Family & Friends
Kaye Holbrook, L10271, passed away on April 5, 2004. An FMCA member since 1973, she served as the association’s national secretary from 1977 to 1981 and as national senior vice president from 1981 to 1982. She also served on several national committees and was instrumental in the formation of two FMCA chapters.
According to Kaye’s husband, Bob, the Holbrooks first learned about FMCA from their neighbors. They attended the association’s 10th annual summer convention in DuQuoin, Illinois, in July 1973 and joined FMCA soon afterward. They were the seventh couple to sign up as life members of the association. During their many years of motorhome travel, the Holbrooks owned six coaches: an Open Road, an Executive, three Newells, and a Pace Arrow. “We traveled more than a million miles for FMCA,” Bob said.
Kaye was an extrovert who, Bob said, loved making friends wherever she went. She often was seen tooling around a convention site on her scooter. “She liked to meet people and talk to people. She did a lot of that at conventions,” he said. “She’d be gone for hours, riding all over the place. She was as happy as she could be.”
In fact, Bob said, it was her outgoing nature that led to her interest in serving FMCA as a national officer: “She talked to some people and they said, ‘Why don’t you run?'” The seed was planted. She was elected national secretary in 1977.
Beverly Spurgeon, FMCA’s director of Membership Services, worked with the Holbrooks in those years. “She was very generous with her time, and I think she would have done anything for FMCA,” Beverly said.
As an adult, Kaye was afflicted with physical disabilities after suffering an accident that made it difficult for her to walk. Bob said that one of their Newell motorhomes was specially outfitted with handgrips that ran along the coach’s walls and traction equipment that was positioned above one of the beds. These accessories and others prolonged Kaye and Bob’s enjoyment of the motorhome lifestyle.
In July 1986 Kaye served as handicapped coordinator for FMCA’s 23rd annual summer convention in Lexington, Kentucky. By then a veteran of many conventions, she had concluded that handicapped attendees would benefit from improved facilities at these events. She helped to organize a meeting to determine whether sufficient interest existed to start a chapter for members with disabilities. According to the “Bluegrass Bugler” newsletter that was distributed at that convention, 39 members signed the roster for the new FMCA chapter, which was named Achievers International. Kaye was elected the chapter’s first national director. The group received its chapter charter on July 23, 1986.
Kaye also was instrumental in forming a chapter for Newell coach owners. Originally called the Newell Jewels, it is now known as The Newells. Kaye served as president, national director, and alternate national director of that chapter.
Among other chapters, the Holbrooks were longtime members of the Twentieth Century Wagontrainers (TCW), for which Kaye served as president and chapter newsletter editor. “Because of her efforts then, and continued by future leaders of TCW, it remains a very active chapter,” noted former FMCA national president Jim Ballentine, L8780.
Kaye and Bob were tireless promoters of the association. On July 24, 1980, during the annual membership meeting at the “Twin Cities Jamboree” convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, they were presented with watches in recognition of their efforts at recruiting 100 new members. The Holbrooks were pictured receiving this honor on the cover of the September 1980 issue of Family Motor Coaching. As of January 2004, Kaye and Bob had recruited 143 new member families to FMCA.
Kaye was born on March 28, 1923, in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. She graduated from Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, and worked for the U.S. government in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. She had extensive secretarial experience and was active in community affairs. She met Bob, her second husband, following the death of her first spouse. Bob and Kaye wed in New Jersey and were married for 31 years.
In addition to her husband, Kaye leaves a stepson and two step-granddaughters.
Migration To The Sun
By Marilyn Hashagen, F104561
When my husband and I joined the Olympic Snowbirds in 1988, the chapter was much smaller than it is today. Often only eight to 10 coaches could attend a rally, as most of the chapter’s members were still working. Even back then, the chapter tried to have a southern rally in the winter, often traveling to Puerto Penasco, Mexico, to stay for 10 days.
After several years, it was suggested that we change the itinerary and have a “get-together” somewhere in Yuma, Arizona, since so many Olympic Snowbirds members had winter places there and others traveled to the surrounding area for the season. For several years John and Linda Gunter, F162068, hosted the event at their home.
This year’s gathering took place on Wednesday, February 18, at the home of Dave and Bev Morgan, F189095, in the foothills area near Yuma. Fun, food, games, and, most of all, fellowship was shared by the 102 members who attended. Besides those who have residences in Yuma, we also had members from Tucson, Phoenix, Surprise, Quartzsite, and other nearby locales drive in to take part in the festivities.
Northwest Area vice president Jim Phillips, F158824, and his wife, Ann, found time in their busy schedules to join us. They’re quite gregarious and are always willing to share information about FMCA and the many opportunities the association offers to all interested motorhome owners.
If you’re from the western side of the Cascade Mountains in Washington, or other areas in the Washington-Oregon-Montana region, and are interested in exploring the beautiful Northwest with a group of fun-loving folks, the Olympic Snowbirds may be just the chapter for you. Give chapter president Denny Nelson, F205137, a call to find out how you can get involved. His telephone number is (253) 845-0355.
