Written by: John and Nancy Wilson
We want to sincerely thank Florida United Numismatists Board Member and Convention Coordinator Cindy Wibker, President Randy Campbell and the entire FUN Board for letting the American Numismatic Association have a table at your July 09-11, 2015, 9th Annual Summer Fun Convention in Orlando, FL. The ANA table was extremely busy, and we signed up 21 new members for the Association. We passed out numismatic literature, elongates & other give-a-ways, flyers for our future conventions in Chicago and Dallas, along with, The Numismatist and other items. We were able to get a donation for the shipment of the coin show kit from Tiburon, California Dealer Kagin’s, Inc.
Over 200 tables were set up for the dealers, exhibitors, grading services, coin clubs, Wizard supplies, Piedmont Gold Panners, Coin and Kids area, message center and the U. S. Postal Service. FUN also has a Budget and Foreign & Ancient section. Security by PPI and local law enforcement agencies was top notch with no problems reported. Heritage Auctions had an excellent auction in conjunction with the show. FUN does an excellent job of setting up the hall with several aisles where you can go with ease from one side of the hall to the other. Morning coffee and other snacks were provided to dealers for the three days of the event. FUN had a public and dealer registration area near the front door which is run by Board members and volunteers. No matter how long the line, the visitors were quickly processed and were able to get in the convention in a very timely manner. Visitors received a cloth bag and tokens. New Photo IDs were issued to the dealers and it took a little while longer to process them. We really like the new IDs which have the photos on both sides of the credential. We will mention that FUN makes special slabbed eagles that are giving to the exhibitors and others who contribute to the show. They are made in very limited number and are a very nice numismatic item for exhibiting at the show. Coin World sent some publications which were available at tables near the exhibit area.
Attendance for the convention appeared to be in the low thousands, with Friday the busiest. Attendance was helped by FUN paying the costs to coin clubs, for them to arrange bus service for their members to attend the convention. Attendance is also helped by FUN advertising their two shows via newspapers and television. FUN also attends several major coin shows every year to promote their organization and conventions. This is well spent money which helps to keep FUN one of the major coin clubs in the country. The majority of dealers appeared to have a good show. FUN always has great activities at their coin shows. The educational programs are always top notch and very educational. Some coin clubs also host meetings along with educational programs. On Saturday a superb Young Numismatist programs was held along with a Boy and Girl Scout Coin Collecting Merit Badge Clinic. It would be nice if the Scout Clinic ended earlier, as many of the dealers had left before the scouts visited the bourse area. David Lisot of Coin Television videotaped the educational programs along with other events and individuals during the show.
Coin Club tables were also kept busy, especially the Original Hobo Nickel Society booth, which had engravers constantly working on new designs. They gave visitors some neat collectibles. Another exceptional table was set up by the 1715 Fleet Society. This table featured excellent information on the 300th Anniversary of the sinking of the 1715 Spanish Treasure Fleet off the central east coast of Florida. Mugs, T-Shirts and other tokens and medals were offered at this table. Other coin club tables also gave tokens, medals or foreign paper money to visitors. The Piedmont Gold Panners always draw a great crowd. One young collector stopped at the ANA table and showed a small golden nugget she panned for. The YN area also was kept busy during the convention especially on Saturday.
The well-lit and spacious Orange County Convention Center is a great site for the convention and the parking at $10 is reasonable. A shuttle bus to and from the rear parking area was provided by FUN. Nearby hotels, theme parks and restaurants make Orlando, and this convention center one of the premiere coin show sites in the country. The multiple food areas at the back of the hall had some exceptional selections which made the dealers, collectors and visitors very happy. Convention Coordinator Cindy Wibker is to be congratulated, along with the FUN Board and other committee members for hosting a FUNtastic and very successful convention. Thanks again to Cindy Wibker, Randy Campbell and the Board for the ANA table. We look forward to next year’s 10th Summer FUN convention which will be held on July 7 – 9, 2016 at the Orange County Convention Center. The 61st FUN convention will be held on January 7 – 10, 2016 at the Tampa Convention Center, located in Tampa, FL.
Yours in numismatics, Mark & Myrna Lighterman and John & Nancy Wilson, ANA National Volunteers