May 2012 outing

 by Nancy Miller
Pictures by Nancy Miller



“Winnie Wild West” was the theme for the May 11 – 13, 2012 meeting of the Florida State Winnie Gators Club. 41 coaches convened at Paradise Oaks RV Resort in Bushnell, Florida with 31 coaches arriving early on Wednesday and Thursday to enjoy the park and the friendships. Happy Hour was held both Wednesday and Thursday in the beautiful clubhouse. Many of the members had dinner at local restaurants and returned to the clubhouse for games. Thursday night was a Chapter Challenge Contest – Calf Roping! Pictures of “calves” were attached to a chair and the chapter members had to rope the calf to qualify for points! The “cowpokes” were dressed in cowboy hats, and you would be surprised how much skill was involved! The winners happened to be new members, Julia & Paul Drappo, and since they had not yet joined  a chapter, we made up a team we called “new members“ so they could participate! There was much hoopin’ and hollerin’ in the crowd which goes to show these people aren’t afraid of anything!


Friday morning after breakfast the Board of Directors meeting was held with President Jerry Miller presiding. The results of our March Rally were discussed and proclaimed a huge success once again! At 4:00pm Happy Hour began with anticipation of the big BARBECUE PERFORMANCE of the officers cooking dinner! The men officers were decked out in the ‘Chef Hats and Aprons” to parade around the room with their cooking tools in hand signaling the beginning of the cookoff! The hamburgers and hot dogs were cooking as the ladies prepared to serve the accompaniments – homemade cole slaw and baked beans. After everyone enjoyed their dinner the Ice Cream Social began with our volunteer “scoopers” having the honors of serving the group.


Friday evening it was time for our Brown Bag Auction. Members were instructed to bring a package of something in a brown paper bag – no one would know the contents as the auction began. Jack Caffrey was our auctioneer, assisted by “Danna White”, (aka Dan Tuzzolo) and Jerry Miller who collected the bid money! The laughter and comments were so hysterical, – and the noise could be heard in the next county! Everyone was a good sport – even if you did pay $11 for a bag of green beans or $15 for a bag of M & M’s! It was 2 hours of great fun – and the proceeds will help pay our GNR expenses for the annual Florida Row Party.


Saturday morning our catered breakfast was served at 8:30am, followed by the General Meeting at 10:00am. Business was conducted in an orderly manner and concluded at 10:45am. Prizes were given to the chapters with the highest percentage of attendance. First place was Mid-Florida Winnies, second place was Florida Sunshine Winnies, third place was Suncoast Winnies! THANKS to you all for the great attendance!


The remainder of the day was spent visiting the area, talking with others and having chapter meetings. Happy Hour began at 4:00pm, followed by a dinner of Sloppy Joes and side dishes. Prizes were given out to the members who had exceptional western outfits – it was great to see so many cowboys and cowgirls on hand! At 7:00pm The Foggy Creek Band took the stage and entertained us for a couple hours of music. Some of us even learned to play the “spoons”, thanks to Ree Spiller’s instructions. We are a talented bunch….


Sunday morning at 8:30am our breakfast of donuts and bagels was served before we said our goodbyes for the summer. Many members will be traveling to GNR – we will continue our fellowship and Happy Hours in Forest City!


THANKS to all the folks who helped us fix meals and clean up each day! So many people just pitch in without being asked and that makes for an enjoyable time for everyone! We wish you all a safe summer and Happy Trails! Everyone is invited to attend our meetings, check our website www.winniegators.org for information!