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2014 PCS International Meet - Rochester, Minnesota For postings directly related to the 2014 International Meet. All others will be deleted.

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Old 06-11-2014, 01:19 PM
Gregg D. Merksamer's Avatar
Gregg D. Merksamer Gregg D. Merksamer is offline
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Default Anyone seen the Rochester preview promo in print?

Six weeks ago or thereabouts, CDs containing my press kit promoting this year's PCS International in Rochester, Minnesota were mailed to about 20 different funeral trade, EMS, firefighting and old car hobby publications. As I obviously don't subscribe to all of them (especially true in the case of EMS and firefighting magazines as it's not my profession), I would greatly appreciate it if the readers of this thread would e-mail or otherwise inform me of any published versions they'll be starting to see at this time. Steve Lichtman has, graciously, already sent a PDF of what was published in THE PENNSYLVANIA FIREMAN, while I receive my own subscription to YB's FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS. Learning who else ran what is always a helpful guide as to which publications should get first call next year when printer ink, CDs, envelopes and time are running low.

I also trust you'll all enjoy actually reading the press release that was actually sent out with a selection of captioned Milwaukee images, even if much of the text is "square one" language targeting editors and readers who don't necessarily know about us ...

When the Professional Car Society’s 38th Annual International Meet takes place in Rochester, Minnesota from Tuesday through Saturday, August 12th-16th, 2014, it’s anticipated to attract several dozen exquisitely-restored or authentically-preserved funeral hearses, flower cars, livery vehicles and automobile-based ambulances from all over the United States and Canada. “We couldn’t be more proud and pleased to host this event in conjunction with our Northland Chapter’s 25th anniversary,” Meet Co-Chair Tony Karsnia declares, adding “Our 75 members have been eager to do a follow-up to the 1996 PCS International we staged in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The small-but-vibrant city of Rochester, located in scenic southeastern Minnesota along the Zumbro River, struck us as an ideal place for a professional car meet, thanks to its relaxed vibe and rich medical history as the Mayo Clinic’s home town. With a population of just over 100,000, it’s the state’s third-largest city and the largest outside the Twin Cities metro area, but it’s easy to get around even if you’re driving a large funeral vehicle, limousine or ambulance. There shouldn’t be any traffic congestion or navigational worries when you ‘come play cars’ with us in Rochester.”

The official headquarters hotel for the 2014 “Respond to Rochester” PCS International Meet will be the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center at 1517—16th Street SW, which offers ample parking for oversized professional cars, complimentary continental breakfast and an indoor swimming pool with a water slide. “This hotel has a reputation for first-class hospitality after hosting several other classic car events, but this is the first professional vehicle gathering they’ve welcomed so their people were most eager to learn more about us,” Karsnia says. Be sure to mention the Professional Car Society when calling the Ramada directly at (507) 289-8866 to reserve a room at the $94 nightly pre-tax group rate being offered through Monday, July 14th, 2014.

Aware that Rochester isn’t “a drive around the block” in relation to many parts of the country, Karsnia appreciates how many people will be coming from afar, and emphasizes “anyone who’s taken part in a Northland Chapter function knows our goal is to provide value for our attendees through the perfect balance of activity and relaxation, affording ample time to renew old friendships and make new ones while enjoying in-depth ‘show and tell’ sessions about the special cars we collect.” The 2014 PCS International Meet’s first activity is a professional car motorcade slated to depart the Ramada at 1 PM Tuesday, August 12th, bound for the memorabilia-filled “man cave” of John Perkins, the former owner of Gold Cross Ambulance Service, who will treat his guests to light refreshments and an evocative audio-visual presentation recalling his company’s early years. Wednesday’s “Mississippi River Valley Tour Day” will see luxury motor coaches heading to the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota and a subsequent lunch stop at Slippery’s Tavern & Restaurant (featured in the 1993 movie GRUMPY OLD MEN), after which the Wisconsin side of the River will offer visits to the Nelson Creamery, Buena Vista Park and Elmer’s Toy & Auto Museum in Fountain City.

