What is Thanksgiving without a parade? Mission Bell/Tradewinds RV Resort added some holiday flavor to their residents’ Thanksgiving Day with a holiday parade. The parade was led by Park Managers, Scot and Cynthia Swafford with rousing Christmas Band music. They were followed by various golf carts celebrating the holiday season. First prize for decorating was the final entry in the parade with Santa Claus (Joe Wirkus) and the Thanksgiving Turkey (Pat Scott). This entry was constructed by Ron Kooima and Scot Swafford. Candy was distributed by Santa to the enthusiastic park residents. Second prize went to Jim and Judy Sonnetag for their entry decorated for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Third prize went to Anita Harder and Theresa Hoff for their depiction of a smoked turkey. The park’s first Thanksgiving Parade added a joyful introduction to the holiday season, and they are already looking forward to doing it again next year. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all!
We all know Winter Texans contribute a great deal to the Rio Grande Valley during their winters with us. They often donate to local charities, help schools with school supplies, donate time to shelters and animal rescues, gather food during the holidays for people here and in Mexico, and they make quilts and other items for those in need.
This year has brought on a whole new need Winter Texans at Alamo Rec-Veh Park have been able to fill. A group of ladies that primarily made quilts before are now making masks.
In February and March when COVID-19 was still new and starting to shut things down, a group of women decided to shift gears. They started with a pattern and went from there. One member of the group has a relative that works in the nursing field and expressed the need for masks for patients and visitors. They originally sent her nearly 100 masks and continue to send more when the need arises. The group has now donated over of 1,000 handmade masks.
By Carina A. Brunson
Us here at the Winter Texan Times have been trying to connect with our Winter Texans more this year. In doing so, we have developed relationships with some that we are finding hard to say goodbye to for the season, and with the COVID-19 pandemic we are now worried for our friends – for all of you.
Y’all have been on our minds as we are making our own decisions on working from home, shutting down the office, and other decisions that we don’t have to face on a day to day basis.
What we are hearing from those we talk to is that you are taking this one day at a time for now – as we all are. We are all watching the news, staying on top of the current findings, current regulations in our city, county, state and nation. It’s a bit chaotic to stay on top of everything, but we are trying our best.
By Herb Moering
St. Paddy’s Day last week was pretty much of a bust around the nation with the coronavirus putting a damper on all the big city observances. That is except in South Texas where some St. Patrick’s Day park parades were held.
The City of Alamo had at least two, one at La Hacienda Estates and another at Royal Palms Mobile Home Park. The one at Royal Palms was smaller than last year’s, in part due to Canadian residents ordered to return home last week.
Bentsen Palm RV Park recently showed their appreciation of its residents by holding special events all week. Events included boat races, special get togethers, and an Amazing Race.
The Amazing Race was a challenge race where participants were given locations of items – or hints on where to find items – in the park. The participants then raced off on their golf carts to find the items, take a picture and then head back to the clubhouse. After three tasks were completed and approved by the judges, the participants then had to complete challenges that were set up in the clubhouse – challenges included a ring toss, basketball, and other games. All challenges and items had to be completed to declare a winner.
The week was capped off with a fully catered dinner, in which Marcie Swenson, activity director at the park, said it was so no one had to do anything. It was fully catered with others doing the work – letting park residents and volunteers relax and enjoy themselves without having to worry about who was going to clean up.
As Winter Texans begin to think about their return trip to the north, the residents of LaFloresta Park in Mercedes geared up for the final two golf tournaments of the season: The Handicapped Tournament and the Championship Tournament. Everyone in the park is invited to participate in golf activities, from beginner to advanced golfer. Winter Texans enjoy the challenging par-three golf course. And there is always the secret wish for a hole-in-one. The park had nine this year!
By Tony Ozark
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was submitted by a Winter Texan. We welcome your ideas and submissions. Many of our best stories and leads come from ideas and stories provided by you.
Each year from November to April, thousands of senior citizens, known as Winter Texans, travel to the Rio Grande Valley from all parts of Canada and the United States to enjoy the weather and activities at the multitude of senior resort and RV parks. Many of these resorts and parks feature weekly music jams providing the opportunity for musicians to display their talents providing entertainment to the residents and visitors.
