CCO Welcomes New Sponsors Eric Nompleggi and Trinity Brooks!
Home Page Article Archives 2016-2017
CCO's 25th Anniversary Plans Finalized!
Orlando - February 7, 2017 - CCO has officially announced our plans for our Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Celebration Weekend with the addition of a Event Flyer downloadable at our Members Only Secure Events Flyers & Downloads Page. We'd encourage all members wishing to attend this event to go ahead and make your reservations soon. President Mike is our lead event planner for the weekend and needs to get an email from each member family when they've completed their own reservation plans. All of you who remember our 20th celebration in the Florida Keys back in 2012 know we had a real blast with poolside games, dinners and activities. This event is destined to be even more special for CCO. And, we're planning a really great Anniversary Banquet, cost-covered by the club treasury! Just think, we've promoted the Corvette hobby for a quarter-century in Central Florida. We've driven club caravans tens of thousands of miles across Florida and the Southeastern US. We've enjoyed countless meals - and libations, with friends and family and proudly supported our communities all these years. And most importantly, we've all made lasting friendships with the greatest group of fellow Corvette enthusiasts and valued CCO Members! We have a great deal to celebrate and to be thankful for. Members - make your plans soon! And "thank you" for your commitment to CCO! We're all about Friendship - Family - Fun!
CCO's Annual Christmas Card
Gabby’s Gem of the Hills, Clermont - On Friday evening, December 2nd, CCO rang in the Christmas Holiday season in fine fashion. With hors d’oeuvres and an open bar to kick things off, over ninty members - some we’ve not seen in a while, caught up on all the happenings and how the grandkids are doing.
2106 Homecoming Fundraiser Participant Jim Brienza
The drinks were flowing away from the bar and soon, Mike made some opening remarks and recognized our Homecoming Parade participants with gift cards and thanks for a job well done in 2016.
CCO Honors our Corvette of the Year - 2016
CCO Corvette of the Year
Announced at CCO's Annual Christmas Holiday Extravaganza on December 2nd, The Corvette of the Year - 2016 Award is deservedly presented to Marjean Lawson.
See CCO's Corvette of the Quarter Gallery for a Photo and BIO on all of our winners since 2012!
CCO Members: Click here
to find out how to have your car considered for Corvette of the Quarter.
Corvette of the Year Winner Marjean Lawson
Marjean Lawson was recognized as owner of CCO’s Corvette of the Year by Howard Brown. Before long, Gabby’s staff announced that our banquet dinner was ready to be served. As Adam, our DJ, called our tables, roast beef, salmon, chicken and all the accompaniments were served up plus several desert choices, coffee’s & teas.
CCO always has fun with the Conga Line!!!
As the bar continued to serve, Adam spun some great tunes, illuminated his laser light show and for almost three hours, began his suggested audience participation routines that got everyone in the real CCO having-fun-dancing spirit. CCO’ers love to dance!
A tableful of toys for XL 106.7's Baby DJ Program!
Later, Joe Stoddard, our CCO Toys Chairperson, grabbed the microphone and thanked everyone for contributing to that huge tableful of children’s toys in the room. Then, he challenged us all to a $100 matching funds offer including his time to buy more toys! His offer was immediately filled by members two-fold!
A better Christmas for less fortunate families in our neighborhoods1
Over the last seven years, through Joe’s hard work, CCO has contributed to XL 106.7’s Baby DJ program. This year will be our most significant gifting season. Not only will a table full of toys be delivered, but with the extra $300 Joe raised at our event, Joe has purchased four bikes and more toys! We thank Joe for his community spirit and commitment to CCO’s efforts to give back to our communities!
Having a blast on the dance floor...!
Mike says "Thanks to all for sharing the Christmas Holidays with CCO! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!"
At the close of our annual event, Mike recognized Gabby’s staff for a job well done and reminded everyone in attendance how important next year, 2017 and CCO’s 25th Anniversary, is to all of us at CCO. He advised us to stay tuned for more information on 2017 in-Florida celebrations and thanked the twenty-two member families who’ve already committed to our five day event in Cancun, Mexico and encouraged all to consider joining in on the fun. CCO thanks our Christmas Holidays Party Committee Members Rena Woodley, Carol Johnson and Karen Grashel for their hard work and dedication to the membership for handling this very successful event!
