Motorhome Chapter Spotlight | FMCA
Members of this 20-year-old chapter are longstanding volunteers at the Southeast Area Rally.
By Fred J. Hobson, F87346
FMC Magazine, September 2009
The Pacemakers chapter was organized in January 1989 in Wimauma, Florida. Originally we were an owners group for Fleetwood Pace Arrow motorhomes, so we chose a chapter name that went along with the brand name.
At the time, it never occurred to us that we might be identified with those devices that control one's heartbeat. We have had a lot of explaining to do over the years when wearing our name tags — especially at restaurants that have microwave ovens.
Over the years, as chapter members began to replace and upgrade their Pace Arrow coaches, the chapter changed its bylaws to accept members with all makes of motorhomes but elected to keep the Pacemakers name.
Most of our chapter members live in Florida, but you do not have to live there to join. Currently we have 32 member families, and we welcome new FMCA members into our group.
We have four chapter rallies a year, in October, December, February, and April. We eat out one night of the rally, but the rest of the time we cook our own meals. We enjoy playing games such as horseshoes, and holding poker walks. Rallies take place in Florida and run from Wednesday through Sunday. In addition to these scheduled rallies, some of us get together each October and April to spend a couple weeks in Fort Myers at a campground near the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam.
Each February, we also attend the Southeast Area Rally in Brooksville, Florida, where we volunteer to prepare and distribute welcome bags to attendees. This is a real chapter tradition, as we started doing it back when the SEA Rally was in Titusville, Florida.
Starting next year at the 2010 SEA Rally, the Pacemakers will form the nucleus of volunteer drivers for the handicapped and courtesy golf carts.
When the Southeast Motor Coach Association decided to move the Southeast Area Rally from Titusville to Brooksville, some of us volunteered to go to Brooksville and build picnic tables, paint trams, and dig trenches for electrical cables. We spent about a week there and made a good time out of it, with cookouts and happy hours.
One thing our chapter is very proud of is the hard work we put into building floats for the SEA parades. It is always something special that coincides with the rally theme. The Pacemakers currently hold the unofficial records for both the tallest and the widest parade floats.