Family & Friends
By Judy Allen, F193946
During the Carolina Cruisers’ April 2004 rally at the Walterboro Rice Festival in Walterboro, South Carolina, attendees spent a day away from the festivities to help make life for others a little better, while at the same time remember a good friend.
On Friday, April 23, more than 40 chapter members traveled to the Oakwood Health Care Center in Walterboro to spruce up the grounds around the facility. Living in a nursing home can be a stressful experience, but the Carolina Cruisers gave residents a reason to smile.
The cleanup began with members raking leaves, pulling weeds, cutting back overgrown bushes, and gathering and hauling away trash that had accumulated around the property. They also pitched in to plant 90 daylilies, rose bushes, lantana, zinnias, and other plants, and then distributed pine straw around the newly planted vegetation. To make sure winged visitors were made to feel welcome, the group strategically placed 20 birdfeeders around the grounds and provided more than 100 pounds of birdseed to get started, as well as another $100 for a continuing supply of seed.
Volunteers also discovered a small fish pond, but no fish. So several members got in their car and headed off to Wal-Mart to remedy the problem. Now goldfish swim freely in the pond.
The activity wasn’t limited just to the outdoors. Carlean Gibson, F135547, chapter chaplain, brought her schnauzer, Bubba, to the center for the residents to pet and befriend. Bubba is a pet therapy dog and visits many nursing homes with Carlean. Also, Martha Pound, F123284, made small baskets that were filled with candy and mints and distributed to the residents.
The project, which was organized by Christine Kirkman, F167035, of the Carolina Cruisers, and Marie Worden, activity director at Oakwood, was done in memory of Frank Honea, F144433, who died in 2001. Frank was a longtime member of the chapter who served as president, chaplain, and in many other capacities for the Carolina Cruisers. His widow, Ginny, was in Walterboro to help make the project a success.
This was the second community project that the chapter has undertaken, but we hope it’s not the last. At our next rally, it will be proposed that we do at least one project each year. We also will assist fellow chapter members Art Stamler, F8100, a retired pediatrician, and his wife, Lee, who travel to South Dakota each winter to assist the local Indian tribes. In addition to the time they volunteer, the Stamlers also provide the poor with warm clothing and necessities to make their lives a little more comfortable. This year, the Carolina Cruisers have donated additional clothing and warm blankets, which the Stamlers will take with them.
Making a difference in someone’s life is what FMCA is all about. The Carolina Cruisers did their part in Walterboro, and we will continue to help others in need.
Cat RV Club Off And Running
By Don Tallman, L1956
FMCA’s Cat RV Club chapter, which received its charter on March 18, 2004, during FMCA’s 71st International Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has gotten off to a tremendous start with nearly 400 Caterpillar engine enthusiasts signed up as charter members. The chapter also has the support of Caterpillar Inc., C4743. The company provided three large decorated sheet cakes for the group’s charter celebration and first official meeting in Albuquerque.
An election of officers also took place during the “Albuquerque Adventure” convention. Serving as chapter officers are Don Tallman, L1956, president and national director; Royce Bishop, F62577, vice president; Carol McCoy, F101099D, secretary; Al Vormittag, F231342, alternate national director; and Phil Griffin, F128165, counsel. Susan Jordan, F284919, was elected treasurer, but could not serve, so Tom James, F44681, will serve as acting treasurer.
The Cat RV Club was founded for members who are interested in Caterpillar diesel engines and would like to know more about how to maintain the engines; how to get maximum performance from them; and how to keep repair costs to a minimum. Socializing and associating with members who have similar equipment was another reason for starting the chapter.
Having the sponsorship of Caterpillar Inc. is a definite plus for both the chapter and the company. Caterpillar is in the process of building a stronger marketing presence for its line of on-highway diesel engines, which include the new C7 engine (based on the popular 3126E); the new midrange C9 engine; and the powerful C13 engine with more than 500 horsepower. Having a group of loyal Caterpillar engine devotees, such as those in the Cat RV Club, will help them in this effort.
Future chapter events will include rallies and tours through various Caterpillar manufacturing plants, research areas, and dealerships. Caterpillar Inc. will continue to conduct seminars at FMCA’s international conventions as well as at some area rallies. Our chapter meetings will focus on the various Caterpillar diesel engines, both new and old.
During FMCA’s “Cascade Mountain Magic” convention in Redmond, Oregon, this month, a “Caterpillar Diesel Engine” seminar will be held on Tuesday, August 17, from 8:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. A Cat RV Club meeting will take place on Thursday, August 19, at 4:00 p.m.
Any FMCA member interested in Caterpillar diesel engines who would like to become a member of this chapter should stop by the chapter meeting in Redmond or contact FMCA’s Chapter Services Department at (800) 543-3622; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.