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Florida: Caloosa Winnies

January 12, 2018

Florida:  Caloosa Winnies

December-The Caloosa Winnies returned to Oak Haven RV Park for the eleventh year to celebrate the Christmas season! The clubhouse was decorated for the occasion by the residents and we added our red table covers to complete the décor!

Cohosts for the outing were John and Jean Weicherding, Frank and Diane Cipolla, Bud and Susan Swift, with Charlie and Karen Autry also assisting. Nine of the twenty-eight coaches arrived a day early to help with decorating and the usual set up for the weekend. That evening we all went to dinner to enjoy each other's company!

Bud Swift and Charlie Autry were ready to greet the members arriving on Thursday and assisting them with parking.The clubhouse was crowded at happy hour with exchanges of greetings as we enjoyed being together to officially begin the weekend.

Dinner was prepared by the hosts. Turkey was the menu and the members contributed side dishes that overwhelmed the buffet counter! A nice surprise, the wagon queen happened right after dinner!

The traditional ice cream social began with some of the park residents joining us for making sundaes! They allow us to take over their clubhouse and we include them each year for ice cream and joining in our bingo games. Bud Swift did the bingo calling again for the group. Jerry Miller and Carolyn Thomas manned the table selling cards and assembling prize monies. The winners were: Belinda Feldgoise, Jim and Sally Rayburn each won a game, Orte Gil and two residents won a game, and Richard Johnson won one game AND the last coverall jackpot! Oh, the joys of Christmas and celebrating with friends!

Friday morning bright and early our cooks were in the kitchen getting ready to make pancakes for the group. Following breakfast it was craft time and Carolyn Thomas brought all the supplies for the ladies—and Greg Joop (yes, a guy!) to make clothes dryer balls! Most of us had not heard of these new little gizmos, but we trusted Carolyn to convince us this was a helpful project! We all had to wind wool yarn into balls, two per skein of yard. Of course, lots of fun conversation happened along with the task.

After the balls were formed, they went to the laundry room to be washed and dried. When finished, the dryer balls were very compact and ready to be tried out! This editor can attest to the fact they really WORK helping to keep clothes from tangling, thus promoting faster drying! A good test was washing and drying the Caloosa aprons with their many strings—AND they did not get tangled together!

After lunch a general information meeting was held at the clubhouse. Happy hour commenced early to allow us to leave in time for our dinner reservation. A 50/50 was held and the winners were: Third Place: Jean Weicherding, Second Place: Nancy Miller, First Place: Bud Swift!

Carpools were formed and we were off to a wonderful evening with dinner at LaFiorentina Restaurant. The atmosphere and excellent food made for a nice party, especially with such GREAT friends!

Saturday morning breakfast was potluck with the counter again filled with great dishes!! The general meeting was held with President Ed Thomas presiding.

The highlight of the meeting was the election and installation of the new officers for 2018. Nancy Miller read the slate of officers and hearing no nominations from the floor, the nominations were closed and voting was completed and Jerry Miller handled the installation ceremony.

Indoor games were announced. Several folks spent the afternoon playing nickels, dominoes, and other games.

Happy hour found us all back assembled in the clubhouse followed by a ham dinner served by the hosts. Wonderful dishes prepared by the members were spread out on the counter and everything was delicious! Some guests, Mike and Cathy Stephens, came to meet with us for dinner and the evening auction.

It was soon time for our annual charity auction. All members were given numbered “auction signs” to use when making their bids for items. Most packages were wrapped, therefore, members did not know what they were bidding on but understood the money raised all went to the charity, Joshua House.

Our merry elves were ready to begin the fun! Who could resist their smiling faces and hysterical commentary! Jerry Miller kept a tab for each couple which made it simple for them to pay their “bill” and get credit for the contributions to Joshua House. The packages began to be auctioned off and the elves were in rare form! Their skills in convincing folks to bid was just so much fun! There were many comments made throughout the evening that had us laughing so hard that someone said their face hurt from laughing!!

Jerry Miller announced the total amount raised from this auction was $4,613! In addition, Frank and Diane Cipolla will be matching our contribution. The total amount Joshua House will receive is $9,226, which will go a long way to help the work done for the children. The generosity of the Caloosas is so incredible and we appreciate you all contributing to help Joshua House! And, we got some cool gifts and had a lot of laughs!!! Needless to say, it was a fun-filled evening enjoyed by all!!!

By Nancy Miller