Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes

Section President Messages

The sun is shining today, our first day of Day Light Savings in 2020 and I really want to be out driving with the car top down. Must be spring fever or MBCA Finger Lakes Section fever. It is a time of year when I miss seeing all of you. My fix has been the Syracuse Auto Expo in February to ogle the 2020 models waxed up with no snow piled on top. I know some of you most likely meandered over to the Rochester Auto show in early March. The tease of spring is now here and hearts grow fonder with thoughts of driving unencumbered by the winter nasties. Due to the recent facts of life, a short drive appears all that we may be able to do for the immediate future. So, go ahead and leave winter in your rearview mirror with a short drive.

The quickly evolving Novel Coronavirus pandemic has reached our region and it is imperative that we align our club activities along with recent local and regional practices. The health of all our members and families is paramount. As a result, we are unable to hold our annual opening day garage tour at club member Bill Wayman’s home this spring. Bill is sharing a photograph of his recent work elsewhere in our newsletter, so all is not lost.

As of this writing the Lotus-Mercedes-Benz Driving Education Event at Watkins Glen on June 17th and The Sonnenberg Father’s Day Car Show on June 21st in Canandaigua are still on the schedule of our club events. Our annual Picnic at Red Kozinski’s home is July 12th. This is a good time now to place these dates on your calendar.

By popular demand we have scheduled another Seneca Falls Rotary Jazz Festival and Mercedes Benz Car display on September 13th at del Lago Casino, at the Waterloo exit off the NY State Thru Way. In addition, the 2020 schedule also has another road rally scheduled and to be organized by Doug Archer, long time MBCA FL member for early October. More details on these two events will be in our 3rd Quarter Tri-Star.

Ethan Fogg presented an idea at our annual meeting last November, called ‘Pop-Up’ events. A ‘pop-up’ event is a get-together with minimum advance notice at some very localized event that may be enhanced by a group of Mercedes Benz Club cars on display. Our web master’s Oscar and Peggy are able to send out quickly an advertisement in a special edition of Tri-Star, so communicating the event will be a breeze. Possibly such an event may occur in late May or August.

Happy and safe driving, Section President Don Klug



Donald Klug

President - Finger Lakes Section

Greetings fellow Finger Lakes Section members,
Thanks to all who attended the November Annual Meeting in at Belhurst Castle in Geneva and for having the confidence once again in me to serve another year as your Section President. The 2020 Board will retain Judith Handzo as our Secretary/ Treasurer and Peggy and Oscar Raffo as webmasters. The Handzo’s are planning to sell their home and move somewhere warm. Bob Harradine has been a wonderful resource as our Vice President in 2019, however the working world missed him and he was asked to take full time employment again, thus preventing him time to continue as VP. So, we have openings at our executive level. VP duties include occasionally visiting the Rochester Mercedes Benz Dealer to display our Star Magazine and dispense club membership applications on site. The other part of the job is to be available to members in attendance at our several gatherings throughout the year to insure they are enjoying themselves. Our Secretary/Treasurer position, I am told by Judith, 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.
2019 saw members share stories in our newsletters about how they came to obtain their much-loved Mercedes Benz driving machines. These stories often have an interesting fact or event tied to the ownership. Bob Harradine, Ethan Fogg and Ken Rucki all had fun stories to share in 2019. We seek to continue this new editorial opportunity. If compelled to do so, we want to include your story in a future Tri-Star. Pass those brief stories on to our webmasters Peggy and Oscar Lopez Raffo.
Some 2020 events were set at the annual meeting and they are listed elsewhere in this Tri-Star issue. I am already excited for 2020!! Doug Archer has offered to plan another road rally in early October, possibly starting in Cortland and ending in Skaneateles. Dave Tobin’s road rally in late September was an instant hit! Please remember the local auto shows in February (Syracuse), and March (Rochester). Stop by the local Mercedes Benz display and chat up the sales person. Share with them that you are a club member and how much you enjoy the brand. My guess is he or she will spend time showing you around the new cars and sharing whatever is new about them.
by Ethan Fogg is a ‘Pop-Up’ event. A ‘pop-up’ event is a get-together with minimum advance notice at some local event or establishment with brief advertising in a special edition of Tri-Star or a club membership e-mail. It most likely will be a very localized event that may be enhanced by a group of Club Mercedes Benz cars on display. It could be just a request to gather at the local summer ice cream shop on a steamy Thursday evening. Maybe, during a winter lull, a localized group may meet for a Sunday lunch in an effort to ease away winter doldrums. Do you have an idea for a pop-up event? If so, please share it.
Now, in the 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”.
All the Best, Section President Don Klug

Donald Klug

President - Finger Lakes Section

Greetings to my fellow members of our wonderful Finger Lakes Section of Mercedes Benz Club of America. We have had a Mercedes Benz car and friendship focused fun filled time this past summer with many events, one that just concluded at the Del Lago Casino and Hotel on September 8th. Many members attended, however if you missed this great Jazz Fest, you missed a wonderful sun-drenched fun filled afternoon. We have to thank fellow member Larry Driscoll, also a member of The Seneca Falls Rotary Club who sponsored and Del Lago security for their efforts in organizing this afternoon. Pictures are a great way to share the story, so please take a look at the pages of this newsletter to see the fun we shared at the Seneca Falls Rotary Club Jazz Fest and also our see our club display of a dozen beautiful Mercedes Benz automobiles. We were able to check out models from a 2018 G550, to a 2018 SL 550 and a 1968 280 SE. A Seneca Falls Rotarian also displayed his 2014 E63 AMG. Here is hoping that he will join our club. More than one attendee asked if we could do this again. Well maybe? Next year’s date for Jazz Fest is September 13, 2020.