Folks, this marks the end of another year at CCO. We want to recognize our generous sponsors for their continued support. We couldn't make things as fun as they are without all those who volunteer time to serve as Board and Committee Members - Thank you! And to our membership, thank you for making CCO the most active Corvette Club in Central Florida! On behalf our all our members and our Board of Directors, we wish everyone in our local as well as worldwide Corvette Community a wonderful, happy and safe Christmas and New Year Holiday Season. "CCO - Freindship, Family, Fun." ~ We'll see you on the road in our 25th year - 2017!
2016-17 Board Elections Completed
Ocoee Florida ~ November 16 - At our last meeting of this year CCO held officer elections for 2017. Our Board of Directors is now set for another exciting year of activities during what will surely be a wonderful year for our club. The Board wishes to thank outgoing Dan Boone for his service as VP Fundraising and Special Projects. And, we wish to thank Jim Brienza who stepped up unopposed to replace Dan. Jim will handle fundraising activities and work with our valued CCO Sponsors in the coming year. The membership voted to retain Susan King in a two candidate contest for Treasurer. We thank Lester Smith for volunteering to throw his hat in the ring for the treasurer position. 2017 is shaping up to be a landmark year for CCO. The membership is encouraged to stay in touch, get involved, attend events and commit to really enjoying membership in "...the most active Corvette Club in Central Florida...!"
Dyno Don's CCO Day at Next Level Performance!
Nick's beast pegs all the needles on Geoff's equipment...
Longwood Florida - November 12 - 8:00 AM - We met at longtime CCO Sponsor, Nicks Family Diner in Orlando for the usual great breakfast and then headed to another loyal CCO Sponsor, Next Level Performance where owners Geoff & Riana Skorupa hosted CCO for Dyno runs and lunch.
Chris gets his Shark Gray C7's numbers...
Geoff and Riana have just completed a move of their shop from Altamonte Springs to 100 Highline Drive in Longwood and now have a larger shop and better parking for customers. With plenty of lift space for several cars, the Dynojet, an expanded machine shop floor and plenty of comfortable office space, the Skorupa's are really excited about growing their business in Longwood. And, CCO is very proud to partner with Next Level Performance as they grow!
Mike's Stingray pushes out 409 rear wheel HP at Next Level Performance!
In about four hours time, Geoff set up CCO cars on his Dynojet machine and made two runs on each car, while Riana documented each run on a laminated report presented to each owner. And, as competitive as Corvette owners are, you can bet there was a lot of bragging going about the shop after each run! Owners were comparing previous dyno results with today’s looking for more horsepower since modifications. Some, like Sandi, had never had a run done and were just curious about how their car would actually perform. Rich also wanted to compare an AmsOil Octane Boost product so his runs were before-adding and after-adding the additive. We’ll ask him to report his results at our November meeting.
Sandi's '04 Z06 cranking out plenty of HP!
All in attendance were excited and grateful for Next Level’s Dyno Day! Thanks to “Dyno Don” for setting the event up! Thanks to Ed for promoting via email blasts and of course, CCO sends out a warm ‘Thank You!!’ to CCO Sponsors Geoff and Riana at Next Level Performance for hosting this great event! Thanks for the grilled treats, drinks and snacks!! Your new shop is really cool and we wish you the best of business in the future!
2016 Homecoming Season Kicks Off
September 13, 2016 - CCO's annual Homecoming Parade Fundraising Program officially kicked off last month and our planning calendar is now full. Soon we will be announcing our full schedule. Members are encouraged to go to the CCO Calendar and the Secure Events Downloads Page to learn more about these events. But more important, CCO needs a lot of folks to get excited about volunteering time to help organize these events. Convertible owners are especially important as your cars are used exclusively for parades - and for good reason - it's why you own a convertible, to have a great view, and so your spectators also have a great view. General event / date information is being forwarded by Mike and other CCO volunteers. Please be on the lookout for meeting announcments, calls for help and to sign up to lend us your time and convertible. At least one event this season we will be allowed to use coupes. One student will ride and may sit or stand on the floor behind the seat... Watch your email for information! Thank you!
Mystery Solved - Again!
