FL: South Florida Winnie Gators

Highlights of September SFWG Outing

After months of lockdown brought on by our #1 enemy – Covid 19, South Florida Winnie Gators were ready to roll out their Winnies and head to Ft. Myers to kick off a new camping season. With specific CDC guidelines in place, 20 coaches were looking forward to breaking the isolation and convening at our favorite campground – the beautiful and newly renovated Upriver RV Resort! We so appreciated Lynda and her accommodating staff allowing us to utilize the necessary facilities as long as the guidelines were adhered to – social distancing, masks in Rec Hall when not eating/drinking, gloves for food handlers, temp checks, etc.! These will continue to remain in place for our upcoming rallies until further notice.

For the most part, the weekend was low–keyed with our typical schedule in place. Round tables (4 per table) were utilized in the Rec Hall and sanitized after each use. Three club sponsored Happy Hours occurred with members enjoying their own snacks and our gloved Raffle Babes peddling tickets for our 50/50 Raffles on Friday and Saturday.  (See Raffle report for results) A world of thanks to our bubbly bartenders – Mighty Mike and Radiant Randy – for working overtime and keeping our “spirits” bright. Many thanks to those members who provide helping hands with the bar supplies – Pete Putman, Dennis Tynan, &  Mike Sofarelli.

Although weather was on the wet side throughout much of the weekend, members still managed to enjoy some gatherings playing Mahjong, Scribbage, a golf outing, and cooling off poolside when weather permitted. Several members also made their way to the big Flea Market that is a popular attraction in the Ft. Myers area!

Our meals for the weekend were provided via a different protocol, but couldn’t have been a smoother process with adjustments that had to be in place. Only 3 chefs were in the kitchen at any one time and there were no buffet lines for serving the food. Friday evening’s Italian meal was absolutely fantastic thanks to our talented Italian chefs – Barbara and Mike Sofarelli and Kathy and Sam Beck/Weigel. Their Penne pasta smothered in red sauce with meatballs and Italian Sausage (served table–side) was to die for!!

Despite the heavy rain Sat. evening, Chefs Rod Allen, Rick Bunn and John Bierie managed to grill 38 New York Strip Steaks for dinner. Rod Allen added his special touch to the baked potatoes and they were crispy and delicious. Barb Sofarelli’s side salad topped off another great meal!

For some unknown reason, Ft. Myers has become known for adding some drama to our weekend campout. First, it was Maverick, Rick and Becky’s boxer, who had undergone tumor surgery the week before and his incision was in the healing process. Wednesday evening the stiches began to break loose, and he had to be taken to Viscaya Prado Hospital for emergency surgery to repair the incision. Needless to say, it made for a very challenging and difficult weekend for Rick and Becky.

Secondly, as we were assembling for Saturday steak dinner, Barbara Von Mosch slipped on the floor at the entrance door of the Rec Hall, and took a hard fall on her knee. Flip Flops and rainy weather are a deadly combination! Poor Barb was hauled off to the Lee Hospital ER by hubby in Sam Beck’s truck, and later that evening it was determined she had fractured her knee in 3 places. At this time, no surgery is necessary but she will be in a brace followed by a cast for a month. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Barb for a complete healing.

In these unprecedented times, it was a great get together with the Rowdy Bunch (minus the mishaps) and we look forward to reconvening at Upriver in October since Camelot would not accommodate.

A world of gratitude to all the helping hands who made it possible!

Reported by Becky Bunn