GWRRA Chapter TN-C History

GWRRA Chapter TN-C (Tri City Wings) was chartered in December 1981. The first meetings were held in the Gray Community (Washington County) of the Tri-Cities at the home of T J/Shirley Osborne, the first Chapter Directors (Area Representatives). T J also went on to become the second Tennessee Director.
Charter Members were: T J/Shirley Osborne, Lenny/Rozann Hawkins, Don/Geri Hodges, Eddie/Mary Ellen Duncan, Paul/Mildred Christian, Freddie/Betty Deakins, Barnes/Vickie Miller

In 1985, the Chapter TN-C’s nickname was Hillbilly Wings and the attire was bibbed overalls. By 1992 there were four GWRRA Chapters in the Tri-Cities: Chapter TN-A/Kingsport (1st TN Chapter), Chapter TN-C/Colonial Heights, Chapter TN-J/Johnson City, Chapter TN-P/Bristol. All four Chapters were within twenty miles of one another and several members visited each Chapter, each month. The four Chapters began having quarterly meetings together and did so for approximately one year, proving to be lots of fun. Each Chapter had its uniqueness and strong points. Chapter TN-A had a place in GWRRA Tennessee history being the first Chapter chartered in Tennessee, Chapter TN-C had the most members and the popular Roan Mountain Steak-Out (Richard Banner started the Steak-Out in 1984 and it continues to be one of the largest attended Chapter events in GWRRA). Chapter TN-J planned excellent trips and Chapter TN-P knew how to party. It was decided to merge into one united Chapter since we had much more fun together as a combined group. By merging the Chapters into one, we would only be required do one newsletter each month, have one major event and the one set of officers. Then the subject of which Chapter should take the control of uniting all of the four Chapters into one Chapter and Chapter TN-C was the Chapter of choice, so the other Chapters simply did not renew their charters (which ceased to be an option to other Chapters shortly thereafter). Chapter TN-C became the second oldest Chapter in Tennessee (Chapter TN-A/Kingsport was chartered in June 1982 and Chapter TN-B/Knoxville was chartered in November 1981). The newly expanded Chapter TN-C/Kingsport began to represent the entire Tri-Cities region and changed its name from Hillbilly Wings to Tri-City Wings in 1992. The new logo chosen consists of the Tennessee State Flag, a Goldwing Motorcycle and a Wing of Gold. Chapter TN-C/Kingsport has had several Chapter colors over the years. Our current Chapter color is Tennessee orange. An orange “Chapter” dress shirt, black leather vest and black jeans are the official officers’ dress attire. Orange “Chapter” polos, T-shirts or sweatshirts and jeans are the official attire for all TN-C members at the events/activities we host.

Chapter TN-C has so much to celebrate! The first Tennessee Rally was hosted by Chapter TN-C at the Gray Station Fairgrounds in 1983. Chapter TN-C produced two Tennessee Directors and received the “2001 Tennessee Chapter of the Year Award”. Our annual “Roan Mountain Steak-Out” (held on the third Friday-Saturday in May each year) continues to be the premier event hosted by Chapter TN-C with an attendance of 200-300 GWRRA participants! Since 1996, Chapter TN-C has participated in annual fund-raisers for St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, including an annual Golf Tournament, an annual Putt-Putt Tournament and numerous other business/restaurant/sponsors’ events throughout the year. All contributions collected during each respective year are taken to St Jude’s Hospital on our September “Wings Across Tennessee” annual ride from Bristol to Memphis.

Chapter TN-C diligently strives to incorporate the GWRRA motto “Friends for Fun, Safety and Knowledge” into all of its rides/events/activities. Our annual aggregate total of miles ridden during 2016 speaks volumes about our Chapter TN-C members’ participation and enthusiasm. Our 2016 grand total of miles ridden was 339,520 miles!! We begin each year with a New Year’s Celebration Luncheon and end each year with a Christmas Awards Banquet and Christmas Gathering. Throughout each year, Chapter TN-C members have the opportunity to attend Thursday Night Dinner Socials or Mystery Rides each week, Saturday Lunch rides, as well as many other weekend trips, week-long trips, parades, picnics, appreciation dinners, community events and charity rides! Chapter TN-C members are also involved with various “Share Your Blessings Projects” providing assistance to local community families and shelters in need.

We encourage all of our members to join us in rides/events/activities (whether on bikes/trikes or in vehicles)! The love of the road, the love of the ride, combined with the love of having fun and sharing life’s special moments with our GWRRA family never ceases!!