And if you happen to be in the Yuma area next year during the month of February, you’re welcome to join us. Stop in and say hi. We’ll be glad you did.
Discovery “Souper Bus” Travels To Promote Charity
By Dan Fletcher, F255427
Wrapped and ready, our transformed 38-foot Fleetwood Discovery motorhome was prepared to hit the road for a 4,000-mile trip. Visualize the entire exterior of your motorhome covered in wallpaper. That’s what the wrap, a graphic representation of the theme poster for the 2004 Souper Bowl of Caring, looked like on our Discovery. The green, purple, and yellow colors were the canvas for a photo of three larger-than-life teenagers; a route map with a list of the city stops; and a giant soup ladle.
Why would someone convert their motorhome into a rolling billboard? To help spread the word and encourage participation in the Souper Bowl of Caring, a youth-led effort to collect dollars in soup pots during the days leading up to Super Bowl Sunday to help the hungry. Our journey was planned to cover 10 cities in 10 days, ending in Houston, Texas, site of the 2004 Super Bowl on Sunday, February 1.
Departing from Columbia, South Carolina, on January 20 with a group of seven on board, we headed north to begin our “Blitzathon” in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After serving with a group at the Philadelphia Food Bank on January 21, the “Souper Bus,” as it has officially become known, headed to Washington, D.C.
On January 22 we had the honor of serving at the Capital Area Food Bank with first lady Laura Bush. She packed and sorted food with young volunteers in the food bank and delivered a short address asking all Americans to join the Souper Bowl team. Before Mrs. Bush’s arrival, the Souper Bus was swept government talk for thoroughly searched by members of the Secret Service, both human and canine.
The following day we visited the St. Anthony Padua School in Baltimore, Maryland, and then headed south. Our next stop was the food bank in Raleigh, North Carolina. After sorting food in the Food Bank of North Carolina on Saturday, January 24, we boarded the motorhome and headed back to our home base in Columbia, South Carolina, to continue the southern leg of our journey.
While we had no trouble with winter weather in the north, an ice storm proved to be our undoing in Charlotte, North Carolina, and in Columbia, where both events had to be cancelled. Determined to keep our schedule at the Jacksonville, Florida, food bank on January 27, we headed out of Columbia on January 26 while the ice storm continued to worsen. Just south of the Interstate 95/Interstate 26 intersection in South Carolina, the freezing rain changed over to just rain. Florida temperatures the next day were balmy.
We participated in a press conference at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Florida, where it was announced that a task force would be organized to promote the Souper Bowl of Caring in 2005, when the Super Bowl will be played in Jacksonville. Then we headed west on Interstate 10 for Mobile, Alabama. The next day we visited the Little Flower Catholic School and the Trinity Land Day Care Center. Representatives of Little Flower issued a challenge to other schools to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring, while the day care center fed those aboard the Souper Bus homemade soup.
Heading across the bayous and swamps of Louisiana, we arrived in New Orleans by late afternoon on January 28. The Souper Bus crew, except for the driver, stayed in a downtown New Orleans hotel. The hotel staff arranged for the Souper Bus to be parked on the street. We had to fold in the driver’s mirror to make sure it wouldn’t be hit by the passing streetcar. The next morning we enjoyed beignets from Café Du Monde in the French Quarter before working at the Second Harvesters Food Bank.
The final leg of our Blitzathon journey was from New Orleans to Houston, where we arrived on January 29. While in Houston, we parked the Souper Bus outside the convention center, the location for much of the frenzied activity that took place leading up to the game. The Carolina Panthers cheerleaders were there and posed for a photo beside the Souper Bus. The vehicle attracted plenty of attention, and people even knocked on the door to make donations to the Souper Bowl of Caring.
On Friday night, January 30, cheering young people greeted the Souper Bus as we rolled into the Houston Food Bank to volunteer. On Saturday, we made the rounds to several churches collecting canned goods in a citywide food drive that gathered more than 40,000 pounds of food and $40,000 for area food banks and pantries. Totaling these figures and using the Houston Food Bank’s conversion charts, this donation translated to more than 1.5 million meals for the hungry.
Reports continue to come in from participants in Souper Bowl of Caring 2004. As of April 16, more than 12,600 organizations have reported collecting $4,191,368 to help the hungry and hurting in their communities.
My wife, Anne, flew in to Houston to accompany me on the drive back to our home in Columbia. We plan to leave the wrap on the motorhome for a while longer before transforming it back to our regular Discovery. The wrap has to be heated and then removed by Bumper2Bumper Media, the company that donated it for the Souper Bowl.
To check the Souper Bowl of Caring totals or to get more information on how your organization can become involved, visit www.souperbowl.org. And if you see a brightly colored motorhome with an image of three teenagers plastered to the side of it, don’t forget to honk.