Family & Friends
By Jack and Kay Rivers, F201884
Several years ago, Martin and Dottie Pierce, L57064, envisioned an annual rally that would be dedicated to fun, fellowship, and good-spirited competition. They planned the rally for early spring and called it “April Showers.” Since that first rally, FMCA members living or traveling in the Southeast have gathered for this special event each April.
This year, April Showers VII was held April 3, 4, and 5 at Rock Crusher Canyon RV Park, C8404, in Crystal River, Florida. Rock Crusher Canyon is set in a rolling, wooded area and offers plenty of privacy, yet still provides all the needed amenities.
The rally has grown steadily over the years. This year’s attendance numbered 213 coaches, representing 20 separate FMCA chapters. A sure sign of growth was the large number of folks wearing red ribbons, which identified them as first-time attendees. The Pierces had a great vision in the beginning to plan and carry out this annual event, and are surely pleased with the success and pleasure it brings to so many motorhomers.
Martin, Dottie, and members of the Vagabonds International chapter worked endless hours during the past year planning, preparing, and, finally, executing this fine rally. Members of FMCA’s Parking Layout chapter assisted Carl and Sue Seale, F129709, in registering and parking attendees as they arrived. Each chapter was assigned a specific area, which facilitated chapter meetings and promoted the competitive spirit as the games unfolded.
We were fed and entertained by the folks at Rock Crusher Canyon. This included two brunches, two buffets, and two evenings of entertainment. Friday night brought out the dancers, who rocked and rolled to the oldies played by the band Rock ‘N Soul. Saturday evening included a performance by the Dixieland Jazz All Stars. The night was filled with plenty of hand clapping and moving to the rhythm of this talented group.
For the sports-minded among us, there were plenty of activities to participate in during the three days. Sixteen teams battled in the bocce ball competition. Members of the Roll’n Rebels chapter fended off all competitors and finished in first place. Eighteen teams pursued the big prize in the bean bag pitch tournament. The Central Florida Roadrunners chapter out-pitched all other teams to finish in first place for the second straight year. The bean bag baseball competition was fierce among the 22 teams that signed up. Members of the Southwind Club of Florida chapter, first-time attendees at the April Showers rally, held off the Vagabonds International chapter to claim first place. Second- and third-place finishers in each competition also were awarded medals for their outstanding efforts. George and Ann Schipper, F17603, and many volunteers did a great job organizing and managing the sports competitions.
Rally sponsor Harberson Swanston RV, C2738, brought many new motor coaches to the rally for attendees to inspect. These motorhomes featured many high-tech options and up to four slideout rooms. We all owe special thanks to our friends at Harberson Swanston RV for their support.
It takes a great amount of effort to plan, organize, and carry out a rally of this size. It could not have been done without the efforts of select individuals, the Vagabonds International chapter, Harberson Swanston RV, and many other volunteers. Their hard work and dedication made this rally a success and one that was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. This is the type of fun and fellowship that FMCA is all about.
Plans are already under way for next year’s rally. April Showers VIII promises to be even better.
Pace Arrow Roadrunners Celebrate 20 Years
By Vonda A. Clark, F213137
On April 1, 2003, more than 100 current and former members of the Pace Arrow Roadrunners gathered at the Jumpin’ Cholla Cafe at Beaudry RV Resort, C9118, in Tucson, Arizona, to celebrate the chapter’s 20th anniversary. The Pace Arrow Roadrunners chapter was founded in March 1983, with the first gathering held at Picacho Peak State Park near Red Rock, Arizona.
During the anniversary get-together, bright balloons and Mexican paper flowers adorned each table and added to the festivities. Each attendee received a beautiful gold name tag that included the person’s name, FMCA membership number, and the year the member joined the chapter. Happy hour was scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m., but celebrants began gathering about 4:30 p.m., so the fun started early.
The program officially began with the Pledge of Allegiance and an invocation. Bruce Battey, F284722, national director of the Pace Arrow Roadrunners, read from the 20th anniversary certificate that had been presented to the chapter by FMCA’s national office during the 2003 Rocky Mountain Ramble in February. Members of the anniversary planning committee also were introduced. They included committee chairperson Vonda Clark, F213137, and her husband, Bruce; Russell and Pauline Clink, F50348; Bill and Bette Davern, F49346; and Tom and Barbara Fenn, F37461.
Chapter president Wayne Zatarain, F262568, presented certificates of appreciation to Bob Burden, president of Beaudry RV, C7566; vice president Marty Holman; and vice president of marketing Mark Holcomb. Beaudry RV has been a generous sponsor of the chapter since its inception. Other guests from Beaudry RV included current club liaison Gary McEachern; Joe and Liz Piorowski; Phil and Linda Smith; and Tim and Debbie Turner. Bob Burden welcomed everyone and expressed appreciation to chapter members who had purchased motorhomes from Beaudry RV.
During dinner we were serenaded by Los Diablitos of Sunnyside High School, a 25-piece mariachi orchestra. The instrumental and vocal offerings of these talented young people, dressed in traditional outfits of blue and silver, were well received.
Following the concert, Vonda Clark read the names of the chapter’s charter members and introduced those who were in attendance. They included the chapter’s first president, Dick Huff, F49105, and his wife, Barbara, who served as the first secretary/treasurer. Also in attendance were Jack and Belle Schneiker, L2150; John and Vicki Carter, F49091; Bill and Bette Davern; Russell Clink; Norma Matheson, F50355; Betty Stash, F50138; and Louis Winek, F49128. Other guests from the early years who attended but are no longer active in the chapter were Kaye and Dottie Dunbar, F82021; Bob and Marge Sudduth, F59619; Jean Nehring; and Bill and Angie Merodias, F60210.
The names of past chapter officers also were read, and many officers and their spouses were at the celebration. Special recognition was given to Bill Davern, who served 9 years as national director, and Tom Fenn, who served nine years as alternate national director and six years as national director. Bill Davern and Dan Smith, L71987, were introduced as past national vice presidents of the Rocky Mountain Area. Len Pigg, F133119, current vice president of the Rocky Mountain Area, and his wife, Joan, were unable to attend because of illness. The Schneikers also were honored for bringing nearly 2,000 new members into FMCA.
Once the introductions were completed, Bill Davern brought out a commemorative T-shirt that reminded members of the day in 1987 that a group of Pace Arrow Roadrunners hiked down the Grand Canyon in 11 hours. He also shared many other early memories of the chapter. Through the rest of the evening, members and guests relived the chapter’s 20 years captured in six scrapbooks of photos and souvenirs.