The Hard Rock Cafe Pin Collectors’ Club’s Important Dates and Milestones
In 1993 Michael Comer of Colonial Beach, Virginia established the original Guitar Pin Collectors’ Society (GPCS). With planning, hard work and determination, Michael served as Director of the Society until the first GPCS election was held in November 1994.
Michael Vestino of California became the first elected President of the GPCS in March of 1995. He attempted to register the club as a non-profit organization and also came up with the original idea of promoting regional chapters of the club. He served the club until March 1996.
James Daves-Peterson of Texas was elected President of the GPCS in April 1996. During his term, James continued to work for our non-profit status and wrote a set of by-laws that was needed to complete this long process. During our annual club event at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas these by-laws were voted on and approved by the membership. The finale of James Daves-Peterson’s term in office was the exciting 4th annual club event that was held in April 1997 in Las Vegas. Almost $5,000 was raised for charity and donated to the “Pediatric AIDS Foundation”.
In August of 1997, the membership elected Dennis Millard of California as President of the GPCS. It was under Dennis Millard’s leadership that the club finally obtained non-profit status. 1998’s annual pin event was held in March at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. Over 250 traders attended the event and $7,500 was raised for the “Ronald McDonald House,” a charity that helps families of seriously ill children.
In April of 1999 Judson Pitt of Chicago was elected President and Virgil LaFerney of Dallas was elected Vice-President of the GPCS. Judson had been collecting pins since 1986 and is one of the authors of The Official Hard Rock Cafe Pin Collectors Guide that was available for sale at most Hard Rock Cafes. Virgil had been collecting pins since 1987 and was responsible for the staging of numerous events, most notably the annual Texas Pin Shootout which was first held in Dallas back in 1996. Over the years and since that first event, over $100,000 has been raised and donated to charitable organizations.
During November of 1999, after several months of communicating and negotiating with Hard Rock Cafe Corporate by Judson Pitt and Virgil LaFerney, the original Guitar Pin Collectors Society was allowed to use the words “Hard Rock Cafe” in the club name and use the Hard Rock Cafe logo. By an overwhelming “YES” vote of the membership, on December 5, 1999, the new name of the GPCS officially became “The Hard Rock Cafe Pin Collectors’ Club.”
In December of 2000, after several meetings with Hard Rock Cafe Corporate officials, the Officers announced to the then current HRCPCC membership a proposed merger with the Hard Rock Cafe Pin Collectors’ Society. A vote was taken by the membership with the results being an overwhelming “YES” to merge the clubs. The Hard Rock Cafe Pin Collectors’ Club and the Hard Rock Cafe Pin Collector’s Society joined forces and became one club on March 1, 2001. The name of the new merged club officially became “The Hard Rock Cafe Pin Collectors’ Club”.