|GOOD SAMS OF FLORIDA, INC.
State Committee Meeting
Southern Palms RV Resort, Eustis, Florida
November 23, 2014
Florida State Director, Joe Weston, called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m. Sharon Bundy gave the
invocation, then Wagonmaster, Bill Hammel led the committee in the Pledge of Allegiance. Sharon then read
the Good Sam Pledge.
Mike Abrams, State Parliamentarian, explained meeting procedure for being recognized to speak and for
voting by using the cards, which were distributed to the presidents and authorized representatives.
Secretary Liz Abrams called the roll of chapters present. There were 39 presidents or delegated
representatives in attendance, enough for a quorum.
Joe Weston called for a reading of the minutes from Okeechobee, April 2014. Chick Thompson,
representing Sunset Ramblers, made a motion to forgo reading of the minutes and accept them as was
published on the website. Bill Catron, Lake Eola Sams, seconded the motion. Motion carried.
The treasurer’s report was distributed. Linda Voyton, State Treasurer, asked if there were any questions on
the report or budget. Chick Thompson, Sunset Ramblers, moved to accept treasurer’s report as published.
Merle Schimke, Osceola Sams, seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Legislative: Sharon stated that there has been no legislative activity to report relative to RV’s at the State or
State Store: Loretta Redderoth said the State Store is open and doing very well thanks to all here.
Dogs for the Deaf: Reba Ward, liaison for Dogs for the Deaf, announced that she would like someone to
take over the position. She briefly explained the procedures. Reba said the square patches earned for
$100 donation are no longer used, instead chapter members will receive the dog bone patch. This charity is
headquartered in Oregon, and donations are sent there and are distributed as needed across the country, it
cannot be directed only to Florida.
Florida Guide Dogs: Tom and Nancy Leonard are liaisons for Florida Guide Dogs. Tom said that 2013 was
a bumper year for donations of $7,353.51, an amount never exceeded before now. Tom and Nancy had
planned to step down as liaisons this year due to health concerns, but announced that they would continue
as long as they could. This was great news for everyone since Tom and Nancy put their heart and soul into
this wonderful charity. Two dogs that were placed are here at this Samboree. Cathy who served two tours in
Iraq and one in Afghanistan is suffering from PTSD. Her dog, Bubba, is trained to detect explosives. He has
given her peace of mind enabling her to go outside her home. Beverly has the small dog Missy, who assists
her with hearing loss and is a calming influence for her.
Historian: Debbie Weston spoke for Sherrie Risberg, “Memories, memories, memories, making memories”.
Check the website as more pictures have been posted. Keep taking pictures and making memories.
Webmaster: Jill Campbell said updates are continually made to the website at www.GoodSams-Florida.org.
All Samboree photos have been downloaded and can be accessed through the website under the tab
Samboree Photos. Please send your chapter newsletters to firstname.lastname@example.org to be
published on the website. Regarding your rosters, please send to Jill with president indicated. Jill will add to
presidents’ page with phone number, address, email address, and chapter website.
Emergency Response Team: We now have a new individual working on the team, Brian Whittie. If you get a
chance to see him, say hello and welcome him to the team. Our supplies are adequate. We’ve not had any
serious medical problems at this Samboree. Mike will be purchasing new batteries for the AED. They are
about four years old now, and even though they show a good charge, we don’t want to take any chances of
them running down. The AED’s microcode is up to date.
Boggy Creek: Bob and Peggy Brown reported that forty-six people toured the Boggy Creek facility during
this Samboree. At tonight’s program, a representative from Boggy Creek will be there to accept your
donations. Peggy will email each president to let them know how many patches and hearts the chapter has
earned. Please reply with the number of individuals who are eligible to receive hearts or patches.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the funds to mail them to you, so you will receive them at the Okeechobee
Samboree. On December 13, Boggy Creek will have a holiday party for around 600 people. An email was
sent out asking for volunteers for the event. Twenty-one Good Sam’ers from Golden Triangle, Florida
Eagles, and Carefree Sams have signed up so far.
ASD: Larry Schramm reminded people to stop by to pick up their door prizes. As was announced last night,
this is Lorraine and Don Smith’s last Samboree to serve on the State Staff. They have been on staff for nine
years. We love them and are going to greatly miss them as part of the staff, but we’ll still see them at
Wagonmaster: Bill Hammel, Wagonmaster, announced that on Tuesday we parked 302 rigs, Wednesday
104, Thursday 9, and Friday 1 for a total of 416 rigs this Samboree.
State Director’s Report: Joe and Debbie thanked each Chapter president for their support at the Samboree.
Unfortunately, this morning the request was received from Calusa Sams to decharter their chapter. Chick
Thompson made motion to accept de-charter request. Don Trotter, Palm Coast Sams, seconded the
motion. Motion carried. Joe said we hate to see this happen but understand that it’s sometimes hard to get
people to serve and to keep things going. Addressing the committee, Joe asked chapter president’s to invite
Calusa Sams members to camp with you.
