Seventy-One Marionites Attend Florida Reunion

March 16, 2020

The forty-first Annual Marion/Florida Snowbird Picnic began with visiting at 10:00 am in the Country Aire Village Clubhouse, Zephyrhills, Florida on March 4, 2020. With a brilliant sun shining, temperatures reached a beautiful 85 degrees. First to arrive were Irene Campbell with a cake and Phyllis Crowe bearing a large plate of her famous fudge.  Dick and Joyce Swan cheerfully greeted all guests, had them sign the guest book and don name tags.  Guests browsed memory books of photos, shared coffee and cookies, and renewed friendships.  People continued to arrive and bring food until we reached a total of 72 in attendance.

A delicious potluck lunch was enjoyed after a prayer of blessing and thanks by Ron VanderTurk.  Following the meal, Bruce Raymond conducted a short business meeting. All cheerleaders led the group in the singing of the Marion Fight Song. Attending the picnic for the first time, Jim and Claudia Harder were introduced. They were originally from Macomb, but moved to Marion three years ago.  Mary Lou Gibbs joined us for the first time.  Neil Gould, grandson of Nancy and Olan Gould attended for the first time and was also the youngest person to attend.  Traveling the farthest, 215 miles, was Bob and JoAnn Pifer, coming from Naples, Florida.

It was decided that the picnic would continue to be held at the Clubhouse at Country Aire Village, Zephyrhills, on the first Wednesday of March next year.  The date for next year’s picnic will be March 4, 2021.  The meeting closed with the singing of God Bless America.

Following the meeting, door prizes were awarded by Diana and Steve Baker.  Dick Swan won an Orchid flower.  Bryce Swiler won a $25.00 gift certificate to Cracker Barrel. Dick Swan won a bird feeder full of Smarties by guessing that it contained 46 rolls of candy, only one off from the correct number of 45.  Mary Lou Gibbs won $25.00 and Don Lloyd won $50.00 in the 50/50 drawings.

Bruce Raymond initiated a discussion of the renovation and reclamation project on-going at the Marion Mill Pond.  He described that many large logs that had been there for a number of years needed to be removed from the spillway.  It was extensive and important work for returning the dam to previous water levels and helping to restore the Mill Pond.  He discussed future plans and the need for donations for future restoration projects so Marion can preserve an important part of our history and ensure the future of our pond.  Many stories and fond memories of growing up in Marion were exchanged as people told what the Mill Pond had meant to them and how it had been an integral part of their past.

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