Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Presidential Notes for March 2014

As I write this the country is still in winter’s cold grip and if that wily groundhog is right, we are in for still more cold weather. Even the weather here in Florida has been a little cooler than normal. I will still take 680 over 18o any day.

As most of you are aware, Clint Allen continues to improve (in Florida) and our thoughts and prayers are with him and Pat during this time.

As the days begin to get longer, the 2014 Dogwood rally season is approaching. With that in mind, I would like some feedback from the membership on a possible 2015 rally. Is there any interest in having an End-of-Winter-It’s-Time-to-Head-Back-Home Rally in March of next year at The Great Outdoors RV and Golf Resort in Titusville, Florida? The Great Outdoors (TGO) is a gated resort community with 1600 sites. It has a rally lot that has 25 sites and a large 20’x40’ air conditioned tent that seats 60 people. These sites have 30 amp electric and water and there is a dump site close-by. Throughout the resort are bath houses and laundries. If you prefer full hookups some are available at additional cost, although not at the rally lot. Rally rates are $35.00 + tax if we have less than 10 coaches and $25.00 + tax if there are over 10 coaches. You may come in up to 2 days prior and stay up to 2 days after the rally is you desire.

The rally lot is located across from the Blue Heron Restaurant (open for lunch and dinner) and a few hundred feet from the Jukebox CafĂ©  (open for breakfast and lunch) the two eateries on site.

Some of the amenities on site available are an 18 hole championship golf course, tennis and shuffleboard courts, 2 heated swimming pools, hair and nail salon, massage therapy, RV sales, service and parts facility, Eucharistic and interdenominational church services at the Great Outdoors Community Church, Post Office, full banking services and ATM, off-leash dog park with agility equipment, walking and jogging nature trails, catch and release fishing at any of the many ponds, Nature Center with displays and information of wildlife at TGO and golf cart rental, sales and service,

TGO is located 1 mile west of I 95 off State Route 50 just west of Titusville, Florida. Titusville is located in Northern Brevard County in the Space Coast area. Some of the nearby attractions are the Kennedy Space Center, Port Canaveral cruise ship facility (which has daily casino cruises), Warbird Air Museum, Astronaut Hall of Fame, shopping in Viera and Orlando, Orlando Speedway, St John’s River National Wildlife Management Area (borders TGO), airboat rides on the St John’s river, plenty of good restaurants and of course the beaches, both Indian River and Atlantic Ocean (ask Joyce Reid about the beaches).

If there is sufficient interest I will need to pay a deposit to reserve the dates. As of this date, the last two weekends of March and first weekend of April 2015 are available. I would try to get the earliest dates possible.

This might be a nice get together before heading North and allow those that wanted to travel together to do so. Please let know if you are interested by March 21 so can make arrangements if needed.

While on the subject of rallies, Virginia International Raceway has completed the resurfacing, widening of some areas, and moving the Start/Finish line.  This should be interesting racing for a fall rally.

It’s raining here today and it just might be a good time for a nap. 

Butch Jones

President's Ramblings

by Butch Jones

Two thousand and fourteen is officially underway. It has been fairly warm here in Florida. Liz and I have seen several of our Dogwood members so far this year and it is only the first week. So this is starting out to be a busy year.

Don’t forget the first 2014 Rally will be the FMCA National Convention in Perry, GA. it will be held March 17 – 20th. I hope that many of our Dogwooders will be able to attend.

We do not have many rallies on the schedule this year. So this will be a lean rally year. Remember, if you want to host or co-host a rally contact our VP of Rallies, Dennis Reid.

On a sad note, our thoughts and prayers go out to the Warthans and Duffs as they are dealing with major losses.

It appears that sales in the recreational vehicle market are on the rise. After meager sales of 5,900 Class A motor homes in 2009, the market has risen to 14,500 in 2012 and 14,100 for the first nine months of 2013. Overall motorhome sales are up as well. In 2009 there were 28,300 new units sold. 2012 there were 28,300 motorhomes sold. During the first nine months of 2013 sales were at 28,900. Attendance at RV Shows is increasing as well. The California RV show had an increase in attendance of 39% over 2012 numbers. All of this bodes well for FMCA and potential for Dogwood as well. More sales can translate into additional people looking for organizations to associate and enjoy the motorhome lifestyle.

As most of you are aware, Liz and I had a bit of coach trouble on the way to Florida. As a result we found an excellent truck repair facility and an outstanding quality truck service network.

