The S.A.M. Founder’s Weekend

MagicTimes Spotlight News

A 100-year Anniversary/Celebration

On Saturday evening May 10, 1902, a group of 24 men meeting at the Martinka Magic Shop (493 Sixth Avenue) in New York City founded the Society of American Magicians. There were 12 regular members and 12 Associates. The first President was Dr. W. Golden Mortimer, who had been a professional magician earlier in his career. Membership card number one was given to Dr. Seram R. Ellison, a well-known collector of magic. Dues were set at $2.00.

Dr. W. Golden Mortimer
First President of SAM

Today the organization has grown to over 7000 active members in over 260 Assemblies with Associate members in the United States and International members in 49 countries around the world.

In July of this year the Society of American Magicians celebrates its centennial with a convention in New York City. The National Council of the SAM proclaimed the weekend of May 10-11 as Founders Weekend with many Assemblies celebrating the anniversary by way of banquets, parties, shows, exhibits and even a picnic. Throughout the year the celebration will continue so that all the members can participate. Each member in good standing will receive a commemorative coin to mark the 100th year celebration.

Here is a list of the planned events announced to date. Many are open to the public. Why not join the party?

NEW YORK CITY (Parent Assembly #1): A cocktail party honoring past “Magicians of the Year” on Saturday May 11 at 7:30pm at the Soldiers, Sailors and Airman Club (238 Lexington Avenue) in Manhattan. For information phone Nina Schindler at: 718-336-0605.

PHILADELPHIA, PA (Assembly #4): A Centennial Banquet on May 11 at 7pm at the Polish Home on Academy Road. Performers will be Arkadiy Burdetsky, Marc DeSousa, and Mike & Donna Snyder. For more information phone Bill Brown at: 215-441-8630.

ST. LOUIS, MO (Assembly #8): Founders Weekend Celebration & Installation on May 10. For more information phone: 636-394-4191.

BOSTON, MA (Assembly #9): Special Meeting Night Event on May 10. For more information phone John Graffeo at: 617-387-4500.

DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX (Assembly #13): Installation & Banquet (Buffet) on May 10 at 6:30pm at Dave & Buster’s Restaurant (121 Preston Rd.) in Frisco. Performers are: Jeff Lee, Mark Roberts and Rick Walker & Company. For more information phone: Joannie Lehr at: 972-226-1313.

WORCESTER, MA (Assembly #16): Meeting & Banquet on May 13 at 6pm in Shrewsbury. For more information phone: 978-365-5446.

PROVIDENCE, RI (Assembly #26): Impossible Dream Castle-Multimedia panel discussion and memorabilia exhibit on May 7 at 8pm. A banquet is also scheduled for Jun. 2. For more information phone Harry Leaman at: 401-822-2066.

ATLANTA, GA (Assembly #30): Banquet featuring SAM member John Doyle on May 11at Collinade Restaurant. For more information phone: Bob Stultz 770-955- 3010.

NEW ORLEANS, LA (Assembly 36): A two-day event featuring performances and lectures by Jon Racherbaumer, Dan Garrett, Pavel, Bob Sheets, Barry Richardson on May 10-11. For more information phone: 504-468-6170 or 504-888-6023.

TOLEDO, OH (Assembly #105): A picnic on May 11. For more information phone: Wm. Rugh 419-878-0698.

TUCSON, AZ (Assembly #136): A Celebration/Convention on May 16-18 at the Clarion Hotel & Suites (88 E. Broadway Blvd). Featured performers are: Michael Ammar, Greg Frewin, Mike Michaels, Dan Harlan, Arizona Posse, Daryl, Vito Lupo, Charles Bock, and Chris Mitchell. For more information phone: 520-790-0741.

GREEN BROOK, NJ (Assembly #161): Magicians will perform for the patients of the Lyons VA Hospital in honor of both SAM Founder’s Day and our veterans. For more information phone Jim Flood at: 908-464-6180.

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (Assembly #170): “Stars of Magic” show on May 17 at 7pm at the Peterson Air Force Base Auditorium with proceeds going to the Rams Booster Club. For more information phone Bruce Black at: 282-3877.

EAST WINDSOR, NJ (Assembly #181): Special events will be held at area Nursing Homes. For more information phone Rich Westcott at: 609-443-0300.

WINTER HAVEN, FL (Assembly #226): 100th Anniversary Banquet & Show on May 11 at 6:30pm featuring Fred & Kellie Becker, Elmo Bennett, Robert Bengel, Luis Campaneria, and Chris Harris. For more information phone Mike Peterson at: 863-686-5537.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (Assembly #248): Dinner party on May 10. For more information phone: Jay Gorham at: 480-722-0427.

FAIRFAX, VA (Assembly #252): Gala of Magic on May 11 at 7pm at the Old Town Hall. Performers are: Bob Tobias, Ralph the Great, Dean Alan Carnegie, Amazng Jack Coffet, and Miranda the Charm. For more information phone: 703-404-8902.

The above list is by no means complete. Please contact your local SAM Assembly to see what they have planned for the 100-year anniversary. Also note that many of the above events have limited space and some will carry a nominal admission fee. Please phone for reservations. To find an SAM Assembly in your town visit the official Society of American Magicians website at:

—George Schindler

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