SWDRA was formed in Sept 1987 because the SW Region, at that time, included Southern CA, parts of Nevada, and Hawaii...With CA and NV as part of the SW Region it was difficult for our SWDRA (now the SW Region) members to compete for regional awards and ranking. We also wanted to become a political force in AERC and we accomplished both goals by forming SWDRA and uniting our membership. At that time we also had Auxiliary Members (those who resided in other states/regions but rode in our SWDRA Region. We had a points system based more on mileage than placing and originally we had 7 SWDRA rides count for those points...that was done to encourage more participation/entries in SWDRA Rides. The original 7 SWDRA Rides were (I think) Paso Del Norte, Los Alamos, Tall Pines, Old Pueblo, Rio Grande, A Spear, Cinder Lakes (I may not have rides right, but I think so).
The idea for SWDRA originated with Randy, Dave/Corry, Dave/Nancy Finley, Linda Locklar, Susie McCallum, Roger Taylor, Jeff/Nancy Trinkle, George/Liz DeLong...there may have been others but I think this group were the original founders. Randy was the original news editor (SWDRA Gazette) followed by Linda Locklar, Karen & Cindy Binns, George DeLong, Taylors...we replaced the GAZETTE with the SWDRA List in 2002.
The formation of SWDRA helped get recognition for our geographic region, helped elect AERC directors from our area because we had a united group of membership who actually voted in AERC elections. Due to SWDRA's influence (I think), both AZ and NM are in the top 16 states in AERC Membership...even though the SW Region is by far the smallest AERC Region, we have some of the highest per capita percentage membership related to state populations in total. (Randy)