The Open Invitational Pool Tournament for the Rio Grande Valley was recently held. It was hosted by Bentsen Grove Resort and was organized by Claude Lemay. This is the second year for the tournament. Pictured, from left to right, Ken VanSickle, representing Bentsen Grove Resort; third place finisher Len Bangma of Magic Valley in Donna; Winner Stew McCrae of Siesta Village in Weslaco; second place finisher Al Prescott of Eldorado Acres in Palmview; and Claude Lemay organizer.
Bentsen Palm RV Park recently took on a project to help a pet shelter with something they really needed. The park got involved with Cinderella Pet Rescue about four years ago when they learned about the no-kill pet shelter. They learned about the shelter when trying to find somewhere to take stray dogs to – they had a number of stray dogs at the park that needed homes.
Marcie Swenson, activity director at the park, said residents were hooked in helping the shelter and fulfilling the needs of the shelter whenever they could.
The annual Llano Grande Art Show has been set for Sunday, March 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Art Studio, according to the chairperson this year, Mira Smith. The public, as well as all residents of Llano Grande, are welcome to attend the display, visit with the artists, and enjoy wine and cheese as well.
“This event is so special each spring,” added Mira. “It gives our members a chance to showcase their efforts and honor their instructors who have taught oil, watercolor, and acrylic classes in recent months.”
Future generations will only have libraries, the Internet, or television to connect with music history, but Saxophonist Del Puschert lived it and will be featured in a special interview open to the public on March 7 at 7 p.m. at Paradise Park, 100 E. Hackberry Ave. in McAllen. There is no admission for the event.
Del has played with musicians like Chuck Berry, Charlie Daniels, Lynn Anderson, Elvis Presley and many others. Del first met Elvis in the mid-50's when Elvis was just getting started and will be sharing stories about many "behind the scenes" moments.
By Kathy Olivarez
The annual Festival of Tables held at Trophy Gardens in Alamo was a huge success as members of Red Hat Society groups from Winter Texan parks and local groups joined together to see the table décor and visit with old friends or meet new friends. This is the one event held annually that brings Red Hatters Valley-wide together.
Once the hostesses had decorated their tables, the rest of the ladies were allowed to make a line and move through the 30 different table settings on display. The tables had different themes and styles. The ladies expressed their excitement as they found settings that were particularly pleasing to them.
By Herb Moering
A Sherlock Holmes mystery was this season’s radio show produced in the Victoria Palms ballroom on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 22 by the Palm Players, a cast of all park residents.
“The Misadventure of the Psychic Detective” was a two-act play that was set in England at Greystone Manor, a house filled with dark secrets, drawing a group of psychics, hypochondriacs and other oddball characters - in which it seems an insane killer is at work.
Activity directors were treated to a show and lunch on Monday to show how much they are appreciated for all the work they do for the Rio Grande Valley RV and MH parks. Here at the Winter Texan Times we know that without them, we wouldn’t have much of a paper. We are all so very thankful for what you do for the community.
Mission Bell hosted the event where they served lunch and activity directors were entertained by Leslie Blasing, Helen Russell and Company, Rick McEwen and Brenda Coin and Sheila and Denny. There were several vendors on hand as well, including Winter Texan Times, Go With Jo, Sky Med, Beach Park, Ron Hoover and Pickpocket Gene.
Alamo Rose Quilt-A-Bees will host their quilt show on March 4 from noon to 3 p.m. at 938 South Alamo Road in Alamo. An Opportunity Quilt will be given away at the end of the show.
A raffle will be held for the quilt drawing. Raffle tickets are $1 or 6 for $5. Admission to the quilt show is $2. There will be other door prizes and an attendance appreciation gift.
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- Annual pet show raises money for HSH
- Tip O Texas Fundraiser Feb. 21
- La Floresta Derby Held in Mercedes
- Sunshine RV Resort announces 2nd Annual Pet Show
- Palm Gardens RV donates to community
- Alamo Palms holds quilt showcase
- Leisure Valley Ranch hosts fundraiser
- New track at Ranchero Village officially opens