October 2015 Newsletter - Winnie
Local Chapter - Central Florida Area – Our 42nd Year
Chapter Leadership for 2015
Presidents: Jeff & Sara Roudebush – [email protected]
Vice-Presidents: Tom & Sharon Zopff – [email protected]
Secretaries: Carolyn & Ken Ledford – [email protected]
Treasurer: Richard Menge – [email protected]
Past Presidents: Tom & Sharon Zopff – [email protected]
Upcoming Events for 2015-16
Nov. 9-12: MFW @ Campers Holiday RV Park, Brooksville
Dec. 7-10: MFW @ Clerbrook Golf & RV Resort, Clermont
Jan. 15-17: Winnie Gators @ Southern Palms, Eustus
Feb. 18-21: FL State Rally @ Sarasota County Fairgrounds
Mar. 14-17: MFW @ Lazydays Campground, Seffner
Apr. 11-15: MFW @ Cedar Key RV Resort, Cedar Key
May 13-15: Winnie Gators @ Seasons in the Sun, Mims
October 2015 Mid-Florida Winnies Newsletter
It will probably be early November by the time you see this, but nonetheless, here’s the October edition of our
Mid-Florida Winnies newsletter. It has been a busy time, having only just arrived back home two weeks ago.
We hope your summer travels and adventures were as fulfilling as ours and we look forward to trading stories
around the campfire when we next see you!
September gathering at Ocala Sun
Several MFW coaches gathered at the Ocala Sun RV Resort in
mid-September for an “informal” chapter campout. You’ll
recall that so many of us were still going to be on the road, we
would not have sufficient numbers to make a regular chapter
campout viable. However, thanks to Ed and Shirley Parks,
arrangements were made and a small group of our members
(and some guests!) had a great time together. Susan Kiefer led
the troops in the making of table centerpieces for the October
FSWG campout which we hosted.
We hope to hear more about the September campout from those who attended when we’re together at
Campers Holiday in Brooksville in November.
MFW “Hosts” Winniegators Campout in October
Our Florida State Winniegators held a season-opening campout on October 15-18 at
the Lazydays RV Resort in Seffner, Florida. Sixty-three coaches were in attendance –
an outstanding turnout for the first state club gathering of the camping season. Our
chapter served as the hosts for this campout - Susan and Frank Kiefer headed this up
for us and did an outstanding job of planning
and coordination. The weekend theme was
“Homecoming.” We enjoyed wonderful Happy
Hours each day, a tailgate dinner of grilled
hamburgers and hot dogs on Friday evening
(with everything else provided pot luck style)
and a catered roast beef dinner on Saturday evening. On Thursday
evening, we played “Chase the Ace” led by our own Dave and Donna
Rumrill. On Friday evening, dinner was followed by game night.
Saturday’s catered dinner was followed by a “Homecoming Dance” led by Cal Sweep and Susan Kiefer. We had
a ball!!! The campout concluded with breakfast on Sunday morning. Of course, we all had breakfast and lunch
coupons to use at the Lazydays Front Porch Restaurant as part of our site fees. We haven’t heard if anyone
bought a new rig while at Lazydays – it has been known to happen! Several of us did get some service items
crossed off our lists while there.
Photos of the campout and minutes of the FSWG business meeting can be found at winniegators.org.
GNR (Grand National Rally) Wrap-Up
Editor note: This article appeared in our August edition – we’re running it again since so many might have
missed the summer newsletter.
Mid-Florida had 10 rigs at the GNR!! That’s a remarkable turnout for a local chapter,
especially considering our distance from Forest City, Iowa. Our rigs attending GNR from MidFlorida included Coste, Oleksa, Olson, Parks, Roudebush, Rumrill, Thompson, Trent, Warner,
and Zopff. I kidded that we could have a chapter meeting since we had a quorum of
members present, but of course, we chose to take the time off! We never did hear a count
of total rigs at GNR – we’re guessing somewhere in the 950 to 990 range. We do know that
Minnesota had the largest number of rigs (105) in attendance followed by Florida with 91.
GNR was “back to normal” this year with pre-rally activities including the Puckerbrush Days
being prior to the actual, official GNR days. The return to the traditional schedule seemed to
be warmly received by GNR veterans (including us!).
Dave and Betty Thompson were the first MF Winnies on the
grounds, arriving in Forest City at the first of July to help WIT with
preparations. Rumrills and Zopffs were also on the grounds early
to help with parking (Rumrills) and Friendship Hall set-up (Zopffs).
Several other Florida units (including our own Olsons) were also
involved with Friendship Hall logistics under the leadership of
Winniegators Vice-Presidents Mike and Barb Sofarelli. The
Florida row this year was A-6, so everyone had 50 amp service
and most had relatively (compared to other spots on the grounds) level sites. Many of us were “in the row” but
as usual, several Florida units were parked in other areas for a variety of reasons. Also typical of GNR, we
enjoyed mostly sunny and hot conditions, but there were several times
that awnings had to come in due to wind and a few flagpoles were
severely tested. Rain had made the grounds a bit soggy, so several spots
were pretty muddy. Indeed, when we arrived on Thursday, July 16, the
grounds had been closed due to muddy conditions. Rigs were being held
at several sites in and around Forest City. We chose to park right on the
entrance road for the night. We and the Oleksas were numbers 16 and 17
in the queue for entry on Friday. The grounds did reopen on Friday
afternoon with quite a backlog of coaches waiting to be parked. Of
course, it all worked out and everyone eventually got squared away.
Naturally, we had happy hours every afternoon. We saw many old friends and met lots of new folks. Mike and
Barb Sofarelli did a great job of heading up the Florida row, organizing our activities, hosting the daily happy
hours, decorating our tent, and putting together Florida’s Row Party goodies. They had lots of help from many
of the Florida attendees. Safe to say, everyone had a GREAT time.
When we’re together as a chapter this fall, those of us who attended will give a full report of what we saw and
what we attended.
From my perspective, Tom Zopff and I represented you at the Club and
Chapter “Meet & Greet” (Mid-Florida and the Du-Bols were the only two
Florida chapters to participate). Sara and I attended the annual Chapter
of Excellence awards – yes, we added another Chapter of Excellence
medallion to our sign! We hope you saw us on page 45 of the latest WIT
Club News. Not only did Brynn Daniels run our entire newsletter, she
included the picture we took of the Chapter at the March Rally. Thanks,
Evening entertainment seemed to be a great success this year with the amphitheatre remaining almost full
throughout each of the three nights of shows. From Tonic Sol-Fa on opening night to American English on
closing night, the audience really was “into it.” (And the weather largely cooperated!)
We will see many of you in just a few days at the November Mid-Florida
chapter campout at Campers Holiday RV Park in Brooksville. This will be
our first time (at least in recent memory) at this park. We will be hosted
by the Bedfords, Whitties, and Nancy (Monzillo) Adams. At this writing,
we have 27 coaches registered. It will be a Thanksgiving feast to
And, in December, we will gather for a MFW chapter campout at the Clerbrook Golf & RV Resort in Clermont.
Registration materials were recently forwarded to all chapter members via e-mail and the completed forms
are now arriving at your president’s home! It should be a great, holiday-themed gathering hosted by the
Christians, Christofs, and Smalleys.
See you soon!