60th Annual FUN Show
Wow! The 60th annual FUN Show is now history, but what a show. There were 630 dealer booths with 930 tables and 30 dealers on a waiting list. The U.S. Mint, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet artifacts exhibit were the big highlights of the show. Attendance was estimated at over 10,000. The parking lots filled by 9:30 a.m. each day.
We opened the show Thursday morning at 10 a.m. with the Treasurer of the U.S., Rosie Rios and Mr. Commem, Anthony Swiatek, speaking briefly before the ribbon cutting. It was 39 degrees outside but things were popping inside. The 1715 Fleet exhibit had an area of 50 x 80 with carpeting. Virtually every item on display had not been seen by the public in 30 years. There were everyday items used on a ship to cannon, muskets, and swords, to gold bars/discs and silver coins. Thanks goes out to Co-chairman of the show Bob Hurst for procuring this exhibit. Co-chair Bob Russell promoted FUN’s 60th anniversary and did a great job.
At the US Mint/B.E.P. area, Rosie Rios signed crisp U.S. notes for lines of autograph seekers. Sales were very good for the government agencies. The ANA had two seminars before the show. The Fundamentals of Grading U.S. Coins seminar was sold out and the Introduction to Counterfeit Detection of United States Coins seminar had nine students. There were big lines around the NGC tables on Friday, when Rick from “Pawn Stars” signed 8 x 10 pictures.
There were 18 educational seminars from Thursday through Saturday. Attendance averaged 40-70 people. These were by far the best-attended seminars in years. Randy Campbell assembled the speakers as he does every year. Great job!
The exhibit area run by Bob Russell, had 32 exhibitors exhibiting 43 exhibits in 283 cases. There were 12 YN competitive exhibits. The Best of Show Exhibit was “The Kings And Queens of England Through Maundy Money” by Tom Uram. He won an all- expenses paid scholarship to the ANA summer seminar, sponsored by Heritage Auctions. The People’s Choice Award went to Dennis Schafluetzel.
We had 32 club members attend the FUN Coin Club Get Together on Saturday. After a buffet lunch, we had 10 silver eagle door prizes. ANA President Walter Ostromecki presented Tony Swicer with the ANA Presidents Award. We discussed club activities.
The FUN-sponsored club buses came in on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Ocala had 46 on board and Palm Beach, 51. Saturday Jacksonville had 47, Sarasota 37, and West Hernando had 27 for a total of 208 club members on five buses.
There was a lot to do for the kids with “Coins & Kids” giving away lots of prizes. The YN program administered by Tony Bonaro had 60 in attendance and the Boy Scout program had 62. Everyone received lots of freebees. The ANA Treasure Trivia program had over 200 kids participate and was a huge success.
Panda America made and was selling special FUN silver and gold Pandas.
Heritage Auctions made the news with a 1907 $20 Hi Relief gold piece selling for $2,115,000, a 1793 Chain Cent selling for $2,350,000, and a 1792 Birch Cent selling for $2,585,000. The FUN Heritage Auction realized over $81 million.
Thanks goes out to all the Officers & Board of FUN along with our volunteers for making this show great. Special thanks goes to Convention Coordinator Cindy Wibker for the great job of organizing everything and putting up with all the dealers.
On a sad note, long-time Board member Gary Overton died of a heart attack Friday night at the Rosen Center. He was 62 and he will be missed by all of us.