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Mt. Rainier Remote Control Society A Short History by Don Sweasy
We have all heard of the child who asks Mommy where did he or she come from. The same question is often asked by new club members as well. They ask how our club got started and how did we end up owning such a magnificent flying facility. A feat accomplished by very few RC clubs.
We became a club in l964, and at the time, they flew at the old Bethel field, home of what is Bethel School.
In the early l970’s the club found and rented the same property we fly at today. It was a known fact the property would eventually be for sale, and the membership began to consider ways to purchase the 65 acres when it came up for sale.
The person who came up with the answer was Bob Pfeiffer. In the l970’s and l980’s Bob guided the club with a firm hand. Bob was a retired Air Force Colonel, and owned The Firgrove Model Shop in Puyallup. Bob had the vision and dedication to help the club secure its own flying site. It was his idea to create the NW Model Expo, to establish a fund that would eventually pay for our flying site. This pilot project was a gigantic undertaking for the club and with a tremendous amount of work, the first NW Model Expo was launched in February l982. Bob had a lot of contacts in the RC industry, a big plus when doing a model expo. Due to huge start up expenses, profits from the first expo were slim but the club was on its way. Bob died in February l989, and to honor him the club named our field Pfeiffer Field in his Honor.
In April l984 the owner of our flying site announced it was for sale, and as the property renter, the club had first option to purchase. At this point the club savings account was still rather dismal so two club meetings were held to determine a course of action. The final decision was that everyone who could, would contribute money towards the purchase. These club members wanted that property, and approximately 40 members contributed $40,000 which was ample to make the down payment on the $l00,000 purchase. The sale was completed in October l984. The next couple of Model Expos were profitable and the mortgage was paid off in the spring of l986. On July 4, l986 the club held a gigantic mortgage burning party at the field.
However the club still faced a problem, the flyers constantly overflew the 20 acres east of the field. This was not owned by the club and it contained no residences, but would certainly pose a problem if a residence suddenly appeared. In April 1994 the 20 acres became available for a little over $100,000, and the club decided to purchase. Mortgage payments were made for three years with profits from the NW Model Expo. The 20 acres are now owned by the club, giving them a total of 85 acres, and an excellent environment for the club flyers.
For all the club flyers, they are witness to all the improvements that have been made to the field and they can be thankful for one of the best flying sites in the country. We can all be thankful and appreciative of the members who had the foresight to make sure the club owns its flying site.
The NW Model Exposition has provided us with the funds but the foresight, generosity, and hard work of dedicated members has given us what we have today.