Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes

Section President Messages

Greetings fellow MBCA Finger Lakes Section members,

 Welcome to 2021 and goodbye 2020!!

 This is usually the issue that we briefly review our past year and introduce our schedule of events for the next year. Even though we haven’t had much opportunity to gather this past year, the good news is that 2021 shows promise. We did manage to enjoy at least two events this year. Our Fall Color Tour Drive in October explored the route 41 corridor along Skaneateles Lake between Cortland and Skaneateles and was hosted by Doug and Bea Archer. It seems that driving our cars as a group, distinctively respects social distance guidelines.

Long time club member Dave Tobin invited FL Section members for a November 15th Coffee and Donuts event which offered the last opportunity to drive a summer car and visit his location in Horseheads. It was a rare opportunity to view beautiful antique cars. 

We had to unfortunately cancel the balance of our 2020 schedule. Yet, during this lapse in sharing events, your executive board has been active with plans for next year attending zoom meetings with Regional Director Drew Webb, who has kept us informed of National’s actions. It seems that income has been down enough that section rebates were reduced for the balance of 2020. A new national website is scheduled for 2021 and a new national rebate program for dealers of from $500 to $5,500 was initiated for new car buyers that required club membership. As a result, national club membership has increased 3.3% since August 31st. Our Northeast Regional membership increased by 62 members, a change of 5.6%. This very positive uptick may mean that National can restore local club rebates to their full share.

The 2021 Board will retain Judith Handzo as our Secretary/ Treasurer and Peggy and Oscar Raffo as section webmasters. The Handzo’s are planning to sell their home and move somewhere warm. As a result, we have openings at our executive level, Secretary/Treasurer position, I am told by Judith, the job requires little time.  Rather than burden with regular executive meetings we communicate as needed via e-mail and phone.  Volunteering at the executive level is its’ own reward and a wonderful way to meet so many people enjoying the marque automobile we all love to drive. Yours truly continues to carry on as your section president till our annual meeting.

Three 2021 events have been set and they are listed elsewhere in this Tri-Star issue. We are holding off on the opening of our schedule till June. Our annual meeting for 2021 will be on a date, time and location to be determined in June. Judy Handzo is investigating venues with an expected date announcement in our 2nd quarter Tri-Star Issue. The annual picnic will again be hosted by longtime member ‘Red” Kozinski on Sunday, July 11th.  National MBCA Director Jim Roberts asked if our club will host the 2021 Performance Driving Event at Watkins Glen on Wednesday June 16th. Our club, National and the Lotus, Ltd have held this event for many years now on one of the most desirable tracks in North America. Set your calendars for these events.

We are open to ideas and coordinators for dates in August thru October. A Fall Color Tour is always a ‘crowd pleaser’ which simply needs someone to coordinate. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 315-785-8800 with your thoughts for additional 2021 club events.

Now, allow me to again share some famous words of our past president Bob Handzo, “Enjoy the rest of winter, in the sunny south (Mercedes weather) or the blustery north (possible Mercedes Benz weather with the right vehicle and Blizzak snow tires). Remember the good times had by all when the FLMBCA will gather sooner than we all think”.

  Another reminder, if your membership is coming due, please renew.   Be safe, be healthy and have a wonderful holiday season.

All the Best,

Section President Don Klug




President of Finger Lakes Section

Don Klug

It’s Fall! Many of us are still masked and although we may have spent a little time behind the wheel of our Mercedes these past several months, we still hope to have fun again with our fellow club members. In an attempt to do just that we have our Fall Color Tour scheduled for Friday October 9 th. This is the only club event we feel safe conducting for this season. We can easily social distance ourselves in our cars and drive together from Cortland to Skaneateles while enjoying the colors of fall. Upon arrival at our destination, we plan to enjoy a lunch (that we bring) along side of Skaneateles Lake. Bring a chair. We thank Doug and Bea Archer for coordinating this event. Your club officers have decided to move our annual meeting to late March or early April, 2021, in hope that we see a significant change in our fight against COVID-19. Judy Handzo, our annual meeting coordinator, has several venues in mind and will provide details at a later date. In the meantime, consider joining us October 9th . As well, may I recommend that you enjoy the article in the September- October issue of The Star magazine, ”At The Helm, The history of the steering wheel at Mercedes Benz”, written by Star staff. The article covers the first steering wheel designed for a race in France in 1894 and its evolution through the newest generation, “2020: The Capacitive Steering Wheel “, designed for 2020 Mercedes vehicles. I believe that the article captures the essence of Mercedes Benz continued effort to design and build world class cars and reminds us all of the outstanding leadership engineering we have come to enjoy with Mercedes Benz ownership. Sequestered in the garage with hope for a bright 2021.

