Butch and Judy Smith Receive Renkenberger Spirit Award

Photo for Butch and Judy Smith Receive Renkenberger Spirit Award

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter has chosen to recognize Butch and Judy Smith for their contributions to our club and NAMGAR by selecting them as our Renkenberger Spirit Award recipients for 2015.

Butch and Judy have served our club in many different roles over the years including terms as President and Treasurer. They have hosted many Chapter events, including initiating the popular Annual Chili Party. The Smiths have brought many new members into the Club, never hesitating to approach a stranger driving an MG. As we know, the cars bring us to the Club, but it’s the people who bring us back. Butch and Judy are certainly among the people who keep ‘em coming back.

Smiths

Butch purchased his 1960 MGA 1600 in July 1967 for $700. They joined NAMGAR in 1975 as the 118th MGA registered. Butch and Judy attended GT-1 in Harper’s Ferry, WVA and have driven their ‘A’ to 27 of 40 GTs held to date. Before retirement, their vacations were scheduled around the national GTs and other MG events.

In 1982 returning from GT-14 in Indianapolis, the Smiths and Renkenbergers decided to drive straight through to Virginia and Maryland… 714 miles in fourteen hours. As Butch tells the story, “It took everything my 1600 had to keep up with Renk and Ruth in their Mk II Deluxe, Renk’s CB antenna whipping in the wind on the search for cops.”

In 1983 at GT-8 in Cypress Gardens, FL, Ruth persuaded the Smiths to assume the role of NAMGAR Treasurers from fellow Mid-Atlantic member Martha Ludtke. They served thirteen years with Chairmen Steve Mazurek, Joyce Hart and Len Bonnay.

It was the Smiths who restored interest in the club’s caravans to GT events, with Judy planning the routes and attractions. As Bill Marshall states, “Butch & Judy revitalized our club’s drives to the GTs, starting with GT-31 held in Gatlinburg. Using their model of a mini-vacation there and back it certainly created the enthusiasm we see today with people from states all around coming to the Mid Atlantic to travel with us. Everything we do regarding GT travel is the result of Judy’s history of organization and her teaching the rest of us how to do it.”

In 2011, Butch and Judy retired and moved from Fairfax to Gloucester, VA. They love it there, but they have the only MG in the county, much less an MGA. Since there’s little MG activity, they do attend as many Mid-Atlantic Chapter events as possible. After all, it’s only 135 miles north! The Smiths also own a 1967 MGB GT and a 1962 Mk II Roadster that Butch is currently restoring.

After four decades of turning strangers into friends… some friends for life…it is certain that the club is and always will be a major part of Butch and Judy’s life.

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Last updated on March 9, 2016.

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