Ozello Florida - August 27, 2016 - CCO's most recent Mystery Drive and Dine brought us to the real west end of the state this time. The final nine miles on the twists and turns of the Ozello Trail with water on both sides made for a great final lap for the 27 Corvettes on our drive. Starting out at Starbuck at Hancock and Hwy 50 in Clermont, we headed out - turn-by-turn instructions in the hands of our navigators. Our pit stop this morning was Bushnel's Florida National Cemetery. Visiting here brings fond memories as one of our own member American Veterans now passed on - Norman Goldner, is buried here. RIP Norman, we think about you all the time! Arriving in Ozello, our instructions said only to park at the only restaurant on the road and that happened to be Pecks Old Port Cove. With wonderful views of Gulf tidal waters and grass marsh flats, a great outdoor bar and plenty of indoor dining on blue crab, oysters, shrimp and other Florida seafood, Pecks was a great way to spend the day with friends. On the way back to Central Florida, many of us stopped at Copps Brewery and Winery in Crystal river to sample local brews, wines and toast to a great day. Thanks to Ed & Sandra for yet another delightful 'Taste of Florida' and to all who attended, drove safely and enjoyed the day!
Go to CCO's Facebook Group Page for more photos from our members!
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Orlando - August 25, 2016 - (Community Corner Update provided by Terry Levesque)
Terry has invited CCO to participate and support the AFSP again this coming September 24 at the "Central Florida Ride to Fight Suicide." Sponsored by Orlando Harley Davidson and several other local businesses, for bikers, the ride starts at 9:30AM. For Corvette owners seeking to support the event at the Post-Ride party, Terry and Wayne encourage us to come out and enjoy the event late morning and afternoon starting at 10:30AM. Interested members can contact Terry directly via her number posted in the Secure CCO Roster, or showing up directly at the Post-Ride Event - see details at the Secure Event Flyer Download Page.
(Below From February 2016)
Continuing CCO's commitment to our communities, our first quarter 2016 spotlight focused on a worthy cause - the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. CCO members Wayne & Terry Levesque (Team Flava) are heavily involved with AFSP and are promoting the 2016 9th Annual "Out of the Darkness Community Walk" which is raising funds to support research, education and prevention initiatives to reduce the loss of life due to suicide.
Please consider supporting AFSP and Team Flava! For more info and to donate, click this link: Out of the Darkness. On behalf of Wane and Terry, we appreciate your support!
July 4th - Casselberry Florida - CCO celebrated Independence Day again in 2016 at the home of members Greg and Kay Goodale. Covered dishes brought by dozens of CCO'ers added to a full spread of Southwestern fare provided by the Goodales, and with desserts and plenty to drink, we had great fellowship and fun.
The spa filled quickly after the meal and remained full until dark - and it was not long until several water volleyball players had become the stars of a couple of one-sided, loud and very entertaining games.
Then, CCO sang happy birthday to our host and plates filled with cake were passed into the crowd. Soon, darkness was upon us and surrounding neighborhoods erupted in the "Boom!! Boom!!" and glow of fireworks shooting skyward. It was time for the show to begin...
Not to be outdone, Greg produced his own arsenal of Chinese rocketry and began launching volley after volley skyward. He managed not to set any nearby homes on fire (even though there was one slight launch pad collapse) and at last, we cheered loudly as he set off an impressive grand finalé!!
Another July 4th is in the books and big thanks to Greg and Kay for hosting again. Thanks to all who participated, brought a dish and joined in the fun.
Check our CCO Facebook Group Page for more member pics and reaction to a great holiday spent with great friends!
Greg at the launch pad...
CCO Is Orlando Strong...
For those souls lost and injured in our great city on June 12, 2016 - The Corvette Club of Orlando will always honor their memory and forever pledge to promote Friendship, Family and Fun as our one, true mission... God Bless the families who've lost. God bless our First Responders, Law Enforcement & Medical Providers. God Bless Orlando. God Bless America.
Bonnie & Breeze took top Hat Honors...
Best Derby Hats Awarded!
