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             The Claude C. Ries Southern California Chapter #48 of the American First Day Cover Society is the largest chapter in the AFDCS. With a current membership of 70, the organization is one of the most active chapters in the AFDCS. Over 30 of the chapter members are cachetmakers, who produce their own cacheted FDCs on a regular basis for sale and/or trade.

            The Ries Chapter has a very interesting Internet website located at The website, maintained by webmaster Rick Range, contains its large and colorful chapter newsletter, “RIES’ PIECES’, which is edited by Michael Litvak.

            The members of the Ries Chapter meet six times each year. On four of those occasions, the members conduct their meeting at a potluck food gathering. The other two meetings take place at ORCOEXPO in January in Anaheim, CA and at SESCAL in October in Los Angeles. At the end of each meeting, except for the Yule Tuber in December, a drawing is held in which each member gets to select one or more covers that are donated by the attending members. A drawing is not held at the Yule Tuber, because the members conduct live bidding event to raise funds for their chapter treasury.  A portion of the auction proceeds are donated to the AFDCS Publication Fund.

            Besides eating and having meetings during the year, the Ries Chapter is involved in other philatelic events. When the occasion arises, the chapter has co-hosted with the local USPS personnel First Day of Sale ceremonies. Three of these ceremonies included the 2008 Bette Davis stamp, the 2010 Cowboys of the Silver Screen stamps, and the 2010 Katherine Hepburn stamp. In addition, the chapter has co-hosted various local non-First Day philatelic events like the 2010 Centennial of the First Air Meet in America. For many of the afore-mentioned events, the chapter has prepared the ceremony program, the postal cancellation, and/or the official event cacheted cover.  Two of our chapter officers have actually performed the cancellation duties at these events for years.

            The AFDCS holds its annual convention called AMERICOVER in July or August in different locations throughout the U.S. One of the most popular activities at AMERICOVER is the Hospitality Suite, which is usually hosted by the local chapter of the AFDCS. When there is no local chapter, or when the local chapter is unable to handle all of the responsibilities, the Ries Chapter co-hosts the Hospitality Suite with the local chapter and/or the Robert C. Graebner Chapter #17 from Virginia, another very active chapter within the AFDCS.

            If you are a collector of covers and/or stamps, and you want to be a part of our very active and social philatelic organization, you may join by filling out an application which is available on our website or by contacting our Membership Secretary, Michael J. Luzzi, at (213)703-7809 or at

Press Release

AFDCS Ries Chapter to Publish Catalog of Dave Bennett Covers

Michael Litvak, President of the Claude C. Ries Chapter #48 of the American First Day Cover Society, announced today that the chapter will publish its first book for release at Americover, the 57th annual AFDCS convention, to be held this year in Irvine, Calif., August 10-12, 2012.

          Dave Bennett’s Ries Chapter Event Covers will feature the whimsical fun of the covers produced for Ries Chapter events by professional cartoonist and one of today’s most popular cachetmakers, Dave Bennett.

          Included in this 128-page, full-color book will be images of the many amusing covers that Bennett has made for over 20 years as souvenirs for Ries Chapter members for their annual Taco Fest, Summer BBQ and Yule Tuber parties.

          Also included in the catalog are covers for special Ries Chapter events, as well as an appendix of Bennett artwork done to publicize the events. In addition to the cover images, detailed information is provided about Bennett’s artistic concepts and uniquely creative production methods that will delight and educate all who appreciate the challenges involved in making beautiful cachets.

          All of these covers were made in limited quantities. Thus, this will be a unique opportunity to see and enjoy these special covers in one publication.

          The catalog is offered with two styles of bindings, either a spiral binding or a perfect binding. The spiral binding can accommodate future planned supplements.

          The price is $29.95, which includes sales tax, packing and shipping to any continental U.S. address. A special pre-publication price of $24.95 will apply to all orders for which payment is made prior to July 15, 2012. Please specify the preferred binding and mail a check or money order, payable to “Ries Chapter”, to Michael J Luzzi, 3976 Olmsted Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90008-2626. Quantity discounts for orders of 10 or more are available by contacting Luzzi at


Next meeting is July 26, 12:00 PM at Sobel's House


Now available, Ray Charles FDCs. See our Covers for Sale page for details.

You too can become a member of our Chapter. Dues are only $15 per year. Please complete and submit the Dues Renewal Coupon when renewing your membership. If a new member, please complete and submit the Member Bio Form.



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