1999 Christmas Bash
Happy holidays fellow Jeepers! We've just celebrated our 7th Annual Holiday Bash and it's my job to try and relay the festivities of the evening to everyone who wasn't able to join us. Sooooo, here goes...
This year Durrell & I hosted the event at the Moose Lodge in Naperville courtesy of our 'uncle' Moose Steve Callarman. We started the party with the usual smorgasbord of food and fellowship. By night's end, our headcount hit 99 club members in attendance.
Admission to the party was free for everyone who donated non-perishable food items to our annual charity. We collected over 500 pounds of food and $220 in cash for the Seniors of Pike County. Carl & Barb Seymour volunteered to haul all the loot back to Pittsfield. Donnie and Becky Walston will assist Seymours when they sort and distribute the goods later this month.
Our 'program' began at 7:30 with an introduction of our Board Members. John Toumbs and Mary Ann Callarman were recognized and thanked for their service as they exit the Board this year. Both received a Jeep watch as a token of our appreciation for their hard work and commitment to the club. Returning Board Members who were present included Grambo McNeill, Tim 'Chuckles' Miller and Club President, O.R. Freesen. The Club presented them with certificates of appreciation for their continuing service on the Board. New Board Members, Durrell Miller and Carl 'Airborn' Seymour were then recognized. As a returning Member with three years of prior Board experience, Durrell presented Carl with a special 'Bored' Meeting Survival Kit including Aspirin, Tums, Band-Aids for the war wounds and earplugs. Pokey couldn't make the party this year due to a weekend date in Branson, MO with his lovely wife.
We were fortunate to have some new faces in the crowd this year. Several landowners from Pike County were present including Randy & Shantel Whitaker and Eric Bradshaw. Also present were some of our event Sponsors. Jeep Eagle of DuPage was also represented at the party and many of our club members met Ray DeMith, their new Parts Manager. DuPage Jeep has been a sponsor of our Holiday Bash nearly every year since 1993. Other sponsors donated dozens of door prizes. GDS 4x4, J&L Four Wheel Drive Center, Larry Roesch Auto Group, Let's Go Jeepin', Schultz Jeep Specialists, Tomken Machine, Toumbs Repair, and United Four Wheel Drive Association all made donations to this years event. Several individual club members also donated items including Joe & Mary Budde, Dave & Connie Christensen, Frank & Jude Fleeger, John & Diana Murphy, and Bill Zoetvelt.
Trophies were presented in five categories and decided upon by our Annual Questionnaire. The first trophy for Most Miles Traveled in 1999 to participate in Jeepin' events went to Woodpecker and Butterscotch AGAIN. Not much of a surprise considering they spend at least 10% of their time traveling across the country to go wheelin! The Most Stucks award went to Bill Zoetvelt - I don't think this is a real big surprise either, at least not to anyone who knows Bill. Fleegers took the Worst Stuck award again... seems they got their Jeep stuck in Tennessee so bad that none of the wheels were on the ground! (As in Ooops, tip-over!) Bloopie of the Year went to Tough Nuts for bringing his brand new V-8 engine on the trail for the first time in October and running out of gas 5 minutes into the trail! The last trophy this year went to Rooster for having the Most Unique Jeep. Way to go Rooster! Look out though, next year you'll have some competition... We recognized the Davis' for traveling the furthest distance to attend our party - they drove in from Missouri! O.R. won the award for oldest Jeep with his 1947 truck.
We threw everyone for a loop this year when we orchestrated our annual gift exchange. Using a number system makes it more difficult to strategize among families for stealing the desired gifts! This year's exchange was one of the best we've had. The portable tables with Grey Poupon mustard were my personal favorite! O.R. tried hoarding all the yellow ratchet straps but after they were stolen he had to resort to a yellow squirt gun. Another big hit were the Jeep signs... hint, hint for next year!
We ended the formal agenda with our door prize giveaway at 10:30pm. All manner of Jeep paraphernalia and equipment were raffled off and nearly every family in attendance went home with a gift from our sponsors. The Moose lodge gave us the boot around midnight so we called it a night and another successful party!