Caloosa Winnies of South Florida


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WIT Club Chapter of Excellence 1996-2016

Caloosa Winnies
December 2012 Outing

Pictures & Videos by Nancy Miller

Christmas was celebrated a bit early for the Caloosa Winnies this year! With beautiful Florida weather 26 coaches traveled to Oak Haven RV Resort near Arcadia, FL for the weekend of November 29th – December 2, 2012. This is our 6th year at this park in December and it’s such a great park! George & Hilary, the managers, are always terrific to work with us as well as their residents!! The recreation hall was beautifully decorated by the park residents and we were happy to enjoy their work! Co-Hosts for the weekend were Jim & Marg Carney, Bill & Doris Palmer, Nick & Ginny Sanborn.

Thursday at 4:00pm the group gathered for Happy Hour, followed by a Chicken dinner with all the members bringing dishes to share. As usual, GREAT food with GREAT people! Our traditional Ice Cream Social was held at 7:00pm and the residents of the park were invited to join us. After all the sundaes were consumed, we began playing Bingo! Bud Swift was our caller and the games were fun and winners evenly split – half the games were won by Caloosa’s and half by the residents.

Joining us this weekend were new members Ed & Carolyn Thomas, and guests Don & Linda Levine, Bob Houdek and Joyce Hicklin. There were warmly welcomed at Happy Hour!

Friday morning bright and early the hosts were preparing pancakes to serve at 8:30am. After clean up was finished we were off for a day trip to visit the exclusive island of Boca Grande. This is a very quiet retreat for the residents there with old Florida flavor! Shops, restaurants, beaches, and lots of history from the old railroad days just ready for us to explore! We visited the 100 year old Gasparilla Inn which is beautifully maintained, and the place the Presidential Bush Family gathers over the Christmas holidays every year. We had lunch at the Boca Grande Marina Eagle Grille which was a delightful place with gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico. After more exploring of the lighthouse and reading about the history there it was time to return to Oak Haven.

Happy Hour/Heavy Hors D’Oeuvres began at 5:00pm at the Rec Hall! This was more like a meal than snacks! We have the BEST cooks in our group! After the food disappeared we had a team Christmas Trivia game. There was a tie between 2 teams, and the winners were: Team 4: Bud Geng, Carolyn Thomas, Chris Ross, and Ginny Sanborn. Team 11: Corinne Wightman, Frank Cipolla, Linda Levine and Doris Palmer.

Saturday morning was our Potluck Breakfast – again with fantastic food to share! At 10:00am, President Corinne Wightman called the business meeting to order and proceeded with about an hour of business. During the meeting Corinne welcomed Don & Linda Levine as they have joined our chapter, and also Bob Houdek and Joyce Hicklin also decided to join us! We are delighted to have these great people as members! At the conclusion of the meeting a SkyMed presentation was done by Dorothea Adams for those interested in the service.

The rest of the day members spent time visiting, shopping, and enjoying the beautiful weather. At 4:00pm it was time for Happy Hour, followed by a Ham dinner prepared by the hosts. With the GREAT side dishes the members contributed, we had another wonderful dinner.

At 7:00pm it was time for our exciting “Pass The Buck Auction”. Members were asked to bring a package of something – wrapped – to be auctioned to the highest bidder with the proceeds going to our charity, Joshua House which is a home for abused children. Our auctioneer, Mike Sofarelli was aided by his “elves”, Charlie Zucker, Bud Swift and Don Levine. Such a team – and the laughter was so loud at the antics of this team of guys! For about 2 hours we laughed, opened packages and had so much fun! 2 members decided to make additional donations to Joshua House to MATCH what the club raised! THANKS to Frank & Diane Cipolla, Walter & Joan Lanagan for their generous offer! It was heartwarming to also know that members who were not able to join us for the weekend also sent donations to be added in to the totals. Our grand total raised including all donations was over $5,348! Special thanks to all our members for such wonderful generosity! AND we had such great FUN!!

Sunday morning everyone met for our traditional get away day breakfast – donuts, bagels, coffee & juice. Many members pitched in to make sure the Rec Hall was left as we found it before we packed up to leave.

Submitted by: Nancy Miller