W. W. Williams in Savannah, Georgia has 50 amp hookups and a staff that went out of their way to accommodate us in our time of need. They are members of the Wheel Time network. Wheel Time requires that all of their members offer the following:

1. Two hour initial diagnosis
2. On time as promised
3. On budget as quoted
4. Notification within 30 minutes of completion
5. Fixed right the first time

Wheel Time has locations all 50 states. You can get more information at WheelTime.com.

That’s all for now, the temperature has dropped to a bone-chilling 50o here in Titusville, so Liz and are settling in by the fire.

Message from VP of Rallies

by Dennis Reid

Below are some highlights of events in the rally schedule for this year.  You can check the details of the changes in the 2014 Rally Schedule, located on the right pane of our Blog.  Please note that we don't have any rallies scheduled for July and August as of yet.  Any volunteers?

Houstonfest (Galax, VA) - Due to a lack of interest in hosting or attending this festival, I have canceled this rally.

Tangier Island Excursion - As the results of cancelling the Galax rally, Bill and Marion Cockrell, have agreed to host a rally at their home, on Virginia's Northern Neck.  The rally will be held May 2 - 4.  They have a room for gatherings and ample space for "dry camping".  The rally fee of "approximately" $35 per person will include a cruise from Reedville to Tangier Island.  The cruise leaves Reedville, VA at 10 am on Saturday and returns at approximately 4:00 pm Activities and menus will follow, as soon as they are finalized.  More information about Tangier Island may be found here

Solomon's Island Rally - Richard Bonewitz has secured and confirmed reservations with the Navy Recreation Center on Solomon's Island, MD for June 5 - 8.  Twenty-five sites with water and 30 amp electric have been reserved.  A sewage dump is close to camp sites.  Since this is a military campground, Richard had to personally pay a one night deposit of $36 ($900 total) to hold these sites.  All members who plan to attend the rally, are asked to send your $36 deposit directly to him ASAP.  Your deposit can be fully refunded 30 days prior to your arrival date.   After that, there is a 25% cancellation fee.  The balances will be paid when you arrive.  These spaces are on a first come first serve basis.  Don't delay.  Richard would like to get an official number of attendees, so he can release sites not needed. Send your check to:

Richard Bonewitz
2 Iroquois Way
Morgantown, WV  26508

Activities currently planned for the rally will include a crab feast (separate charge), boat trip on the Patuxent River (separate charge). The rally fee along with menus will be determined at a later date prior to the rally.

The Fort Monroe Rally - will be held September 5 - 7 at The Colonies RV and Travel Park in Fort Monroe, VA.  The Buelows and the Sohles will be your hosts for this rally.  Refer to their article in this eNews for more information.

Urbanna Oyster Festival - Dogwood will have a rally November 7 - 9 at Ed Fisher's garage in conjunction with the Urbanna Oyster Festival.  Click here to link to the festival's web site. In the past the coaches have parked around his garage then members congregated inside for meals and socializing. 

Selma, NC Christmas Party - As a results of our formal survey of the membership, reservations have been confirmed by Barbara Dyke for December 4 - 7 at the Raleigh Oaks RV Resort and Cottages, Four Oaks, NC 27524. The whole campground has been rebuilt (meeting room is 31 'x 34' w/full kitchen). This campground was formally a KOA and has been renamed.   Check it out on line here.  Needless to say, with this rally 10 months away, details for fees, activities and menus will follow at a later date.  Stay tuned.

Further details of all of the rally's and fees will be announced prior to the rally dates.

Tangier Rally

The Tangier Island Excursion Rally will be held May 2nd - 4th.  We will be camping on the property of Marion and Bill Cockrell who are our rally hosts.  

Facilities:  We will be "dry camping".  Emergency water is available if needed but no sewer or electricity. The address is 83 Golf Lane, Burgess, VA 22432.  Beware of GPS directions.  They are not always exact.  The parking area will be down a lane surrounded by pine trees.

Directions to the rally: 
From Burgess - take State Route 200 off of US 360 for approx. 2.3 miles on the left.
From Kilmarnock - take State Route 200 off of Rt. 3 for approx. 12.7 miles on right.


  • 5:00 pm - Happy Hour: Appetizers will be provided by attendees.
  • 6:00 pm – Dinner: Potluck dinner provided by attendees. Dessert: Provided by attendees.

