish Boil! Note: The weather was not as good for the Crawfish boil.. but we certainly made the best of it! The end of May brought on another sponsor with Tony Drake at Harvest Wholesale!

May 2018, and RCW gets multi state visibility when some of our great members head to the annual Jeep Beach Jam in Panama City Beach!! We also brought in another great sponsor in Mike Mauhdi with 1 Stop Auto!! And another beverage sponsor in Rocket City Craft Beer!

June 2018 brings our 2nd Annual RCW Poker Run! Even mo-better than the first!!! It also marks our first RCW Park takeover when we rented out Busted Knuckle Offroad. The weather sucked, but there was fun still had!

July 2018 we partnered up with our new Sister Club Quad-City Wranglers and joined them in a ride at Stoney Lonesome! We also held the first Women's Wheeling 101 class!!

August 2018... Holy smokes.. WE SURPASSED 2000 MEMBERS! And a bunch of you guys got completely muddy playing in the pond at NuVintage! Attended events in 2 other states! Jeepfest in Georgia, and the Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion in Tennessee!

September 2018 - More community support!! A bunch of you fine folks participated in the Superhero Ride and made a huge impact on a lot of special kids lives through Eli's Block Party!

And now we enter a new era! We got so big we needed help!
We selected a group of members to help manage and push the club even further, and with a member driven vote we got the pleasure to welcome Daniel Watts, DeWayne Brady, G.E. Smith Jr., Jane Rodeghier Baucum, Molly Kmetty, and Shawn Proudfoot as our first group of RCW Moderators! I look forward to see what these folks will bring! I'm sure it will be tremendous!

This long, drawn out post, if you have read this far, is all meant to say thank you to each and every one of you for contributing to the growth of this club. It has been a tremendous 4 year journey from 2 guys installing a lift in a driveway, to over 2,200 members today. We have done a LOT together! And I hope to see this continue into the future!



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Re: RCW History - Great article from Russ Tyson on FaceBook
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 07:10:56 AM »
That is a good read.  Thanks for posting over here for the folks that don't do FB.


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