March 11 2013
Golden Triangle Sams Florida Chapter #50
If you ask a Golden Triangle Sams member what the chapter is all about, they will most likely tell you fun and friendship with an extended family. But what comes naturally to the Good Samers is the powerful assistance and charity work that is ever present in actions and deeds by these ambitious ambassadors, all wrapped up in fun and camaraderie.
Who knew what would evolve over the years? I’m sure Chapter of the Year wasn’t even a conscious, much less subconscious thought back in 1978 when a small group with a common interest in camping/rving and the common personality traits typical of all good Samaritans banded together. Being from the area known as The Golden Triangle: Mount Dora, Eustis, Tavares, the Golden Triangle Sams Florida Chapter was formed. Thirty four years later, Golden Triangle Sams has grown to 32 rigs owned by active, sharing, caring adults, with 6 of those rigs joining the membership this current year.
Golden Triangle Sams may be of average size, but when a project is taken on, there is nothing average about the commitment. Everything from monthly campouts to charitable service is taken on with gusto and joy. With several favorite charities, the GT Good Sams have collected aluminum for recycling. A two fold adventure. Not only are these good Samaritans helping our environment by cleaning the highways and parks and keeping alumimum out of the landfills, but the cash received is passed along to support those charitable groups close to the hearts of the Chapter. This year alone, $1170.86 worth of aluminum was gathered by the Chapter to be passed along to charities.
Granted, aluminum is a win, win for the environment and charities, but it is not the only source of charitable revenue taken on by this Chapter. The pot luck dinners at the monthly campouts will attest to the excellent cooks in the Chapter. Those excellent cooks and helpers produced superb sandwiches that the Golden Triangle Sams Chapter sold at the Florida Winter Samboree to earn $847.53 additional charitable revenue. It is an additional way to take an active role in the Samborees beyond manning the Hospitality Table, providing entertainment with the Garbage Bags and Duck Tape presentations, donating $125 in door prizes, organizing the Trivia game and strong participation in all activities on the Samboree schedule. Yes, we even survived the Fuzzy Pucker Initiation. But we don’t limit ourselves to just the Florida Samborees. Golden Triangle Sams has had representation at all three of THE RALLY events this year as well as Samborees in Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee. True ambassadors as you can see.
Monthly campouts are the perfect opportunity for ‘work sessions’ to complete the bears and blankets donated to Boggy Creek Camp. Golden Triangle Sams has sewn, stuffed, and donated a total of 43 bears and 67 blankets as well as a check for $300 to this worthy cause this past year. Pennies for Pooches and 50/50 have become regulars at the campouts for generating money. The members truly have giving, sharing hearts. Just take a gander at the food donation photo. That photo weighs in with over 395 pounds of food donated just in one month. Clothing and household items are eagerly donated as well.
The Black and Gold Cross at a Clermont High School is also receiving donations for their classroom food and clothing center…. a tiny school thrift center.
And did you notice the hair contribution for Wigs for Kids. If you let your hair grow long enough, it can be donated to be made into a wig for medically challenged children who have lost their own hair. What a self-esteem building gift for a child.
With strong participation in the Wreaths Across America, the Coupons for Troops Program, cell phones for military, and books for Veterans, Golden Triangle Sams has demonstrated a strong commitment to support our Military. Not only did the Chapter purchase/sponsor 17 wreaths, members participated in the Laying of the Wreath Program in early December at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida . The current military and their families are supported as well with our participation in the Coupons Program. Golden Triangle Sams has collected, clipped, sorted and shipped coupons totaling$55,958.53 for use by military families in an attempt to ease the burden that accompanies a family with a member in the military. $350 worth of used cell phones have been collected for the Phones for Military Program. We are also proud of our book contribution to Veterans. To date, the volumes of books donated with love and respect for our US Veterans has totaled an in-kind contribution of well over $1380.
Golden Triangle Sams are active stewards of North America’s natural resources. As mentioned previously, we recycle as demonstrated by our aluminum collection but additionally, we ALWAYS leave our campsites and campgrounds in a condition that would make Mother Nature proud. It’s not just participation in the Good Sam National Cleanup Days held every May that impact our environment. It is a commitment to be carried out throughout the whole year.
The Dogs for the Deaf is another endeavor dear to the hearts of Golden Triangle Sams. Donations are made to the National Dogs for the Deaf as well as the Florida Dog Guides for the Deaf. This is the 13th year that Golden Triangle Sams has been recognized as being the largest yearly contributor to the Florida Dog Guides for the Deaf. Just check out the number of golden paw pins displayed on the Good Sams Chapter vests. They make a ring around the patch earned 13 years ago.
With open arms and a friendly spirit, the Golden Triangle Chapter has continued to grow over the years. This year alone, the chapter has grown by 6 new rigs (12 members). With new members on board, who knows what will be accomplished next year! More hands, more ideas, as well as camaraderie and fun. This outstanding Chapter is growing and will shine even brighter next year with more enthusiastic, caring hearts joining the Golden Triangle Chapter.
I proudly nominate Florida Chapter#50, Golden Triangle Sams for Chapter of the Year. They are truly representative of all Good Sam Chapters in an outstanding, positive way.
Submitted by: Sharon Hime