2002 Kick-Off Event

Training Course, Dinner and Auction

As a very new member of Two Rivers, I was a bit concerned about my competency to write this article. I was reassured at the last meeting I attended by a member who humorously said, "Don't worry...the way clubs usually next might be President!" Still not fully convinced, but enough to accept the challenge, I headed towards scenic Pittsfield, IL, for the first time in my life on Saturday morning.

I arrived at the VFW hall, with my daughter, around 7 am and was welcomed by Jack, who was passing out the Awareness Training manual packets and Kim as she sold Ramsey raffle tickets. For a modest fee, we were able to enjoy a full breakfast of biscuits and gravy, eggs, hash browns, bacon and sausage with juice and coffee prepared by Richard of the VFW.

By 8:30 am every chair was taken and Dave began the class by introducing and explaining the UFWDA and ILFWDA. He covered topics from the manual such as safety, departure and breakover angles. Garry then stepped in to cover lockers available on the market and gearing and hubs. "Doc" discussed recovery techniques, such as proper usage of straps and winches. His comical delivery on the instructions and uses of a high jack lift both taught and entertained us.

At noon, we took an hour break, where some of us found ourselves at a local Hardee's, for a lunch that consisted of burgers and Jeep talk.

Then, at 1pm we resumed class with "Shaddy", who discussed the importance of maintenance and the fact that we all need to make sure that our Jeeps can pass inspection for the year. Tim then continued with the importance of seat belts, tow hooks, spotters, and courtesy to others, trail and Trail Guide information, etiquette and their responsibilities to the people they're guiding, to the landowners and the property. Tim and the Guides (a record attendance of 35) agreed that the use of whistles may increase safety and awareness of trail incidences and emergencies.

I'm very grateful that I had the opportunity to attend this class. The instructors did a wonderful job, allowed class participation, shared humorous stories and kept everyone attentive and smiling, even though there were an unexpected 70+ students in the class. They were prepared and competent, and I appreciate the knowledge I gained.

The attendees of the Kick-Off Dinner at 6pm (turkey, stuffing, gravy, veggies, rolls and cake) packed the hall. The food was good and the conversation better. We had a record number of people present - over 125 !

Chad and Frannie Suhre handed out the 2002 Membership Directories...and Kim was still selling those raffle tickets...c'mon 'em!

We all sang Happy Birthday to Cory (who, by the way, sold the most popcorn in Scott County!) and prepared for the auction which benefitted the Mounted organization that offers horseback riding as therapy to handicapped children.

Auctioneer, Rick, was extremely entertaining.

Thanks to the generosity of Two Rivers members, over $875 was collected from the auction to be donated to the Mounted Angels, a group that provides horseback riding for disabled children.

Trail Guides recieved gifts, a donation of $500 was given to the Pike County Chamber of Commerce (accepted on their behalf by Angela) and Carl was able to snatch up some great bargains on quality merchandise <grin>.

We all laughed as we saw OR holding a heavy brush guard up as it was bid on and as a Viagra T-Shirt sold for $14. The final lot to be bid on was a set of CJ roll bars, donated by the Instructors of the Awareness Training, which won highest bid at $130.


On a more somber note, our condolences go to the family of Jim Poore, owner of Dutch Creek Farm, who recently passed away...our thoughts and prayers are with you.

The entire day was filled with fun and friends...and made me very sure that I've joined the right club!

P.S. To Danielle daughter promises to play hide and seek with you next time!


Created: 01/27/02