  • 8:00 am - Breakfast:  Continental style with coffee and juice
  • 9:30 am - Arrive at the Buzzard Point Marina, Fairport, VA to board the Chesapeake Breeze for Tangier Island. We leave the dock at 10:00 am. and arrive back at 4:00 pm. On your own for Lunch.  Cruise is $27 per person.
  • 6:00 pm - Dinner and happy hour at KC's Crabs and Cues restaurant where you will enjoy an evening of good food, karaoke and if you desire you may play pool. Prices range from $8.00 for the best hamburger (fixed your way) in the county to $25.00 for a seafood platter. The dress is very casual.
  • 9:00 am – Breakfast:  Continental style with coffee and juice
Bring your own beverage, plates and utensils for all gatherings.

The basic rally fee is $8 per person. Please make your reservations by April 1 so I can make the final arrangements for the cruise.

Bill and I look forward to seeing you.

Marion Cockrell

Attendees (as of 4/5):  Bill & Marion Cockrell, Dennis & Joyce Reid, Steve & Sue Sohles, Fairleigh & Cil Schoolar, Wilt & Barbara Greenwood, Ed & Anke Fisher, Carl & Donna Gruel (Saturday dinner only), Fred & Maxine Luxton, Jim & Susan Buelow, Butch & Liz Jones and 2 guests will be joining us for Friday evening, Martha Tallent (Friday dinner), Sharon Fisher (Friday dinner, cruise and Saturday dinner), Clint & Pat Allen. 

Registration Form

Dogwood's Tangier Rally at the Cockrells  
May 2 - 4, 2014
Names _____________________________________________
$                     Rally fee for _______ people @ $8 per person

$                     Boat cruise fee for _______ people @ $27 per person

$                     Total Amount Enclosed 

Please mail the completed form along with a check payable to Marion Cockrell, 83 Golf Lane, Burgess, Va. 22432

Let me know if you will bring appetizer____ covered dish____ or dessert____ for Friday night dinner.  Please specify, so we can eliminate duplication.

Highlights from the Christmas Rally in Williamsburg

30 coaches gathered at the KOA Campground in Williamsburg the weekend of December 6-8 for the Christmas rally.  Special thanks to the hosts:  Suzanne & Mike Greenfield and Donna & Ron Foore.  New members David & Kathryn Stankovic, Donald & Carolyn Anderson, and Lorraine Jones joined us for the rally.  Click here to view photos from the weekend.

The rally kicked off Friday evening with a homemade soup dinner.  Saturday the group gathered for a hot breakfast, a business meeting, and a nice unexpected lunch since there was plenty of soup and salad left over.  Saturday evening we enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by Kevin Washington of Culinary Adventures Catering.  Lots of laughter was shared during our traditional Yankee gift swap.  Thanks to Donna Gruel, our entertaining emcee.  Sunday morning's questionable weather had some coaches heading home early while others decided to stay another night.  We experienced a mix of weather throughout the weekend - temperatures in the high 70's, followed by rain, then freezing rain and snow.

Throughout the weekend, attendees enjoyed shopping, visiting historic sites, spa treatments, and meals out.

Our hosts did a fantastic job of putting together goodie bags and door prizes.  A special thanks to the following who donated items:  Walgreens, GEICO, Count's Hallmark, Rusty Cleveland DDS, Kroger, Williamsburg KOA (2 free weekends of camping!).   

Business Reports

A business meeting was held December 7, 2013.  The Secretary and Treasurer reports are unavailable at this time - check back later.

Clint Update

Clint Allen has been seriously ill in the hospital in Florida following a gallbladder infection that went into sepsis and toxic shock.  Check back to this article for an update on his condition.

Mar 12:  Pat is excited to report that she and Clint are home!  Pat's son and his friend flew to Florida on Friday and drove them in the motor home back to Richmond.  Clint is doing much better - even up and walking around the house some.  He saw his doctor on Monday and is scheduled to see an eye doctor for some vision issues most likely caused by the sepsis.  Pat thanked everyone for their support throughout their ordeal.          

Mar 1:  Clint is doing much better.  The kidneys have recovered well enough to get him off the dialysis & they were able to take the port out of his chest. Yesterday we finally got him to a rehab place.  It is gross but they are supposed to have a great rehab center.  It is old, tiny rooms, narrow hallways, and he has a roommate which is not good.  Today, Sat, the pt people are supposed to get him up for a couple of hours.  I hope they will get him a shower, shampoo, shave.  I am so tempted to just put him in the m h & bring him home. My son & a friend are going to fly down & drive us straight through in one day to home.  They can get him to the bathroom & help him up.  He seems kinda down but they said that is normal after such a traumatic event.  This has just been a nightmare I can't wake up from.  All the docs came to tell him goodbye & they all said he was one lucky  man & they were so glad he had survived because they didn't think he would.  Scary & Clint said we take so much for granted.

