Sweetwater RV Resort has many teams of people who work hard to make this park the special place that it is. Without dedicated volunteers, we would not have so many special events and activities, I’m sure!
The Jam Team this season has gone above and beyond to offer daytime weekly music jams, evening events and special projects. They used some of their proceeds to spray the bandstand field, when people were getting bitten while sitting in their chairs listening to the music. The group also rented equipment, and physically stripped, cleaned and polished the clubhouse floors, including the washroom and pool table/library room. Their enthusiasm and sense of having fun is contagious — whether buying a hotdog or a 50-50 ticket, a friendly face and smile is offered! Marley does a great job announcing each act, as well and encouraging participation.
When our Sunday fellowship leader Claude Smith was unable to come to Florida this winter, Marley and David Kai stepped up by planning and leading the weekly nondenominational services. They, along with the musicians and singers, offer 1.5 hours of enjoyable Christian music and teaching. When Norm and Walter heard that a pulpit was needed to facilitate readings and preaching, they found a futon in the garbage, and used the wood to build a lovely pulpit. The Running Water Club has also paid for some needed equipment to complete the audio-visual aids and microphones. All this makes programming and leadership more enjoyable and doable.
After Dale and Rhoda Hunt’s motorcycle accident, they were unable to come to their Florida home, and Sweetwater needed kitchen help. The A-Team was developed when Linda and Ted were approached by Bonnie Kae in the park office. This is another example of weekly effort and teamwork. Headed up by Linda and her cooks, Ted and Dale, weekly ‘Blue Plate Specials’ have been shopped for, prepared and served by a group of very able and willing workers. Janet is the cashier, and others members include Linda and Don, Shirley, Cathy, Caroline, Dolores and Barb – others have filled in when needed. As soon as the quilters start packing up their machines and supplies on Wednesday afternoons, a group of table-setters comes in, just before dinner is served. We’ve been very lucky to have these delicious and affordable meals made for us each week this season. They also look after other special events with meals, like our St. Paddy Day luncheon for two parks recently, and a very delicious breakfast.
Susan and Bill Gaffney have bought their own place in Sweetwater now, so we can look forward to them returning each season, along with the many gifts and talents they offer and bring. Susan ran a weekly Bible study this winter, focusing on The Book of Ruth, and a video series on the book: “The Girl’s Still Got It – Take a Walk with Ruth and the God Who Rocked Her World,” by Liz Curtis Higgs. Approximately 30 people overall attended and enjoyed Liz’s sense of humor, and the questions prepared each week by Susan, in order to stimulate discussion and personal sharing.
The main theme of trusting God was also shared by Susan, was the message at the March 18 church service. The church has also matched an anonymous donation, to replace the cabinets in one of the caregiver kitchens. This is over and above the weekly amounts that are collected and delivered to the agency each week, along with any food donations.
Susan and Bill also held a Hope Marketplace Day, for WAR (women at risk), in order to heighten the challenges faced by fighting against human trafficking, and the need to support and rescue at-risk women. Volunteers manned tables of crafts made by victims, and speakers made us more aware of the problems faced. I bought a pair of brass chevron earrings from the War Chest Boutique, Shop with a Purpose. Dale Sanders and his team of bingo volunteers have also been donating money and food to Everyday Blessings and money to WAR.
On another special day, Susan and a large group of volunteers ran a full-day event for the children of Everyday Blessings. I’m sure we were blessed as much as the children were, by all the special touches offered that day! Susan has already decided this will be a yearly event, and there are plans for another volunteer to plan an Everyday Blessings auction again next year, as well. About 25-30 people toured the Everyday Blessings facility, to get a better idea what goes on there, and what might be needed or offered. It tickled them to see the banner and bags hanging on the wall – all painted by the children on their special day at Sweetwater’s clubhouse.
The quilters have also put special focus on the Everyday Blessing children this season. Several quilts were made as a group to give to boys and girls there. There was also an ‘orphan’ quilt put together by the ladies, and sent out for quilting; plans are to sell raffle tickets for the March 27 end-of-season park picnic and send proceeds to Everyday Blessings.
Last, but not least, our dedicated volunteer Running Water Club Board has met regularly and presented information at Thursday morning coffee/donut time throughout the season. They also oversee dances and shows, and special events, including the recent St. Patrick’s Day Parade and luncheon. There are many more events and teams to be highlighted in future papers, but for now, we wish all our Sweetwater friends a safe return
By Judy Pearce, Sweetwater RV Resort