The GPAA was founded in 1968, but we understand the importance of changing with the times. Therefore, we have placed a big emphasis on using social media to extend our reach to current and potential members. None of these social media platforms have been more popular than Facebook.
Some of our members have even used Facebook to win sweet prizes! For example, Joyce Gronde and Janice L. Bosscher entered contests on our Facebook page, and they both walked away with five free tickets to the Gold Show in their area, a VIP host with early entry one hour before the general public and $250 to spend at the show on prospecting gear.
The contests have been run sporadically in the past, but we plan to make them a more common occurrence in the future. Therefore, be sure to like us on Facebook for your chance to win!
The Indiana Winners
Contest winner Joyce Gronde and her son, Christopher Gronde, selected tickets to the Indiana Gold & Treasure Show on October 21, 2017, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. We had a chance to talk to them about their winnings and gold prospecting in general.
When asked how they got interested in gold prospecting, Christopher said something many of our members can undoubtedly relate to: “We started watching Gold Rush on Discovery Channel like so many other people, and then we bought one of the Gold Rush kits. Then we learned about the GPAA and met with the Indiana group here.” From there, Christopher and Joyce joined an Indiana GPAA chapter.
Christopher also said that he “tries to go out (prospecting) once a month, but it usually ends up being every other month.” Like many of his fellow prospecting enthusiasts, Christopher would prefer to spend more time looking for gold, and he’s hoping that will happen in 2018. Fortunately, he was able to acquire heavier prospecting equipment (the Gold Cube) with the $250 show voucher his mother won.
Joyce and Christopher do most of their prospecting in a creek behind a country store in Gatesville, Indiana. The mother-son duo has been able to bond by prospecting together, and we bet that bond will grow even more when they come home with a large gold nugget.
Christopher’s favorite part of prospecting is very relatable. “I love working the land. I love the idea of digging in the dirt and pulling money right out of the ground. It’s just the American dream, you know, to pull money right out of the ground.”
Joyce said they’d be happy to let a major find such as a 100-pound gold nugget go to the Smithsonian on one condition: “As long as we get a cut from it.” We think every GPAA member would agree that’s a fair deal. To date, the most they’ve found in one outing is a gram of gold, but none of us can ever know if we’ll be the next person to stumble upon a gold nugget that could turn prospecting from a hobby into a sizable retirement account.
The Carolina Winners
When it was winner Janice L. Bosscher’s turn to pick, she went with her husband, James “Woody” Wood, to the Concord Gold & Treasure Show on October 28, 2017, at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center. Janice and Woody were also happy to speak with us about their love of prospecting and how this helped love bloom between the two of them.
“We met at Disney World. He was the captain greeter, and I was concierge. And the rest is history,” Janice revealed. Woody had been going prospecting for “10 or 15 years” when the two met in 2005.
When Woody’s interest in prospecting first began, he ran into opposition from a woman who said, “If you want gold, we’ll go to the jewelers and get you gold.” He retorted, “That’s not the point. I’m the first one to find it.”
Woody and the other woman never saw eye to eye on his hobby, but Janice took to it right away, labeling the prospecting experience as “good people, fresh air.” She also elaborated that “right now, with the world news and stuff, it’s just refreshing to get away.”
Speaking of refreshing, Woody indicated these two lovebirds enjoy throwing rocks and water at each other “like little kids” when they prospect and that “it’s just fun.” Sounds like he found his perfect match thanks to prospecting and Disney World!
Woody credits Gold Fever with introducing him to prospecting. All these years later, he knows exactly what he would do if he found a 100-pound gold nugget: “Put it in a museum under my name.”
Taking a much smaller gold nugget to Disney World helped highlight for Woody one of the major differences between prospectors and those who don’t look for gold. “I was surprised by how many people had never seen real gold. And the people went ‘well, this has got dirt in it,’ and I said, ‘I’m sorry, it came out of the ground!’”
Janice is unable to do some of the physical tasks associated with prospecting. Despite this, she gets out there regularly and enjoys using the Martin Table. She also uses a cleaning station that Woody rigged up to clear away debris. This proves that having a little ingenuity can make prospecting fun for everyone!
GPAA Director of Vendor Relations Sam Servetter elaborated on the importance of Facebook for the association’s continual growth: “We welcomed over 120 unique exhibitors, attracted more than 13,000 on-site visitors and reached over 350,000 unique profiles through our GPAA Gold & Treasure Show Facebook Page.”
Bringing new gold prospectors and enthusiasts into the GPAA is the best way to ensure the association’s future health and stability. In 2017 alone, the GPAA Gold & Treasure Shows Facebook page grew from 7,500 followers to 11,200.
Another fantastic feature of Facebook is that members from around the country can connect with the GPAA and their fellow gold prospectors! Our posts frequently attract several comments, and we do our best to respond to questions via the Facebook platform.
Have you ever wondered what a GPAA Gold Show looks like outside of your local area? You can see the things similar to those experienced by Joyce, Christopher, Woody and Janice via GPAA Gold Show Live, which we run through the Facebook’s livestream feature.
Not only does this get you near the action from the comfort of your living room but it also gives you the opportunity to watch exclusive, in-depth interviews with industry leaders and companies. Even better, with nonprofit organizations and other groups to offer prize giveaways and raffles to Facebook Live viewers.
In 2018, GPAA members can expect future installments of Gold Shows Live! on Facebook, along with occasional contests and useful, timely posts about our Gold Shows and the world of gold prospecting. Following us on social media will allow you to find out about contests and discounts, along with staying updated on our show schedule.
Are you following the GPAA on Facebook? Join us today at www.facebook.com/gpaagoldshows.
Holly Chavez is a freelance writer based out of Gainesville, GA