History of the ABC
idea to begin an Independent Club for collectors of Adam Binder's
work occurred to me in the spring of 2002, while I was attending
the Canadian Collectibles Show in Kitchener, Canada. I saw at
least ten other collectors I recognized from the Independent
Harmony Kingdom Club I belong to at that time, all standing
in Adam's signing line! It appeared that we had a core of Binder
collectors from Michigan already, and they were all open to
the idea of forming an independent Club. I also talked with
several other collectors from other areas of the country that
day who enjoyed Adam's work and I gathered up a few more email
addresses. My goal was to use the internet and email for what
it does best - disseminate information quickly!
A few of us decided to get together informally at the Rosemont
IGCE Show in June, 2002, and over dinner we talked about starting
up the Club. I asked Adam's permission to launch a Club, not
having a clue of what I was actually getting myself into. Adam
gave us his permission to start the first Adam Binder Independent
Collectors Club. At Rosemont, it was decided to begin a "virtual"
Club. There would be little or no expenses this way, and so
we would not have to charge high membership fees. In fact, to
begin with, we would charge no fees at all! By the time of our
Rosemont meeting, we had already had two offers from stores
to sponsor our Club, and we were off and running.
When I returned home, I put up a post on the MSN Binder Board
announcing the start of the Club, and have been receiving requests
to join ever since! At the time of this writing, there are over
200 members and ten sponsor stores that have joined the Club!
Our first decision was what to call our Club. Several names
were suggested and we held an email ballot. . The name chosen
was The Adam Binder Club, or the ABC for short! My original
thought was to provide a sort of "round robin" where any collector
or dealer could email all Club members with information, but
what actually came to pass was that people emailed me the information
and I then fanned it out to the ABC. Today, the information
arrives in many forms, from Adam and his manager, Lueze, from
ABE dealers, from magazine articles featuring Adam and ABE,
from other collectors and the MSN Binder board and Let's Play
ABE board managers.
In the course of adding collectors to our growing ABC email
list, one collector, Anna, offered to set up a website in partnership
with the ABC, donating her time and talents to do so. She also
designed the ABC logo based on Adam's first membership piece,
New Dawn, and Adam and Lueze approved of us using the logo.
The design became an instant success on the Binder Board, and
many collectors wanted to have patches and/or pins with the
design. We quickly discovered that even a "virtual" Club had
expenses! Adam helped us out tremendously by donating three
Artist Copies ABE pieces for us to raffle. But we soon realized
that it would be prudent to charge dues to cover our expenses.
In the first year that dues were charged, members received an
ABC patch and pin as membership gifts! We then held a "live"
meeting of the ABC at the Rosemont 2003 IGCE Show. We started
planning for the meeting six months in advance when we had about
80 members. Little did we know how fast the ABC would grow!
We had a sold out crowd of 120 people at the dinner and everyone
who came seemed to have a good time. The dinner meeting was
made extra special for all of us when Adam, Lueze and Claire
were able to join us! Unfortunately, Lisa missed the dinner
to care for their dog, Tree, who had just had emergency surgery.
Adam also surprised us all by donating ivory Love Bugs to the
ABC for the dinner meeting! Every Club member at the dinner
got to take home one of his special variation beetles, as well
as an ABC Rosemont 2003 button and water bottle. (After trying
to fit all of those water bottles in my little car, I think
when we do this again, we will pick a smaller memento...!)
For those of you who have been following the ABC from the beginning,
you know that we have had many website contests and we plan
on more to come! ABE has continued to support the Club and donated
to the ABC one of the tiles that made up the countertop at his
booth at the Rosemont 2003 IGCE. Thanks to the generosity of
ABE, all of the proceeds from the raffling of this tile of ivory
frogs was donated to the designated Club Charities.
More recently, ABE has made an exclusive piece, just for our
Club, the "Gliding Frog". But you have to be a member
of the ABC to participate in our activities, so what are you
waiting for? Join today! Just click on the link "Join
ABC"! ~ Dolores