In the meantime, you do not want to miss our very fun and exciting “Fall Color Tour 2019” driving rally on Saturday September 28th. Check it out in our ‘Up Coming Events Section’ for details and directions. This will be our last driving event of this year and is the first scheduled rally in several years. DON”T MISS THIS!! This will be an EXCEPTIONAL experience organized by Dave Tobin, an expert at organizing such events. His last event, carried in ‘The Star’ magazine on page 82 of the September 2016 issue, was called the 2016 Walleye 1000 Vintage Rally in Minnesota.

Now is the time to attend one of your last 2019 club events!! 2019 is fading. Don’t wait.

We look forward to our annual meeting in Geneva scheduled on Sunday November 17th. Once again, we will gather at historic Belhurst Castle for a lunch, elections and discussions about the possibilities of our 2020 schedule of events. Details may be found in the ‘Up Coming Events Section’ of this Tri-Star issue. Be sure to thank Judy and Bob Handzo for organizing this annual event as well as our picnic each year. This may be our last chance to ‘break bread’ with and share some time with past president Bob and retiring Secretary- Treasurer Judy. This wonderful couple, our leaders for nearly 10 years are retiring to North Carolina. We want to also thank VP Bob Harradine, who has taken on the responsibilities of a new full-time job, for his great efforts this past year as our vice president and membership chair. Bob also filled in nicely as our Liaison with Rochester Mercedes Benz. We now need your help in leadership positions, so if you believe that you can donate a brief amount of time in 2020 to your club, please free to contact me. You will find that a leadership positions is a fulfilling opportunity that requires less time than you may expect. As always, Mercedes Benz owners are a very fun group of people to share time with. Also, thank you for allowing me to be you club president in 2019. I have had fun.

Happy and safe motoring, President Don Klug






Donald Klug

President - Finger Lakes Section


WOW, where did April, May and most of June go? Our second quarter of 2019 has seen plenty of action with our April event at Bill Wayman’s annual garage tour, the Sonnenberg Fathers’ Day Car Show and the Watkins Glen Lotus-Mercedes-Benz Driving Education Event on June 19th. Hope that you have been able to take advantage of at least one of these events. Spending time together with other Mercedes Benz owners is always a pleasant experience.

This spring has been spent getting to know folks in the CNY region. A visit was in order to Mercedes Benz of Syracuse. John Bruno, the service manager has joined our FL MBCA on their behalf and we currently have displayed several issues of ‘The Star’ magazine and membership applications in the service department waiting room. Time was well spent getting to know some of the new sales people and I traveled to Ithaca to get to meet Dave Tobin who is coordinating an early fall road rally for us. VP Bob Harradine and Ex-Officio Bob Handzo visit to Mercedes Benz of Rochester helped to grow our solid club relationship. As said before, a pleasant experience is had by all talking about the cars we love to drive.

Peggy and Oscar Raffo, our newsletter editors, David Kliment, our webmaster and Judy Handzo, our secretary/treasurer continue to perform their behind the scene jobs with excellence. Your club executives are very experienced people conducting club business at a level of excellence providing well planned club gatherings. Please take advantage their efforts. Now is the time to attended one of our events! The year 2019 is half gone!! Don’t Wait.

As said before, Mercedes-Benz club members are fun people to be around. Please jump into your Benz and meet fellow club enthusiasts on Sunday, July 7th at the annual Summer Picnic, held at member Red Kosinski’s home in Scottsville. This event is always a top notch gathering. Red supplies the ‘meats’ and the club supplies an assortment of ‘wet your whistle’ refreshments. Bring a dish to pass and your bathing suit. Red’s pool is beautiful. Last year Red invited folks to pick as many black raspberries as one can and Red is always willing to show you around his garage-barn where you may find all sorts of projects in a state of accomplishment. We will have a ‘low key’ People's Choice car show on the lawn, welcome and get to know our newest members and enjoy relaxed chats with old friends. This a great opportunity for our CNY, NNY and Southern Tier members. The Picnic drive is shorter than you think.

Two events are lined up for early and late September. “WINE, WATER, JAZZ AND MB CARS on September 8th, coordinated by Larry Driscoll. This is a hybrid gathering sponsored by the Seneca Falls Rotary Club and is just a short ride down I90 to the Seneca Falls Exit. The venue is the del Lago Resort parking lot Tent that seats 200. Proceeds will support clean water in Africa.

On September 28th we gather for a “FALL ROAD RALLY” from Watkins Glen to Seneca Falls. This is our first rally in many years. We guarantee an exceptional experience. Coordinator Dave Tobin is an expert in organizing this type of event and MBCA Regional Director Drew Webb from Salem, NH, may join us. High participation offers an opportunity for a picture in ‘The Star’.

We still have time to put an August date together for a Mercedes Club event. We just need a champion! Planning an event can be a fulfilling experience and is easier than you may think.

Happy and safe motoring.

Don Klug



Donald Klug

President - Finger Lakes Section
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