The October meeting of the Florida State Winnie Gators was held October 21 – 23, 2012 at Grand Lake Resort in Citra, Florida. 55 coaches were in attendance with 8 chapters represented. The theme was Halloween which would prove to garner many laughs! President Jerry Miller welcomed new members Charles & Kathy Anderson along with Ford & Pat Dinkins. We also had some first timers in attendance Charles & Kathy Anderson, Ray & Jean Fox, John Emery, Jan Reed (from Pennsylvania) Jack & Sandy Bleakley, Helen Jette, Ford & Pat Dinkins, James Richardson, Joyce Barwick, Ann Stanton and Mel Wroten brought his parents.
40 coaches arrived early to enjoy the campground and have more time to meet after the long summer. Wednesday and Thursday evenings were spent visiting local restaurants and enjoying games in the clubhouse.
Friday morning David Nobert organized a Golf Scramble with 10 players at a nearby course. The Board of Directors meeting was held at 1:00pm. A puzzle was given to each chapter to complete in the first chapter competition of the weekend. A fall wreath craft for was done in the afternoon with 22 ladies making a wreath. Happy Hour commenced at 4:00pm with free beverages thanks to our ever popular bartenders! A money raffle added to the fun and 3 cash prizes were drawn for the lucky winners. An Italian dinner was served at 6:00pm thanks to Rainbow Caterers.
After dinner each chapter picked a person to be the mummy while the other members wrapped them in toilet paper! Of course this brought competition and hilarious laughter! The Buccaneer Winnies finished first, followed by the Caloosa Winnies and Mid Florida Winnies!
Saturday morning catered breakfast was served to begin a glorious day in Florida! The general meeting was opened at 10:00am with President Jerry Miller presiding. The usual business was conducted with special THANKS to everyone who attended GNR in July! A special THANKS was given to the big group of early volunteers that did a terrific job helping with the set up and continuing jobs that are always required to have a successful event in Forest City. Jerry also read the list of accomplishments and awards received by many of our members. It was noted our Hog Roast and Row Party were the HIT of the GNR celebration! Our rally pin design was voted on and Gayle Putman was the winner this year. Her design will appear on our pins, programs and t-shirts! Congrats to Gayle for a prized drawing!
The rest of the day was spent with chapters having meetings as well as a preliminary March Rally planning session where we all mentioned our suggestions so we could begin the tasks. Happy Hour at 4:00pm was a special time with our Halloween Costume Parade! Local residents of the park were judges. Best overall award went to Carole Gies for the Bag Lady! Most elaborate was the witch & pirate, Laddie Lou and Stuart Pierce, scariest was the horrid black witch Janice Cummings, most colorful was the Green Gator Jerry Miller, and funniest Ray & Ferol Drust as Adam & Eve!
After dinner David Nobert presented awards the golfers : Bob McKay, Larry Daland, John & Ella Thurston, Larry Bergsman, Fred Schlitt, Mike Sofarelli, Bud Swift, Joan Krajack and David even won an award himself! THANKS, David for planning this event!
Prizes were given to chapters for having the highest percentage of members in attendance: Buccaneer Winnies and Mid Florida Winnies tied at 33%, Caloosa Winnies took a prize with 30% attendance.
The evening activity was called “Minute To Win It” – a series of 6 games each chapter participated in. A different person was selected to be the lead for each game and scores were determined based on the instructions given. Games included separating M & M’s by color, sorting a deck of cards by numbers, toothpick stacking, plastic cup stacking, naming movies that begin with “G” and clothespin drop into a bottle. It was amazing to watch the participants and the noise and laughter was everywhere! The winning chapter was 1st place Mid Florida, 2nd place DuBol Winnies and 3rd place South Florida Winnies!
Sunday morning a continental breakfast of donuts and bagels was served before we all said our goodbyes. The food was secured by hard bargainer Nancy Miller at a 20% discount! It was time to take down the Halloween decorations and close out this weekend. Our next meeting will be January 20 – 22, 2012 at Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando – the theme will be “Sports Center”. This will be our first Friendship Rally. Come join us if you are traveling in the Orlando area! Go to our website www.winniegators.org for details. We love visitors!