On the road again!

Spring 1999 CSANews Issue 31  |  Posted date : Mar 01, 2007.Back to list

I was invited to many Snowbird events this winter and I thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. As I mentioned earlier, it's amazing how much enthusiasm and planning is put into producing social activities for the enjoyment of Canadian Snowbirds and their American friends. Actually, I detected a tinge of jealousy from the Americans, they candidly admit that, in most cases, the Canada Days are better organized than American ones. Unfortunately, my visits confirmed the fact that membership and attendance at these activities has declined. There are several reasons for this, the main one is that not as many Canadians are wintering in the Sunbelt and the culprit is the 'dreaded dollar exchange.' I always ask people if they "know of a fellow snowbird who didn't come south this winter." I estimate that about 15 per cent responded, "yes." The cost of health insurance was also a factor, but I noticed that it was not as prevalent as in previous years. However, fewer snowbirds or not, it hasn't hindered the enthusiasm of most of you who continue to enjoy the benefits of planning and participating in organized social activities while wintering in the Sunbelt--I know I do! Thanks to all who treated me so royally! Placemats A - Plenty! Wow, it was a busy winter for a so-called semi-retired guy. Our 'PLACEMAT' program was a big hit, since slightly more than 90,000 of them were distributed. Once again, I apologize to those of you who requested them after our supply was gone. To date, over 10,000 have been requested for next year. That's right, next year. I've just learned that the program will be repeated for 1999/2000. But I can't give you the details now, so watch this column in future issues of CSA News. Most of the requests came from Canadians who were organizing a special CANADA DAY in their mobile home or RV park and believe me, there were plenty of them. Next came the CANADIAN CLUBS. The organizers of these events always amaze me with the enthusiasm and hard work they devote in creating 'first-class' events. We were pleased to hear that the PLACEMATS helped and we appreciate all your 'thank you' letters. Other requests were received from church groups, schools and individuals and even several requests for various tournaments and reunions in Canada this summer. Total overall average per request was 148. Approximately 5,000 were distributed at the CSA Winter Information Meetings and the Snowbird Extravaganzas throughout the Sunbelt. The U.S. Postal Service handled a whopping 81,720, with the balance being picked up at events or at my home in Auburndale, Florida. As you can see, it was a busy time for awhile. My sister, Darlene, spent several months with us this past winter. She recently retired from the mailing/shipping department at the accounting firm, Deloitte and Touche in Toronto, and therefore had plenty of experience at this sort of thing, she was a tremendous help. And yes, Sally, my dear wife, jumped right in when I was on the road and kept distribution on time -- thanks again to the both of you! (pic 2: Casually attired placemat king, Bill Leeder, preparing just some of the hundreds of mailing labels.) (pic 3: LaPlaya Mobile Home Park, Clearwater, Florida. L to R, Peggy Miller, Ina Skouse and Bill Thomson displaying their placemats.) (pic 4: The Canadians of Molokai Mobile Home Park, Leesburg, Florida. Left to Right - Back row: Cork Hemstock, Alex Burgess, Bob Mills, Art Cook, George Hately, Tony Spiewak, Guy Henrichon, Don Hemstock, John Farrell. Middle row: Rill and Betty Bowen, Helen Rose, Mary Spiewak, Betty Butler, Jean Mills, Irene Burgess. Front row: Jean and John Neill, Merle Henrichon, Pauline Hately, Fran Cook.)