The radios that the staff uses at the Samboree are over fifteen years old. The antenna’s rubber is dry-
rotting and falling apart. The batteries are not maintaining a charge. We are experiencing many failures this
week. Soon, we will not be able to communicate with each other, which is critical during a Samboree. Ken
Risberg has researched cost to replace the radios with comparable ones. Motorola radio codes are
compatible with the current radios which would enable us to use a few of the old ones as backup, until they
totally die. Ken recommends staying with the Motorola brand for that reason. We expect to spend no more
than $1,500 to replace all 25 sets of radios. Bill Conway, Trail Blazing Sams, made the motion to purchase
the new radios for the staff, Linda Whittie, Sunny Palms Sams, seconded the motion. Motion was passed.
The Okeechobee applications are available online. The cost of sites in Okeechobee have increased so we
have increased the Samboree costs by $5. With this increase, we feel we’ll break even. Fuel prices are
coming down, but donut prices are still going up. On the new application, you’ll see a yellow highlighted line
which explains that we will not guarantee chapter parking for a registration received within fourteen days of
the event. Please have your chapter members get their applications in early. Bill and Joe try their best to
make accommodations for you, but it is much too difficult to rearrange parking during a Samboree.
Several chapters have asked to reserve seats by using chair covers before the evening entertainment. We
will allow you to use chair covers only if you use the chairs at the back of the room. We feel that chapters
that want to sit together can arrive together. Saving one or two seats for people is not a big deal, but any
more is unfair to early arrivals.
Due to the threat of inclement weather, Joe announce that the country fair would be moved to the building at
the fairground. Debbie Weston explained how tickets would be sold at the fair, so that chapters would not
have to deal with cash. All tickets would be accounted for and money earned by the chapters will be
delivered by end of the day. Please return tickets to Liz Abrams at the end of the event.
Old Business: As everyone knows, we have cancelled the 2015 Winter Samboree. We are still looking for a
venue for 2016. Bill Hammel and Joe have checked out all options of venues that people have sent to them.
Our requirements are a facility that will hold 300 to 400 rigs. A building that will hold 600 to 800 people,
which equates to approximately 9,000 square feet. In the winter, usually the number of rigs are 250 to 300,
so the building can be smaller, supporting 500 to 600 people. Price range must be no more than $18 per
night. We’ve had potential sites that could be $30 per night not including food, drink, and entertainment.
Joe said Okeechobee KOA asked us to show them how we were able to park 200 to 300 rigs per day, since
they are used to parking no more than 30 rigs with a bigger staff than we have. After learning how we
manage it, they held a 4 day corporate event in October at a much higher rate than we charge for our
Samborees which we would have to do to if we used some of the venues looked at for our winter Samboree.
We do not feel this would be in the best interest of Good Sams of Florida at this time so we will keep looking.
Make sure you come into Okeechobee KOA unhooked if at all possible.
Pat Souder asked about Wekiva as a venue for the smaller winter rally, Joe explained that during the winter
season the snowbirds are filling up the campgrounds in central and southern part of the state.
A suggestion was offered to make the winter Samboree even smaller. Joe said there is a minimum of 250
rigs required for the samboree to financially break even.
New Business: We notified you via email about six weeks ago that it’s time to elect the State Treasurer. Joe
asked for a nomination for State Treasurer. Bill Catron, Lake Eola Sams, nominated Linda Voyton. Bob
Prudhomme, Florida Eagle Sams, seconded the motion. The motion carried to elect Linda Voyton as Florida
Good Sams State Treasurer.
Mary Ellen Morton, Manateean Sams, asked if we were going to audit the books. Joe said that we do that
annually, and the audit of the books will take place in Okeechobee.
The 2015 budget was sent out for review. Joe believes he can make it on the same budget as last year and
the year previous. The replacement of staff radios was his only concern as that cost would have required
an increase in the 2015 budget. The budget for next year is $18,600. Bill Conway, Trail Blazing Sams,
moved that we accept the budget as stated for 2015. Bob Prudhomme, Florida Eagles, seconded the
motion. The motion carried.
Reba Ward asked that chapter presidents make sure they use current roster forms which have Joe Weston’s
name on it. Reba and Bob have been mailed some rosters and dues to their address because some
chapters are using old forms. Please download current forms from the website. Joe added that he had
received a volunteer form that was so old it had Bill Maxwell’s name on it. You can find current forms on the
website under the tab, FORMS. Please throw all the old forms and applications away.
The next State Committee Meeting will be April 18, 2015 at the spring Samboree in Okeechobee KOA.
Chick Thompson, Sunset Ramblers, made motion to adjourn meeting. Bill Pitz, Capital Seminole Sams,
seconded the motion. The motion carried and the meeting was adjourned at 10:24 a.m.
Liz Abrams, Secretary