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In 1995, Cliff Mahler, who was president of SSAA at the time, proposed the establishment of regions within SSAA, with each region planning and conducting activities within its own region. Cliff's vision was that regional activities would encourage greater participation than only having activities at the national level in Northern California. He left it up to each region to decide on its own activities.
Cliff asked me to coordinate the Southwest. The Southwest was defined as New Mexico, Arizona, southern Nevada, including Las Vegas, and Southern California.
We decided because of the great distances across the region that an annual two- or three-day event would be preferable to more frequent luncheons or evening meetings.
Our first get-together was held in 1996 in Tucson. Interest and attendance was sufficient to plan another event in San Diego for 1997. From there, with participation growing, we held reunions in Santa Barbara, Palm Desert, Los Angeles, and Paradise Valley, Arizona. A reunion was planned for San Diego for 2002, but commitments had to be made soon after 9/11 so it was decided to postpone until 2003. The successesful 2003 San Diego reunion and the 2004 gala cruise continued the tradition of the section.
Note: The 2004 cruise was the last event held and the Southwest section is no longer active.
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