Article By Contributing Editor, Sue Bischoff
Plantation Inn, Crystal River – May 6-8 - CCO had another great Kentucky Derby Weekend at the beautiful Plantation Inn on the Crystal River, where manatees were our closest neighbors. The group began the weekend Friday afternoon at the poolside bar area, where we enjoyed a couple hours of socializing in the cool, refreshing sunshine. Then off we were to a fabulous seafood dinner at Crackers Bar and Grill along the beautiful Kings Bay of Crystal River. Friday night was a fun night of card games in the Dogwood Hospitality Room.
The Plantation Inn, Crystal River - Where the fun was in 2016!
Saturday morning and afternoon were spent with free time where some members enjoyed the bar/grill poolside at Plantation Inn, a visit to Homosassa Springs State Park, or shopping at the Heritage Village and surrounding Crystal River area. Some members also enjoyed playing golf or taking a relaxing cruise down the river. Saturday night the group converged in the Plantation Inn Banquet Room for a fun night of the Derby Party.
Dan coaches Mike on the game of Poker..
We were served a very nice crackers/cheese/vegetable/fruit platter, along with a cash bar. It was fun voting on this year’s “Kellie Award” for the women and “Horse’s Ass Award” for the men. Bonnie Owen took the honors for the “Kellie Award” dressed in her striking red dress and hat, with Debbie Boone and Karen Grashel as runner-ups. Jim “Breeze” overwhelmingly took top prize as the winner of the “Horse’s Ass” award.
Carol, last years winner, presents Bonnie the 2016 Kellie with Greg nearby..
Greg Goodale was a big winner of the betting pool, winning two of the three pools. Karen Grashel also won one of the pools. Congratulations to both. After the derby party, everyone was on their own to enjoy dinner at a restaurant to their liking. After dinner, card games were once again enjoyed in the Dogwood Hospitality Room.
Ladies Derby Hat Winner Bonnie with the coveted "Kellie" Award.
Sunday morning we all said our goodbyes and headed back down the road. We were blessed with great weather, a beautiful venue, and of course spending the weekend with CCO friends. A big “Thank You” to Dan and Debbie Boone, and Don and Sue Bischoff for arranging for this year’s CCO Kentucky Derby Weekend and running the derby hat competition, and to Mike for handling the gaming and MC’ing the event!
Photo Credits - Herk, Breeze, Bonnie & Jim & Lloyd
CCO Carries Congress in St Patty's Parade...
March 8th, Winter Park - CCO's Will Helner continues to represent CCO well during Winter Park's St. Patrick's Day Parade, held on Sunday, March 8th. This is Will's second solo event out of three non-homecoming style parades CCO has been asked to help out with within the last year. Will's beautiful red C6 roadster carried Central Florida Congressman John Mica and his family along Winter Park's picturesque Park Avenue on a wonderfully sunny parade route lined with hundreds of waving spectators. Will's Corvette was one of over 75 units in what the City of Winter Park says is the only St. Patricks Day Parade in Central Florida. CCO is proud to participate in various Central Florida parade events each year. Within the last 12 months, CCO members Bob & Georgia Wellons and Will Helner have both hosted Congressman Mica in one parade each and Will has also volunteered his car to help Apopka High School with a special parade event. We're grateful for these member's dedication to support our community and for their unwavering support of CCO in Central Florida!
It's Stumpknockers! Another Mystery Solved...
60 CCO'ers fill a Stumpknockers dinning room...
Dunnellon, Florida - February 27 - Another Mystery Solved! CCO has got the knack at invading out of the way destinations with dozens of Corvettes, taking over dining rooms and enjoying a meal with friends. VP of Events Ed Merchut must have fun keeping these secrets from the rest of us until we all pour into parking lots covered by moss laden trees near cypress stained freshwater running rivers.
An oak covered parking lot full of Corvettes!
Florida has it all and this time Ed's pick for a mystery trip brought us to back-woods Florida at it's best. Our journey started in Mount Dora and drove us on back roads through little towns like Umatilla, Lake Wier, Marion Oaks, then just to the Withlacoochee River and to our destination - Stumpknockers.
Stumpknockers - "Where You Experience the Difference.."
Stumpknockers... a western Marion County hidaway with "that southern touch...," situated on the banks of the Withlacoochie River that's been serving up the best in "Catfish, Frog Legs, Sea Scallops, Steaks and of course Florida Gator..." for over twenty years. With more than sixty members in attendance, we filled one dining room to capacity. The staff was cordial, quick and efficient, serving up plenty of drink and eats to satisfy our 'mystery' appetites!
