Larry & Patsy Wood (12255-L)
Region Three Directors
The Region Three Rally in Durant, Oklahoma, is now in the history books. We can chalk that up as one of the best rallies we have ever had. The KOA Choctaw RV Resort is ranked #1 in the USA. It was beautiful! The grounds were immaculate. All of the sites were 50 amp, full hookup pull-thrus. Picnic tables with umbrellas were at every site. All parking was on concrete. The building was the perfect size for our 80 people. The kitchen and restroom facilities were beautiful and well equipped. We could not have asked for better caterers, “Dining Around Durant.” They were always on time, and their food was fresh with top-quality ingredients. The portions were huge!
As a group, we drove an hour to see the Endangered Ark Encounter. It was worth the drive! The Endangered Ark is a private non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the future of Asian elephants in North America, providing a retirement ranch for circus elephants, and educating the public about this endangered species. We enjoyed watching the baby elephant and his mom. The baby was very rambunctious and kept trying to get out of his area so that he could get treats from everyone. One of the larger elephants received a pedicure while we watched and then demonstrated some of her talents, which included playing the harmonica, painting T-shirts, and painting a canvas with her footprint. We were then taken by open-air shuttles to our up close and personal encounters with two of the elephants. Each person was able to feed the elephants and touch and pet them if they wanted to.
The elephant footprint painting was given to our group. One of our members from Arkansas, Myra Markley, had a brilliant idea, which was to auction it off. So, we held a silent auction our last night. Waylon Wright from Texas was the winner and plans to frame it with pictures they took that day. Many other people also generously donated when they learned that everything collected would be donated to the Endangered Ark Foundation.
Many in our group toured the Mt. Olivet Cemetery after seeing the elephants. Many of the circus performers were buried there. Another often-visited grave was that of Buster Brown and his dog Tige. The headstone was in the shape of a shoe.
The bean bag tournament was held on a warm, cloudy day. Ice cream was also provided. The winners of the tournament were Dan Middleton and Darrell Wehmeier. Runners Up were new members, Randy Rice and Greg Finney.
We played a game new to us on the first night called Left, Right, and Center. Denise Jeanneret was very helpful in explaining the rules, and everyone seemed to have a good time. Another day, we played Bingo in our beautiful rally room. Darrell Wehmeier was our caller. After dinner on our last night, everyone had fun playing Card Bingo.
One day, each of our six states broke out into groups and discussed items pertinent to their group. Lots of questions were answered and information was shared. Another day we had a roundtable discussion. The subject was “Do You Have Gremlins in Your Motor Home.”
International Rally is coming up soon. Several of our new members signed up for the Volunteer standby list.
We want to thank our main helpers: Mike & Kathy Hutchens (Texas State Directors), Allen & Natalie Jones (Oklahoma State Directors), Darrell & Jeanette Wehmeier (Kansas State Directors) and Mike & Jeanne Caldwell (Oklahoma). They were instrumental in getting the food served and the many other jobs that pop up when least expected.
We would also like to thank our sponsors: Marty Lown from Coachlight RV Park in Carthage, Missouri; Wade’s RV from Tulsa and Oklahoma City; and Kay & Alan Oshal, Missouri members from SkyMed.
Lastly, we would like to thank all of you who attended. You were great about participating in things that were new to you. You will all be welcome to any of our future Newmar functions. We look forward to seeing you again down the road.