FCRV 2014 Retiree Rally Wrap-Up

By DeWayne Johnstonlogo

An RV rally is for meeting old friends, making new ones and having fun. All three happened at FCRV’s 42nd annual Retiree Rally at the Canton Civic Center, March 23-31, 2014. There were 159 units on grounds including vendors, plus 6 camp passes (289 people).

Sunday was an early day, but a devotional service was held in the evening and Joe Miller sang. The opening ceremonies were Tuesday evening with the Retiree Kings posting the colors, the U.S. and Canadian Anthems, a salute to veterans, and welcomes by FCRV Retiree Director, Dick Likins, Rally Chairmen, Dwight and Barbara Boniefield, current International Retiree King and Queen, Tommy and Alice Garner, and Canton Mayor, Richard Morris. Also introduced were Assistant Rally Coordinators, Bob and Nancy Linder, FCRV President, Dave Ludwig, and Vice President, George Walters. Following the ribbon cutting the vendors on hand were introduced. Following tradition, the past Retiree Kings and Queens in attendance were recognized – Peter & Jane Brown FL ’97, John & Delores Derrick SC ‘04, Bob & Nancy Linder MI ‘06, Ronald & Jo Hersom IA ‘11, Leon & LaNelle Ishmael SC ‘12, Tommy & Alice Garner GA ‘13. The sole candidates running for 2014 Retiree Queen and King, Dick and Kathy Buresh from Texas were introduced along with non-competing state Kings and Queens: Bob and Arlus DeVriendt from Nebraska, Jerry and Dottie Zimmerman representing Connecticut, and Dwight and Barb Boniefield out of Ohio.

Charles Thornton, a very funny motivational speaker provided the entertainment followed by Marjory Bates awarding dozens of door prizes (local restaurant gift certificates).
Daily activities included Bible study, walking/exercise, crafts, book exchange, commercial booths, and seminars. Games included frog races, washer toss, bean bag toss, ladder golf, bocce, and bean bag baseball. Included also were card bingo, skip-bo, 3/13, and chicken foot. Golfers used a local golf course.

Tuesday brought a little rain and cool temperatures, but an afternoon ladies fashion show by Beanie Haven of travel clothing brought some ‘indoor sunshine.’ The 12 models were all FCRV members. Washer and bean bag toss also took place indoors.

Opening the evening program, Chairman, Dwight Bonifield thanked all the rally committees for their work. Entertainment Chairman, Weldon Segars introduced Al Nelson who ignited the audience with his music, comedy, and energy. He sounded much like every artist whose songs he sang and his Roy Orbison songs were amazing. Couples were dancing in the aisles.

Thursday was a day for group pictures. The bloodmobile was on hand and fifteen FCRV members donated. Some 230 blankets for nursing homes were also donated by members. Ontario sent 159 which they knitted from surplus yarn over the summer. Vendors for the rally were Wayne’s RV Service, Sarge Enterprises (facial care products), Adventure Caravans (Mexico, Alaska, Mega Rallies), Beanie Haven (travel fashions), Iron-on Designs (adding bling), Jensen’s Bedding, Turner’s Ice Cream, The Plant Lady, Karen’s Embroidery and Badges. Happy Days Restaurant kept everyone well fed.

Texas held a morning hospitality and the afternoon was free for shopping and exploring Canton. The first of two catered dinners (spaghetti) was served in the main hall prior to the annual memorial service led by Chaplain, LaNelle Ishmael and the FCRV Choir directed by George Walters and accompanied by Shirley Smith. Leon Ishmael lit a single candle in memory of those who have passed on. Lou Gibson read the names.

The evening’s entertainment was the FCRV Variety show which had some new faces and was enthusiastically received. George Walters was master of ceremonies assisted by Joe Miller and Lawrence Phillips. Performing were Joe Miller singing, George Walters singing and trumpet, Loreen Beatty humor, John Derrick songs and dance, Barb Dunker singing, Phil and Gloria Steinberg comedy, The Maine Girls dance pantomime. The closing number was by the entire cast leading the audience in “God Bless America” with Wilma Schroeder ‘signing’ the words.

