The "Wonders of Florida", our 34th rally, was held March 19-22nd and was hugely successful. There were 350 rigs registered including 142 rigs from 28 states and Canada. Despite the inclement weather, everyone had a wonderful time.
Starting with the opening ceremonies and culminating with the installation of the new state officers, the weekend was jam packed with things to do. There were seminars, games, a cake walk with cakes donated by all the chapters, a doggie parade, vendors to visit, a Red Hat luncheon, nightly entertainment, snacks to munch on and rigs to view. We also catered dinners every night and breakfasts every morning so everyone was well fed. The participation by all our chapters was outstanding. What a great bunch of Winnie-Gators!
Special thanks to the Suncoast Winnies Gator ladies, Cindy Davis, Donna Haynes and Jeannie Beckner who designed some beautiful hats which were raffled off and raised $2,000 for our treasury. Jeannie also made aprons to go along with the hats. The lucky winners were Janet Stone, Pan Handle Winnies, Marlin Frey, from Haines City, IL and Del Larkham, from Baltic, CT.
A "Pirate Ship of Cheer" was raffled off by some very entertaining pirates from the South Florida Chapter. This ship raised more that $1,000 which will go to H.E.R.D., our state sponsored charity. This is an organization which uses horses in the treatment of disabled children. How fitting that Bruce Cheatum of South Florida won this raffle. Additionally, the DuBol chapter also raised $300 for H.E.R.D. Great job, guys!
Hats off to two special Mid-Florida Winnies, Bill Jackson, for making 400 of the greeter's gifts (the magnet with the FL quarter) and Harry Jones for making all of the name tags.
On Monday night the newly elected officers were officially installed, as follows: Pres. Bud & Paula Geng, 1st VP. Dan & Linda Tuzzolo, 2nd VP Ed & Vicki Horwath, Sec. Sally & DIck McKay, and Treas. Barbara & Peter Schmittzeh.
It was a memorable rally with good fun, good food and, best of all, good fellowship.