Report By: Sally Moore
Rally: Central Florida Fair Grounds
MARCH 23-27, 201
The Tiffin Allegro Club hosted our first rally of 2015 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando, Florida on March 23-27th. We were fortunate to enjoy beautiful weather with sunny skies and gentle breezes all week after a slightly damp start on Monday. The rally was staffed with folks from Red Bay as well as a host of WONDERFUL volunteers! We simply could not host a rally like this without the help of our hard working, energetic volunteers!
These people come in a day or two before everyone else and work hard to mark parking sites, check-in coaches, greet everyone and get them registered and parked on arrival day. Throughout the week they ran golf cart shuttles, helped serve meals, sold apparel, assisted with seminars and made themselves invaluable to everyone. The best kept secret is: “They have more fun than anyone!” Our volunteers pay the same rally fee as everyone, then stay busier than everyone, meet more new friends than everyone else and WE LOVE THEM!
We had 250 coach owners parked on the fairgrounds along with several vendors’ coaches and display of beautiful new Tiffin Motorhomes by LaMesa RV, Sanford, Florida for approximately 275 total motorhomes. This was a “Buddy Rally” and friends driving another brand of motorhomes were also welcomed to experience the Tiffin lifestyle.
After all coaches were parked, slides out and awnings extended, guests were greeted with a “Welcome Bag” packed with goodies from the Tiffin Allegro Club and others. One person said unpacking her bag was just like Christmas morning!
On Monday night, guests were treated to a delicious meal catered by Maddy with Professional Catering, Inc. Again, volunteers stepped forward to see that guests were quickly served and greeted with a smile! After dinner, Tom & Pat Webber, our official “Bingo Experts” explained the rules for Tiffin Allegro Bingo. Prizes were awarded after much fun and laughter.
A few hardy souls rose very early Tuesday morning for our daily Tiffin “Walk for a Healthier You” led by Joanne Brown. But, everyone rolled out of their beds in time to enjoy a bountiful country style breakfast.
Immediately after the meal, seminars on RV related topics began. Classes on Convection Microwave Cooking, Caring for the Exterior of Your RV, Towing, Motorhome Insurance, and many other topics were covered.
A parade saluting our veterans was held Tuesday afternoon. Golf carts gaily decorated in red, white and blue bunting with marching music blaring followed Old Glory presented by veteran, John Frederiksen. Veterans from various military branches participated in the parade.
A treat for all of us was veteran and Tiffin owner, A. H. Maher, dressed in his uniform. Mr. Maher, 82 years young, was headed up the east coast after our rally to attend a Rangers reunion! Thank you for your service, Mr. Maher and all veterans!!! Because of your sacrifice, we can enjoy the freedom and blessing of touring our beautiful country and gathering together with friends as events such as this.
Following the parade Hearthside Grove RV Resort graciously hosted an ice cream social for everyone complete with sprinkles (because all our owners are winners) and whipped cream! This was a great opportunity to visit with one another and share travel experiences. Thank you, Hearthside Grove!!
As always it was wonderful to have Bob and Judy Tiffin join us for the rally. Everyone always enjoys visiting with the Tiffins. They are legendary in the RV industry. Their southern charm and graciousness are unmatched.
On Tuesday night, people began gathering in the large conference hall dressed in tie-dyed shirts and bell bottoms! It was time for “A 60’s Experience!” After another delicious buffet meal, we were treated to music by the band, “Yesterdaze”.
This musical group carried us on a 60’s journey playing hit songs by a variety of artists. Everyone loved to get back in the groove! Drawings for door prizes were held and many folks were excited to have the winning ticket for “Tiffin Allegro Stuff”! Prizes were also awarded to the grooviest 60’s outfits. Great participation by some really ‘cool dudes’!
Wednesday brought another busy day with seminars and tours of the beautiful new Tiffin products. A big shout of “thanks” to LaMesa RV for their help and sponsorship of our rally. Several attendees made their dream come true with the purchase of a new coach while enjoying the rally!
Purchasers of coaches were recognized each evening and presented with a gift basket from the Tiffin Allegro Club. This rally’s basket was a “Made in Alabama” basket featuring delicious items all made within the great state of Alabama – just like your Tiffin Motorhome!
A new rally feature we have recently added is our Owners’ Forum discussion. Participation and attendance was overwhelming! Great ideas were shared, including “50 Ways to Solve Black Water Odor!” Future rallies will include forums divided into smaller groups with a common theme for discussion.
Our catering team fed the group mouth-watering grilled burgers and ‘dawgs’ with all of the trimmings for lunch. Once again, we left the tables with a smile and maybe just a dab of mustard remaining.
Wednesday afternoon found many ladies and a few men participating in our traditional Afternoon Tea Party. Refreshments were served, but the highlight of the event is the sharing of stories and experiences.
Once again the group gathered for a delicious dinner Wednesday evening served by our fantastic volunteers. Door prizes were awarded with lots of Tiffin “stuff” again being handed out. Everyone then was treated to a great show, Spectacular Magic & Illusions featuring Al Belmont. The salute to America at the end was a crowd favorite.
Knowing the end of the rally was fast approaching, Thursday morning found everyone once again enjoying a big country style breakfast. Seminars concluded at noon on Thursday, then everyone turned out to experience the Tiffin Allegro Club Swap Meet.
Tables were provided and anyone interested in swapping/bartering/trading their treasures for another’s treasures enjoyed the time together. A wide variety of items were available as you could imagine. There were bargains galore to be found.
A gala buffet dinner featuring roasted turkey, ham and carved roast beef was served Thursday night by our wonderful volunteers. More “stuff” was awarded to many lucky winners!
After dinner everyone enjoyed vocalist, Connor Lorre. Connor interacted with the crowd and entertained the group with his tributes to many artists through the decades such as Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Elvis just to name a few. Great show!
During the rally, attendees were fortunate to receive minor repairs and service on their motorhomes from a great group of technicians! Gary James, Terry Ray, Roger Holland and Rusty Holland from the Tiffin plant in Red Bay were joined by four technicians from LaMesa RV in Sanford.
Together this team of expert service technicians worked long hours every day to insure each coach at the rally received their help with the owner’s top three issues. Sometimes the technicians’ abilities were limited by the availability of parts on hand, but if the job could be accomplished with the coach parked outside in a grassy field, then these guys could make it happen. They are truly the rock stars of our rally! A great big thank you to each one of these hard working men!!
Friday morning saw everyone hooking up tows and heading on to their next adventure. Again, a precious volunteer, Carolyn Mitchell, was there to wave everyone good-bye and wish them “Happy Trails!” So ‘until we meet again…..’, keep enjoying your beautiful Tiffin rig, travel safe, and experience the open road with all that life offers! All of us at Tiffin Allegro Club and Tiffin Motorhomes enjoyed our time together and thank you for being a part of the Tiffin family.