Friday morning got off to an early start with a breakfast ‘Thank You’ hospitality by Tommy and Alice Garner, 2013 International Retiree King and Queen with the help of the Georgia members.

The pet parade, held in the parking lot, drew lots of entries and onlookers. Ladder Golf began at 9 A.M. and Missouri held a hospitality celebrating 50 years in FCRV. The Red Hat Ladies luncheon was at noon. Vodean Benham was named the new ‘Queen Mum’ and Anne Moore gave a talk on the early history of the Canton Cemetery. Bocce was played in the afternoon.

The traditional ice cream social was held in the afternoon and ballots were collected for 2014 International Retiree King and Queen. The National Retiree Meeting was held afterward and Dick Likins announced that the 2015 FCRV Retiree Rally will be March 24-30th, in Tallhassee, Florida. The 2016 Retiree Rally will be March 14-21 in Houma, Louisiana.

Friday evening’s entertainment was by Ira Bradford and the Bustin’ Loose Band. They did a satisfying blend of classic and contemporary country including several George Strait and Charley Pride songs. Ira took to the floor and even joined in with the spontaneous line dancers. Following the show, Pet Parade awards were presented by Thelma Standiford and the last of the many door prizes were drawn.

Saturday morning brought the annual craft sale and flea market with 21 tables. The afternoon featured the seriously intense Bean Bag Baseball competition. Fifteen teams played and the final two were the Who Cares and Georgia Peaches. The Georgia Peaches won by a score of 26 to 22. The second catered dinner (roast pork) preceded the evening events.

Entertainment was by Zanda Tally Schoppert and the Swingin’ Doors Band who had people dancing to both familiar upbeat and slow songs. They took a number of requests from the audience including “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”

Prior to the entertainment, the 2013 International Retiree King and Queen, Tommy and Alice Garner of Georgia said farewell and thanks to everyone who supported them during the past year, especially the Georgia Retirees and Ron and Reba Ray. Garners said they enjoyed their travels of over 10,000 miles and meeting old and new friends at the campouts they attended.

John and Delores Derrick welcomed the new FCRV International Retiree King and Queen for 2014. They are Dick and Kathy Buresh, Texas residents and full-timers. They too thanked everyone for their support, especially the Texas members. Talented dancers, Dick and Kathy joined in almost every dance number played by the band. A beautiful reception for the new and past royalty was hosted by the Full Timers Chapter and the Texas Retirees.

Sunday morning provided a non-denominational church service led by Retiree Chaplain, LaNelle Ishmael and the FCRV Choir. The message was ‘That’s What Friends Are For.’ At noon the rally staff had their thank you luncheon. Later in the afternoon Florida and the 2015 Tallahassee Retiree Rally held a hospitality. Bob and Nancy Linder are Chairmen for 2015.

The final evening program began with Ashley and Gloria Taylor presenting a check for $1,010 and 100 lbs. of food to the Manna Food Bank. The money was from donations and the church offering. Representatives of Canton Health Care, Canton Oaks, and ABC Room Children’ Center received the 230 blankets and lap robes brought to the rally, 159 of those came from Ontario. Patty Theime donated the remaining book exchange books to the nursing homes. The Wounded Warrior project raised $735 for a 50/50. Mark and Mary Ludwig of Adventure Caravans announced that Warren and Jean Leith , TX won the Mega Rally drawing.

Bill and Margaret Alderman presented the sports and games awards and thanked their committee. They noted that 135 players took part in bean bag baseball. Jim Turner presented awards to the 21 golfers.

Prior to the entertainment Dwight Bonifield thanked the commercial art class from Mid –East Career and Technology Center in Ohio for the pictures used on stage. He also thanked everyone for coming and wished them safe travels. Well known Gospel singers, Jack and Deb Stone provided a nice ending to a busy week. They had the audience singing along on “Amazing Grace” and “ Beulah Land.”

The Retiree Rally ended with the enthusiastic International Parade of states, provinces, and specialty chapters. Folks drifted out of the hall saying, “Take care, be safe, see you next year.”

2014 Retiree Rally Pictures

2014 Retiree Rally – by Ron Standiford

2014 Retiree Rally – by Barb Turner

Check out our Blog Posts for the articles on the different activities at 2014 Retiree Rally.