Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for supporting RVFEST 2012! We are deeply indebted to all of you who volunteered to make this rally a success. We could not host RVFESTs without volunteers! Volunteers make or break a rally! We thank Larry and Carol Parker for the inspirational Interdenominational Worship Service. They have provided the service bulletins for the past three years at no cost to us and we greatly appreciate all that they do at our rallies. We are deeply indebted to John Lester for setting up the coffee and hot water pots and cold water cooler each and every day! We give John many, many thanks for his devotion to this important task and also for orchestrating the daily stretch classes.
We were blessed by co-hosts Richard and Virginia Raikes able assistance. Virginia Raikes, my wife Jean and our daughter Neena Durham ably kept the kitchen staff and serving volunteers, as well as themselves, actively engaged to provide our scrumptious meals on time. They also did all of the grocery shopping. Jean prepared some of the food at our home in Spotsylvania, Virginia before leaving for Goshen! We give kudos to all who contributed to the delicious pot-luck dinners and added inches to our waistlines!
We thank all who gave and sent us ‘Thank You’ cards and notes. We received a ‘Thank You’ card from Becky Hochstetler, Heartland Country Cloggers contact, with a note from her and notes from fellow Cloggers expressing the pleasure they received performing for a ‘warm and friendly’, ‘great’ ‘receptive audience’ - there are some seven notes and fourteen signatures on the card!
We thank all for participating in the collection of aluminum pull tabs and contributing to the Chinese auction. We give kudos to Richard and Virginia Raikes, and Richard and Phyllis Gilkey for conducting the auction. The Raikes also redeemed the pull-tabs. The tabs weighed in at 157 pounds and sold for $0.65 per pound to net $102.05. The auction netted $374.00. A check for $476.05 was sent to KOA Care Camps for kids with cancer. Congratulations to all pull tab participants especially the Plumleys who brought in ~41.6 pounds of pull tabs, Rose Mary Volpert, ~39 pounds and the ILLOWA Gulf Streamers, ~31.6 pounds.
We also thank NeXus RV for sending the bus to give us a tour of their factory. Their Class B-plus Viper and Class C Phantom RVs are very impressive with some unique features. I found the quality of their product greatly improved this year – the units are extremely attractive and appear to be well engineered and constructed. The Viper was featured on the cover and favorably reviewed in the June 2012 issue of MotorHome magazine. NeXus RV co-founders Claude Donati and Dave Middleton sell factory direct and personally deal with clients.
I apologize for not writing sooner. I procrastinated because I received bad news at the rally and the day after the rally, and then more after that! It seemed to take the wind out of my sails! At the rally, you may have missed the announcement that Anna Patterson’s step-father passed away at 88. That is the reason that she and Stephen Wismer did not attend the rally as co-hosts.
I received two calls 25 June from Jack Newman, the last telling me that his longtime, beloved friend Martha Greenleaf Halling of Ormond Beach, Florida passed away that day at 73. She had ALS - Lou Gehrig’s disease. Then on the Gulf Streamers website, I learned that Patrick Charles (Pat) Conley of Norwalk, Iowa passed away the same day after suffering a stroke. He too was 73 and is survived by his wife Cathy and children. At the age of 80, I count my blessings every day!
Prior to the rally (and announced at the rally with less detail) Sue Richardson informed me that Charles Henderson Shontz lost his battle with cancer 11 June. He lived in Louisville, Kentucky and was 75. Sue also informed me that Rhonda Camp was awaiting a liver transplant and passed away 17 June before a liver was available. She lived in Charleston, South Carolina and was just two days shy of 51! Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the families of the deceased. All of the deceased were active RVers who will be missed by many. I found their obituaries on the Internet using a Google search. Isn’t it amazing how much one can find on the Internet? – Just Google it!
We thoroughly enjoyed RVFEST 2012 and trust that you did also. We congratulate the big cash-bingo winners – Rose Mary Volpert and Rae Schimke. We also congratulate the winners of the ‘How Well Do You Know Your Partner’ games – Carol and Leo Plumley, and Judie and Larry Stocker. We pray that the games did not start any feuds or divorce proceedings for any of the non-winners!
We would like your comments/input about the rally, what you liked or did not like! What would you like to see, do, and have at RVFEST 2013 scheduled for Monday 24 June to Saturday 29 June at the same location! Please mark your calendars! It will be two days shorter than usual. Other suggestions include offering only continental breakfasts, the usual pizza dinner arrival day, a catered farewell dinner, two pot-luck dinners, five nights entertainment (two ‘professional’ entertainers with three bingo and other game nights), vendors with seminars and craft classes, and pull-tab collection/Chinese auction with proceeds going to KOA Care Camps. Please give me your input. I vetoed the use of the Ag Hall in place of the ECCC building – it would have been a step backward for us!
RVFEST 2013 follows a Heartland rally at Goshen just as RVFEST 2011 did, meaning that we may attract more vendors who will stay over for our rally, especially if we have good attendance. (The Fleetwood rally that followed us this year was attended by 335 RVs and some 60 vendors!) RVFEST 2013 also follows the annual FMCA rally Wednesday 19 June to Saturday 22 June, just 1200 miles from Goshen, Indiana at Gillette, Wyoming. The dates for the Good Sam Rally have not been announced; rumor is that it will be held in central Illinois in June 2013.
In the news: Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis will star on ‘Secret Millionaire’ to be aired on television 5 August. Camping World acquired Longview RV’s Tampa, Florida location off Interstate 4 at Exit 14, east of its present location next to Lazydays RV at Exit 10. Camping World will greatly expand the Longview site to a 14,000 square foot retail store, add a service facility with over 50 bays and, I believe, they probably will close its location next to Lazydays in the future! The news release noted that other RV dealers may be acquired in the surrounding area! You may have heard that there are now 100 Camping World stores throughout the U.S.! Ms. Tanya Swihart, Rental Manager, Elkhart County 4-H Fairgrounds is moving to Arizona to be near her parents the end of September this year. You may remember her welcome the first day of each RVFEST – we certainly will miss her!
New definitions: SOS – Slower, Older and Safer!
ASAP – Always Say A Prayer!
Again, many thanks to all of you for participating in RVFEST 2012 - see you next year? I have 15 deposits that I received before leaving Goshen! We wish you good health, prosperity, safe travels and always, much happiness with family and friends. Please give thanks daily to our military, police, fire and medical personnel who insure our freedom, protect us and heal us. Remember to include them in your prayers. (A recent e-mail noted that during WWII, 11.2 % of the nation’s population served 4 years, during Vietnam, 4.3% served 12 years and since 2001 only 0.45% has served in the Global War on Terror! Many thanks to all.)
Les and Jean Potteiger