Raleigh, North Carolina
THE ART OF AMAZEMENT
The Ring was originally named in honor of Wallace Lee (1892-1969) and Mr. Dick Snavely (1927-1997), two distinguished and internationally known North Carolina magicians. Mr. Lee knew of the unanimous agreement to name the ring in his honor and it pleased him greatly.
The Ring met over the years in the basement of the home of Dick and Dot Snavely. As director of the Raleigh Little Theater (1955-1967) and an accomplished actor, writer and magician, Dick was instrumental in the creation, nurturing and perpetuation of Ring #199. Following his untimely death in 1997, the Ring's name was amended to include Dick's name. The Raleigh club is currently known as the Wallace Lee - Dick Snavely Ring.
A BRIEF HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
The International Brotherhood of Magicians (I.B.M.) was founded on February 10, 1922 in Winnipeg, Manitoba by Len Vintus (stage name of Melvin Justus Given McMullen) of Transcona, Manitoba, Gene Gordon (aka Gordon Avery) of Buffalo, New York, and Don Rogers (aka Ernest Schieldge). Unlike earlier magic clubs, such as the Society of American Magicians and the British Magic Circle, the I.B.M. was begun as a correspondence club by magicians living outside of major cities, who were unable to attend magic club meetings.
The I.B.M. formed local clubs known as Rings. Each Ring was originally numbered in sequence, based on when it received its charter from the parent group. Gene Gordon established Ring #1 in Rochester, New York in 1922. This initial Ring eventually disbanded and St. Louis, Missouri assumed the vacated title of Ring #1.
In 1960, a very active group of Raleigh magicians established the Capital City Magic Club. In 1970, the club applied for an official charter with the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Through the concerted effort of William Spooner, the Ring was officially chartered with the I.B.M. on May 1, 1970.
Charter and founding members of I.B.M. Ring #199 included:
Steve Adams, Tom Adams, Orville K. Barnes, Hersey Basham, Jr., George A. Boisvin, F.A. Cash, Jr., W.T. Cash, Sr., Jack Cates, Danny Christian, Barry Cooper, Carl Edwards, Robert Gregory, Abner Harrington, Burton James, Jimmy Johnson, Walter Keezell, Robert Kepley, Bonnie Klaiber, David Klaiber, Fred Long, Dennis Martin, Tom McAfferty, Harry Milliken, Ernest Morrison, Robert Nelson, Robert L. Newton, Jr., Elisson Poland, Asa F. Rice, Larry Rockman, F.L. Schrodt, C. Shaw Smith, Richard Snavely, Richard Spainhour, William E. Spooner, William L. Tadlock, M.B. Willis andWilliam H. Wysong.
Since the Club's creation, its members have raised thousands of dollars for charities and community programs such as Wake Habitat for Humanity with their annual Magic Showcase. Club members can be seen around the world performing for clubs, restaurants, festivals, schools, libraries, private events and more. In 2012, the club donated over 60 beginner magic books to the Wake County Library System.
In 2007, the youth branch of the Raleigh Magic Club, Magic Youth Raleigh, was selected as the pilot program for the international I.B.M. Youth project. The local program director, Roger Way, was selected to chair the international youth education program.
This is a very active Ring. Members meet formally on the First Saturday of each month at New Horizons Fellowship in Apex. A mid-month casual workshop generally meets at differing locations on the third Tuesday of each month. Magicians and their families gather for a casual lunch to sit, chat, and share a bit of magic on most Fridays at Sweet Tomatoes in Cary. Magic Youth Raleigh meets on the second and fourth Saturday of each month at The Magic Corner Magic Shop. Visit our Ring Calendar for details.
The Raleigh Magic Club is very grateful for the many years devoted by Dr. William Spooner and Michael T. Deering, Ring Historians, in collecting and preserving the colorful history of I.B.M. Ring #199. Roger Way is the current Ring Historian.
To know where you are going, you must first know where you have been. I.B.M. Ring 199 has a rich history, and a bright future. We have, and have had as our members, many magicians of note and international merit. Our membership includes internationally acclaimed authors, performers, scholars, craftsmen, and past international presidents of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.