*** MORE ***

Thursday morning’s 45-mile motorcade to Austin, Minnesota should prove a memorably-scenic prelude to the SPAM Museum and the Mower County Historical Society, where a catered lunch from the regionally-renowned Steve’s Pizza should prove a tasty precursor to the 5 PM cookout and pre-sunset hayride at Brenna & Brian Scanlan’s Red Barn Learning Farm in bucolic Hayfield, Minnesota. The trolley tour that departs the hotel at 8:45 AM Friday, August 15th will take in such standout Rochester landmarks as the Mayowood Mansion, the Mayo Clinic Heritage Center, Assisi Heights, Plummer House and the Garden Marketplatz where lunch will be served midday. The city itself, named after Rochester, New York, became the Olmsted County seat in 1857, and developed rapidly as an important stagecoach and railroad stop between Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Dubuque, Iowa. Dr. William W. Mayo, having arrived in town in 1863 to serve as the examining surgeon for area Civil War draftees, joined his two sons and the Sisters of St. Francis in establishing St. Mary’s Hospital six years after the Great Tornado of August 21st, 1883 killed 37 and injured 200. The Mayo practice ultimately grew in size and reputation to the point where it attracted famous patients from all over the world including former Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

The Professional Car Society’s formal 2014 “Show and Shine” and photo session will take place 10 AM - 4 PM Saturday, August 16th at Soldier’s Park, whose abundant walking paths, pleasant shade trees and proximity to downtown Rochester’s shops and restaurants should encourage public scrutiny of the Cadillacs, LaSalles, Lincolns, Pontiacs, Packards, Oldsmobiles and Studebakers on exhibit, among other brands, bodied as funeral vehicles or ambulances by such skilled specialist coachbuilders as Eureka, Flxible, Henney, Pinner, Sayers & Scovill, Miller-Meteor, Cotner-Bevington and Superior. “We’re inviting a number of professional cars that have never been seen at a PCS event before, adding to the enticement of the meet,” Karsnia states. To ensure proper deference for the aesthetics and hand-craftsmanship of these essentially custom-made conveyances, PCS gatherings strictly prohibit cars with coffins, cobwebs, skeletons or other morbid decorations (camper conversions, regardless of their quality, aren’t judged either, though they can participate if the bodywork remains original). Saturday evening’s Grand Awards Banquet, Karsnia adds, “will be an affair to remember in and of itself, with live music, a spectacular emcee and two guest speakers from esteemed funeral service and coachbuilder families revisiting their history.” Afterwards, the 2014 International Meet concludes in the traditional PCS fashion with an exciting “light and sound show” by the attending vehicles’ beacons and sirens in the Ramada Hotel’s parking lot.

A registration package for “Respond to Rochester” 2014 can be requested from Tony & Kim Karsnia by e-mailing; telephoning (612) 325-2344; or writing 3634 Viking Boulevard NE, East Bethel, Minnesota 55092. While every effort will be made to accommodate latecomers, anyone who registers after August 3rd, 2014 might find some tours sold out. Applications for PCS membership, which costs $30 annually in the U.S., Canada & Mexico and $35 elsewhere, are available from Jeffrey Hookway at (973) 862-6047;; or 64 Mudcut Rd., Lafayette, N.J. 07848-4607. An electronic application that can process PayPal is also found online at

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Darren Bedford (06-11-2014), Ken Novak (06-11-2014), Tony Karsnia (06-11-2014), Walt McCall (06-11-2014)
Old 06-11-2014, 04:25 PM
Mike McDonald Mike McDonald is offline
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Gregg: I saw the promo in the PA Fireman as well. GREAT JOB! THX-MM
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:04 PM
Walt McCall Walt McCall is offline
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Hi, Gregg......

Your 2014 Meet Promo is in the current issue of FH & Cemetery News. Looks good, nice job! - Walt
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