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Regional roundup: Connecting at summer outings

By Brock Huffstutler

September 5, 2023

ARA of Maryland’s Crab Feast – Hawaiian Style

There were plenty of events offering networking and fun across the American Rental Association’s (ARA) Region Two this summer:


On Aug. 5, the ARA of Maryland hosted its annual Crab Feast at Fisherman’s Crab Deck in Grasonville, Md. In addition to a menu complete with steamed blue crabs, shrimp tortellini, fried chicken, corn on the cob, coleslaw and drinks, the event featured live music and prizes. Plus, a special prize was awarded to the wearer of the best Hawaiian attire.

“It was another great success,” says Reggie Eda, co-owner, Oxon Hill Rentals, Fort Washington, Md., and ARA of Maryland vice president,” of this year’s Crab Feast. “We had a great waterfront atmosphere on the Chesapeake Bay and tasty food, but most of all, great people. We had about 88 attendees this year representing 13 rental operations and eight manufacturers/dealers. We look forward to hosting this event next year for our members.”


Photo courtesy of Laura Eldridge

The ARA of Pennsylvania offered members two opportunities to get together through east and west Family & Staff Appreciation events. The first took place on July 30 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh with a Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies baseball outing. In a matchup that was sure to please at least a portion of Pennsylvanians, the Pirates came out on top with a final score of 6-4.

“What a great time!” says Laura Eldridge, an employee at Dear John Trailer Sales & Rental, Ellwood City, Pa., of the Pirates-Phillies game. “My whole family went. The food was good, and the seats were better.”

Sherri Greco, also with Dear John Trailer Sales & Rental, says that when their team learned the ARA of Pennsylvania was hosting the baseball outing again, “the office excitement was through the roof! We ended up purchasing eight tickets and arrived at the stadium early for Kids Day festivities. The kids had a great time. The food [in the suite] was delicious but those cookies were next level! Our hostess was fantastic, but the Pirates taking the win was the cherry on top of an incredible day.”

Then, on Aug. 6, the second Family & Staff Appreciation event occurred at Hersheypark, where each year the ARA of Pennsylvania offers a discounted park admission/lunch package to ARA members.

Photo courtesy of Sherri Greco

Deborah Erb, owner, The Event Collective, Lebanon, Pa., took a large contingent to experience the park’s thrills at this year’s outing. “It was a good day; there were 11 of us who attended,” she says.


Aug. 6 also brought an opportunity for ARA of Virginia members to unwind and take in the action at Kings Dominion, Doswell, Va., with family, coworkers and rental friends. The summertime outing has been a hit with members for many years.

“The ARA day at Kings Dominion was a nice, relaxing Sunday to spend with the family,” says John Strawser Jr., branch manager, Washington Air Compressor Rental Co., Chantilly, Va., who also brought a few close family friends who do business with his company. “It’s always a blessing to be able to mix business and family and make memories.”

New Jersey

Photo courtesy of Judy Boelhouwer

To close out the summer, ARA of New Jersey, on Aug. 20, presented its own Family & Staff Appreciation event at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, N.J.

“It was a great time for all employees at Friendly Rental,” says Judy Boelhouwer, manager, Friendly Rental Center, North Brunswick, N.J.

Steve Lusby, general manager, Grand True Value Rental, Hackettstown, N.J., who also serves as ARA of New Jersey president, brought along a team of approximately 35 to the Six Flags outing. “We had great weather, our employees’ young children had an awesome time, and it was nice to sit and have lunch with everybody,” he says.

Stay in the know about upcoming activities across ARA Region Two (covering Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia) at the ARA Calendar of Events.

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