The beautiful Withlacoochee River...
After lunch, we all walked out behind the restaurant, captured a few photos and relaxed on the banks of the river before leaving individually for home. By the way, if you were wondering what a Stumpknocker is... Per their website: stumpknockersontheriver.com, "The Stumpknocker is a fish that has long been a part of Southern fishing lore. You’ll find these small bream-like fish hugging the submerged cypress stumps where they live and feed – thus giving them the name Stumpknockers. Stumpknockers are found in large numbers along the scenic Withlacoochee and other Florida rivers." Thanks to Ed and Sandra for another great outing on Florida's back roads to destinations we don't always know in advance. Stay tuned for more Mysteries and Taste of Florida events in the months to come!
Nick is attacked by Stumpknockers pet alligator but his injuries would not prevent him from being able to operate the clutch in his Z06 for the drive home...
CCO Annual Give Kids The World Gift...
Gators Dockside - Ocoee - Dan and Mike share our 2016 contribution with Lauren Zimnisky, Manager of Development at Give Kids the World last Wednesday evening during our monthly meeting of the membership. Lauren & the guys were all smiles during the presentation. Later we asked Lauren for some details to help us write this piece and this is what she shared: "Thank you so much for your continued support and for inviting me to your meeting last night. It is always such an honor for me to accept donations from incredible groups like yours. I just looked in our database and including the donation from last night the Corvette Club of Orlando has donated $18,072! That is absolutely incredible!! When I pulled up the total donations my face looked exactly like the [photo above]."
Having long been our primary Central Florida organization targeted for support, Give Kids The World Village is a 70-acre, non-profit resort in Central Florida that creates magical memories for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Since 1989, the Village has hosted more than 143,000 deserving families from all 50 states and 75 countries.
A very large and heartfelt "Thank you!" goes to all our members and valued sponsors that help us continue this annual tradition of giving back!
"The most magical sound in the world is that of a child’s laughter. That is what fills the air at Give Kids The World Village..."
History and Hotdogs... A "Taste of Florida" Continues!
Dade City Florida - Saturday, January 23rd. For some, it would be the coldest morning of 2016. The Blizzard of the Century was pounding the northeastern tier of the United States with several feet of snow, coastal flooding and ice. In Central Florida, CCO would not be deterred by a little windchill.
Our Docent at CC Smith Country Store - in full Civil War uniform!
After a wonderful two hour drive from Apopka we counted fifty-eight CCO’ers and guests at the entrance to the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village in downtown Dade City. Established in 1961, moved to the current location in 1975 and housed in ten buildings, the Museum complex pays homage to the true pioneer spirit that settled Florida in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Our group was broken up in several groups and assigned a Museum Docent to take us to one of several starting points; Trilby Depot, CC Smith General Store, Enterprise Church, Old Lacoochee School & the John Overstreet House. Our Docents were knowledgable, very entertaining and we learned a lot from them about life in those early pioneer Florida days.
Jon has just spelled 'Car' on the genuine 'Blackboard' but for unknown reasons, his teacher is NOT happy...
Next up, the final half hour drive to Brooksville and lunch with the gang at Coney Island Drive Inn where the motto is “Serving BrooksVegas since 1960.” Hotdogs a couple hundred ways, wings, beer, fries & root beer are highlights on the menu.
Coney Island Drive Inn's Impressive Menu...
In a ’Happy Days’ style diner, walls and shelves heavy with period memorabilia, fifty-eight hungry Corvette’ers lined up, ordered our grub, paid up and chowed down on a tasty meal - right out of the ’60’s!
CCO thanks VP of Activities Ed Merchut for coordinating another great ‘Taste of Florida’ back roads drive, finding more interesting places to visit and working with amazing places for us to enjoy a meal!
The CCO Gang Enjoys Hotdogs and all the fixin's at Coney Island Drive Inn!
CCO's Double Gold Sponsor - Nick's Family Diner!!
CCO's New Sponsor Tom Stanley!
Grills Lakeside Orlando
CCO - Lifetime Business Member