By Don Moore, F154921
Another successful area rally, this one hosted by FMCA’s Southeast Area, was enjoyed February 1 through 5 in Brooksville, Florida. The rally theme this year was “Celebrate Mardi Gras at S.E.A.” Each day was filled with lots of activities.
The fun began early. Although the rally officially started on Wednesday, February 1, some activities did take place on Monday and Tuesday. For example, on Monday evening early-birds attended a fun-filled dance session with Howard Cowles, L18517. The “Fat Tuesday Dance” held the next evening with Jack and Doreen Ingle, F251132, was a great success. Those who didn’t dance enjoyed watching and did some toe tapping. Everyone enjoyed the huge king cake, which had two little plastic baby dolls hidden inside. The two lucky folks who got pieces of cake with the babies inside were named the King and Queen, just like at Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
A Mardi Gras Parade was held Thursday afternoon. Many chapters and individuals participated, throwing beads and candy to the crowd. It was a genuine Mardi Gras experience.
The rain came for the rally, too, and stayed for two days and nights. The official total was nine inches. It slowed activities for a while, but the rally went on and the volunteers continued doing their best. And I believe that Florida really needed the rain.
The ice cream social drew a big crowd and was enjoyed by all, as was the Red Hat Tea on Friday afternoon, which was attended by almost 200 ladies.
The Southeast Area celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. I was privileged on Wednesday evening to present Southeast Area vice president George Schipper, F17603, with a certificate and a check for the area in the amount of $1,000 from FMCA.
Also on Wednesday evening, George introduced me and my wife, Darlene, along with the other national officers in attendance: senior vice president Connie Pool, F140306, and her husband, Corbett; International Area vice president Jay Blumenthal, F230605, and his wife, Donna; Eastern Area vice president Judy Czarsty, F79148, and her husband, Steve; and Great Lakes Area vice president Ginny McGrath, F87335. Also present were FMCA executive director Don Eversmann, F240000, and his wife, Sharon.
The entertainment each evening was very good. On Wednesday evening we listened to some Louisiana Cajun and Zydeco music performed by The Porchdogs. Thursday evening was a “Tribute to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass” starring Charly Raymond. On Friday evening, we listened to The Diamonds with their classic rock ‘n roll. The final night we saw The Fox Brothers, who provided quality country music and humor.
The Frustrated Maestros, led by Al Roscoe, F70884, performed each morning in the tent by the coffee hour area. They do a good job playing tunes that our age group remembers.
George Schipper reported that a total of 2,373 coaches attended the rally, among them 2,019 family coaches, 246 display coaches, and 108 vendor coaches. A total of 220 indoor and 21 outdoor exhibitors participated.
All in all, in spite of the wet weather, the rally was very successful. I want to thank George and Ann Schipper and all the volunteers for the warm reception shown us. Volunteers make every rally successful.
FMCA’s Western Area and Southeast Area hold their rallies in January and February, respectively. Each area can count on attracting some snowbirds to help boost attendance.
The other area rally dates for 2006 are as follows:
- Great Lakes Area Spring Spree (GLASS Rally), May 25-29, Berrien Springs, Michigan
- Northwest Area Rally, June 8-11, Albany, Oregon
- Midwest Area Rally, June 21-24, Henry, Illinois
- INTO Rally (International Area), June 30-July 3, Gillette, Wyoming
- South Central Area Rally, September 26-29, Beaumont, Texas
- Rocky Mountain Ramble, October 11-14, Casa Grande, Arizona
This year the Eastern Area will not be holding a rally because it is hosting FMCA’s 76th International Convention at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina, August 14 through 17. I hope you are making plans to attend. We are planning plenty of fun for you. The registration form appears on page 96A-B of this issue of the magazine, or you can sign up online at FMCA.com. Come join us on the “Fast Track To Fun”!
Notice of Annual Membership Meeting
Family Motor Coach Association’s annual membership meeting will be held during FMCA’s 76th International Convention at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte/Concord, North Carolina, on August 17, 2006.