History of "Z"

On November 12, 1995, thirty-five people got together in the back of Hunt's Drive-In on Farmington Rd. in Peoria. This was the first organizational meeting of a yet unnamed chapter of Gold Wing Road Riders Association. In attendance was Mel Spears, the Illinois State Director. We were given a choice of letters and decided that 'Z' had the most pizzazz! And thus it began.
 
Chapter Z's first Directors were Buck and Doe Worthen with Larry Lauterbach as the Assistant Chapter Director. Steve Hatten started his career as Chapter Educator and Bruce Clifton kept an eye on our nonexistent funds as Treasurer. Gary Lawson began writing Chapter Z's award winning newsletter while Larry and Peggy McGhee were the Chapter's first Ride Coordinators (without a CB).
 
One of our first major decisions was to decide on our "Chapter" colors. After much debate we chose Purple & Gold and still wear them proudly. The second decision was to choose a logo that would easily identify our Chapter, state and organization. Joann Workman's creativity is still easy to spot on our banner and t-shirts at any rally you attend.
 
In order to present Illinois' newest Chapter, a huge 'Kick-Off Party' was planned for January 27, 1996, to be held in Pekin. There was a lot of hard work, fun, laughter and tears that went into planning, starting with attending other chapter meetings to issue invitations, gathering auction items and door prizes, filling a Bake Sale table, making up games and creating Z's mysterious surprise guest star.
 
When the day of the "Kick-Off" finally arrived, with sub zero temperatures, guaranteed to keep all but the most intrepid at home, there were some very disappointed people wearing their new purple t-shirts. Our only excuse was that most of us were new to GWRRA. We should have realized it would take more than cold weather to keep our new family away. Over 250 fellow members of GWRRA showed up to get us off to a roaring start. Our auction led by Bruce Conger of Iowa E, was not only a huge success, it gave our treasurer something to do. We made so many friends that evening. And that was just the beginning for "Z". The high spot of the whole evening was the hilarious introduction of the first Chapter Z-Man, Bruce Clifton (the first live mascot in Illinois.)
 
Chapter Z's second meeting took place at Hunt's with 51 members and guests. It wasn't long before we outgrew our first home and moved to the Golden Corral in Washington, Illinois for our gatherings. We are very fortunate in being able to display our banner and various plaques and awards in the meeting room at the Golden Corral. In 2009 we started meeting at the Flame in Metamora. Check our sponsor page for more information.
 
Chapter "Z" became one of the first sponsors of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's Ride for the Cure. As a part of the event "Z" has helped raise over $50,000 to help combat breast cancer. "Z" is also a major part of a coalition of motorcycle clubs that sponsor BASH (Bikers Against Street Hunger.)
 
As "Z" grew and started attending more rallies and watching the shows, we got the urge to strut our stuff. In 1998 we participated in our first "Best Dressed Chapter" competition and started our collection of trophies and plaques.

1996 
Chapter Directors
BUCK & DOE WORTHEN
COY
STEVE & TAMMY HATTEN
1997 
Chapter Directors
DAVE & LOU NEYRINCK
COY
STEVE & TAMMY HATTEN
1998 
Chapter Directors
DAVE & LOU NEYRINCK
COY
BILL & SUE BAKER
1999 
Chapter Directors
JUNE & DERRELL AGEE
COY
BILL & SUE BAKER
2000 
Chapter Directors
GAIL & BILL ONKEN
COY
TONEY & CAROL BUZICK
2001 
Chapter Directors
TONEY & CAROL BUZICK
COY
BILL & LINDA LIBERTY
2002 
Chapter Directors
TONEY & CAROL BUZICK
COY
BILL & LINDA LIBERTY
2003 
Chapter Directors
TONEY & CAROL BUZICK
COY
JIM & DEE TILTON
2004 
Chapter Directors
DON & SHARON ADAMS
COY
BILL & GAIL ONKEN
2005 
Chapter Directors
CAROL & JOHNNIE FLEMMING
COY
BILL & GAIL ONKEN
2006 
Chapter Directors
JIM & DONNA PEREGOY
COY
JIM & DONNA PEREGOY
2007 
Chapter Directors
GAIL & BILL ONKEN
COY
JIM & DONNA PEREGOY
2008 
Chapter Directors
GAIL & BILL ONKEN
COY
MIKE & JAN BUZICK
IOY
LARRY LAUTERBACH
2009 
Chapter Directors
GAIL & BILL ONKEN
COY
RANDY & MELODY HOUSE
IOY
KAREN PAULI
2010 
Chapter Directors
LOU & DAVE NEYRINCK
COY
KEVIN & DIANNE REEDER
IOY
CHARLIE GREENE
2011 
Chapter Directors
LOU & DAVE NEYRINCK
COY
LARRY & CINDY HORTON
IOY
LOU NEYRINCK
2012 
Chapter Directors
Melody & Randy House
COY
Norm & Kathy Huber
IOY
CHARLIE GREENE
2013 
Chapter Directors
Melody & Randy House
COY
Bob & Patty Decker
2014 
Chapter Directors
Toney & Carol Buzick
COY
Larry & Cindy Horton
IOY
Don Mallison
2015 
Chapter Directors
LARRY & CINDY HORTON
COY
DEBBIE & BRIAN KING
IOY
KEVIN REEDER
2016 
Chapter Directors
LARRY & CINDY HORTON
COY
GAIL & BILL ONKEN
IOY
TONY (no E) LASHER
2017 
Chapter Directors
RANDY & MELODY HOUSE
COY
MELODY & RANDY HOUSE
2018 
Chapter Director
DEBBIE KING
2019 
Chapter Director
DEBBIE KING
COY
MELODY & RICH SLEDISTER