The Conway RC (Radio Controlled) Club is hosting a Big Fun Fly event at 9 a.m. Oct. 22 at Beaverfork Lake and is encouraging the community to come out, eat some BBQ and find out what the organization is all about.
Club president Tray Fowler said more than $2,000 in prizes will be given out during the event — their ninth one since revitalizing the club in 2013 — which includes a drone race, combat flying and an airplane for first-time flyers to try out.
Fowler said the club has been around for 40 years, but when he moved four years ago from Dallas, Texas, it was struggling.
Sitting at around six members, he said they’ve expanded to around 50 in 2015 with more than 240 active on the club’s Facebook page.
Being one of the "biggest airplane nerd you’ve ever met," Fowler said seeing the growth through the years has been amazing.
"Just watching it go from a club that had dried up and was fixing to go away all the way to, you know, honestly the most active club in the state," he said.
Not only have the numbers grown, but the demographic has also.
"It’s just a hodge podge of different kinds of people," Fowler said.
He said the misconceived "old, rich guy hobby" through the years has changed to include all ages to take part in the fun, which has also become more affordable.
"Just a bunch of goofy guys having fun," Fowler said. "Just guys who can’t grow up, pretty much. You’ll find there’s more older people than younger people, except now that we’ve got the drones kind of incorporated into this."
Fowler said drones bring in the younger generation.
"That’s kind of the direction the hobby is going," he said. "That’s what entices the young people. Young people aren’t as into building the big models, they’re more into the techy computer [stuff]."
The Conway RC Club encourages beginners, experts and people who just want to learn about the group to come out and enjoy the event together.
To learn more about Conway RC Club, log onto www.conwayrc.com.