Caloosa Winnies of South Florida


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WIT Club Chapter of Excellence 1996-2016


May 2012 Outing
Pictures by Nancy Miller

May 3 – 6, 2012 weekend was the annual Kentucky Derby Celebration for the Caloosa Winnies. Alligator Park in Punta, Gorda, FL was the destination once again. A few members arrived early to help set up for the weekend and the work was done in record time! Hosts were Jack & Sandy Bleakley, Bud & Sue Swift, David Nobert, Janice Cummings, Bob & Chris Ross. Thursday was arrival day with Pete Wightman and several others assisting with parking everyone. Happy Hour at 4:00pm was lively as usual, and dinner was served at 5:30pm. The hosts made “Souper Meatballs” and all the members brought dishes to accompany the meatballs. After dinner was cleared, it was time once again for our Ice Cream Social. Lots of ice cream and sundaes were shared! The evening activity was a team game – each group was given toothpicks and miniature marshmellows to “Build A Horse”. Without much instruction they got to work and the creativity was just incredible! The pictures are proof we have some REAL artists! Members stayed around to play games for the rest of the evening.

Friday morning our Pancake King Ed Tyndall was leading the cooks in the art of making pancakes! There was lots to eat and everyone had a good breakfast! At 10:30am we had a guest, Lindy Smith, do a presentation on “Nordic Walking” with sticks similar to ski poles! Everyone participated and walked around the room – one group even went outside and walked around the block! Lindy showed us several exercises that can be done with the poles. After all the exercise it was time for lunch!

Since the GNR theme is Treasure Island some of the group decided to make pirate hats out of newspapers under the direction of David Nobert who found the craft on You Tube! How clever – many hats were made and designs were unique! David also demonstrated a cannon he made for the GNR parade float that actually shoots candy!!! Now THAT will be a hit a GNR! The rest of the afternoon was free time, some enjoyed the pool and shopping.

Happy Hour at 4:00pm was held in the clubhouse, then we caravanned to Lashley Crab House in Punta Gorda on Charlotte Harbor for a nice waterview! The service was excellent as was the food. Back at the clubhouse we had some word games in keeping with our theme of horses and the derby the next day.

Saturday’s Potluck breakfast was again a spectacle – great food and such a variety! The business meeting was held at 10:00pm with all the officers present. Corinne Wightman did a good job of handling the business and we adjourned at 10:30am. Off for the rest of the day many members just relaxed at the coaches and had some great conversations!

At 4:30pm was the official Kentucky Derby Party opening with lots of heavy Hors D’Oeuvres in place of a dinner. The food was terrific with lots of choices! Everyone was asked to bring a hat as is the tradition at the Derby in Louisville. We had some people who planned in advance, and some who just made an impromptu hat at the last minute!! How funny! The “designs” won’t win many fashion awards but it was GREAT FUN! We had folks from the park judge the members in various categories while watching our parade around the room about 4 times! The winners were Jim & Jane O’Neill, Phil Hardy, Ed & Pat Tyndall, Jerry Miller, Jack Bleakley, Corinne Wightman, Jane Palmer, Paula Geng, Ella & John Thurston. What a great bunch of “fashionistas”.

Soon it was time to bet on the derby – green eyeshade bookie Jerry Miller with assistance from Chris Ross took the bets and calculated the winnings to distribute after the race. We watched the race on the big screen TV while the hosts served “Caloosa Mint Juleps” to everyone. At the conclusion of the race all bets were paid off and the winners were of course JUBILANT! The group enjoyed games and cards and the rest of the food!

Sunday morning was our traditional donuts and bagels for breakfast. Everyone lingered around for a while as this was our last meeting until next fall. Many of us will be traveling to GNR and other destinations and meeting up at times to share more traveling fun! We will meet November 1 – 4, 2012 at Riverside RV Resort in Arcadia, FL and we WELCOME visitors!

Nancy Miller