Thanks to everyone for their cards & support.  It means so much at a time like this.
Love to ya all & thanks,


Feb 27:  Clint's kidneys are now working and he has been taken off of dialysis. He is scheduled to be moved to a rehab facility today. Obviously they are both very happy about Clint's improving condition. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  Jim 

Feb 22:  We received an email from Pat concerning Bubba's condition and just wanted to share it with you. Bubba is getting better but is still very weak and not eating much. Pat is hoping to have him moved to a Rehab facility close to where they are in the next week or so. He still requires dialysis 3 times a week but Pat is making arrangements to have him taken to a facility for that once he moves to Rehab. Pat is hanging in there but wants to get her and Clint home as soon as possible which is certainly understandable.

Pat is staying at - Citrus Hills RV Park
                          5401 Boca Grande Circle
                          Dover, FL 33527

Hospital where Clint is at is -  Patient - Clint Allen
                                           Brandon Regional Hospital
                                           119 Oakfield Drive
                                           Brandon, FL 33511
                                           813 681-5551

Please support the Allen's in any way you can and keep them in your thoughts and prayers. When folks are down, a phone call or card goes a long way in letting people know you care and are there for them.

Jim and Susan        

Feb 23:  Pat said Clint is now sitting up in a chair and talking. She couldn't believe the difference a few days made.

Members recovering from illness or surgery

We received word that several Dogwood members have been very ill or undergone surgery.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers and let us know if there are others whom we did not mention.

Clint Allen is in the hospital in Florida.  He had a bad gallbladder infection that went into sepsis and toxic shock. He will most likely be in the hospital for several weeks for this serious illness.  Obviously this is a difficult time for Clint and Pat being away from their home, family and friends.  If you would like to send the Allens a note, they are staying at the Citrus Hills RV Park, 5401 Boca Grande Circle, Dover FL 33527.  Clint is at the Brandon Regional Hospital (Patient - Clint Allen), 119 Oakfield Drive, Brandon FL  33511, 813 681-5551                                        

Connie Tilman wrote "I was hospitalized from Jan. 30 to late in the evening on Feb. 4 for ATG serum treatment for my autoimmune blood disease called aplastic anemia.  I had some reactions to the serum while hospitalized but have been doing really well since released.  I was given some Leukine shots to help me make white blood cells so I'm not having the problems with no immunities that I had after my past two treatments for this disease.  I have to go to my doctor on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays for blood checks and infusions as necessary.  Platelets will be my biggest need for a while.  This hospitalization was the treatment that began with  my nose bleed caused by low platelets that happened on Dec. 20.  The Tilman coach has not been out of the garage and Ed says he's spent the winter keeping the fire in the wood stove going!  Looking forward to adventures later this year." 

Dennis Reid is recovering from knee replacement surgery.  

Paul Cummings is recovering from shoulder surgery, for the second time, Jan. 4.  He will be six months in recovery after re-injury with no 3rds possible.  Needless to say, they are  home for a while.

Member Updates

Dogwood currently are 48 members.  If you have not already done, please pay your 2014 dues to Pat Allen.

Welcome to new members:  David & Kathryn Stankovic, Donald & Carolyn Anderson, and Lorraine Jones.

Our condolences to Donald Warthan in the loss of his son and Carolyn Duff in the loss of her father.

Carl Gruel wrote:  "The Gruels have "bit the Bullet" and are moving to Florida FULLTIME!  Lots to do in Kilmarnock getting the house there ready to sale (55 years of "stuff").  Our new "digs" are where Liz & Butch and Sue & Steve winter each year.  Difference being we are coming here permanently for the winters and going elsewhere when it gets too warm.  All moving towards settlement in late February.  Hoorah!"

Jim Henry said that they sold their motor home and are looking for a 2002-2003 diesel.  Contact him if you know of a coach.

Wallace Twigg wrote "Nancy and I sold our Class A in August and plan to replace it with a fifth-wheel toyhauler. We greatly enjoyed the time we spent with the Dogwoods and the friendships developed along the way." 

Paul Cummings said that he plans to send in a simple RV tip to FMCA,  Use your Sharpie to write the date on your oil and fuel filters.  This will give you some peace of mind when you pay the bill.   

Dixie Cummings enjoying her first snow.