Don Klug, Section President

President of Finger Lakes Section

Don Klug


Once again it is necessary to change our current club schedule. We have participated now for many years at the Sonnenberg Garden Annual Car and Motorcycle Show. The rescheduled 14th Annual Father’s Day Car & Motorcycle Show, originally scheduled for June 21st, has now canceled the rescheduled September 6th event.

As restrictions are slowly lifted, our FLMBCA club continues to monitor our 2020 scheduled in an effort to maintain a safe environment for all. It certainly goes without saying to remind all to continue to maintain your safety in everyday travels. However, if you have not, now may be the time to safely look for ways to reach out to others or to make a phone call just to say “Hi”, to stay connected to your friends both with-in our club and your neighborhood.

Hope to see you all soon,

Don Klug, FL MBCA President



President of Finger Lakes Section

Don Klug

 In the words of our National President for 2020, Julie Bruggner, club events should take into account a number of facets to help decide what is the right course of action for club events. The safety of the members of our club and the communities in which the events take place must be our primary consideration. Back in mid- June we were experiencing what we hoped was a bit of relief from the COVID–19 pandemic threat that would allow an opening of our social calendar by late summer. We enthusiastically scheduled our mid-summer club picnic for August 16th, to at least create a date we could look forward to. Unfortunately, due to recent pockets of a resurgence of the pandemic we have decided to cancel the picnic. The Sonnenberg Gardens Car Show is now scheduled for September 6th. Under current circumstances It seems unwise to attend this event as a club outing. FALL COLOR TOUR We still have our fall color tour scheduled for October 16th or 17th. This event is a planned drive from Cortland to Skaneateles. This event will be a driving experience that can easily respect social distancing values while allowing us to enjoy ourselves in our personal vehicles. More information on this event will be shared when all the details are set. MBUSA REBATE Incentives till July 31st If you are considering another Mercedes purchase this summer take note of a Club Rebate program in effect till July 31st. The rebates are between $500 and $5,500. The information is available under the Membership Section; see MBUSA Rebate Incentives.

Don Klug,

FLMBCA President

President of Finger Lakes Section

Don Klug

I am sure we all miss seeing each other at our club ‘get-togethers’ and our old state of familiar enjoyment. I know that I do. Of course, club gatherings require us to transport to our events in our Mercedes Benz cars. So, a partial fix these days for me has been a short drive in the Benz and leave in the rearview mirror the state of our world for a few moments. The drive, although fun, is still just a ‘partial’ fix. Our fun section gatherings with each other and our ownership experience is really part of the reason we joined the MBCA FL Section to begin with.

With this in mind, we want to communicate an adjusted 2020 events calendar in a permissible way that allows the chance to enjoy our short summer with an occasion gathering. Please know that your continued health and safety is of primary concern. We are all pleased, I am sure to see NNY, CNY and the Rochester regions deemed appropriate to ‘open up’ in New York State’s Phase 3 and Phase 4 levels of gatherings with social distancing. After talks with our other club officers we have decided to at least schedule our annual club wide favorite event, the annual picnic at Red Kosinski’s home on August 16th. Considering this future date will allow us all the flexibility to be able to see if things are safe as the date approaches. Of course, social distancing and masks will still be required and we assure all that the picnic layout will accommodate our new normal. If the current environment situation in August suddenly changes, we certainly have the option to cancel and communicate such via a short newsletter message.

The hosts of the Sonnenberg Gardens Father’s Day Car Show, scheduled for June 21st has moved the date to September 6th, allowing us another opportunity to gather if our environment allows. Of course, there is always the opportunity to gather again for a short road rally without a visit to a restaurant. This is a subject worth investigating as a fall event or a ‘pop-up’ surprise meet. We will investigate and let you all know about this in the next newsletter or before.

Please take note of club member Dave Tobin’s contribution to this newsletter on Mercedes Metris Weekender Camper Van and welcome Tobin Motor Works as our newest advertising supporter along with Universal Imports and Mercedes Benz of Rochester.

Stay safe and happy driving, Section President Don Klug

President of Finger Lakes Section

Donald Klug