CCO Welcomes New Sponsors Eric Nompleggi and Trinity Brooks!
Home Page Archives - 2013-2014
CCO Cooks Up A Pancake Breakfast
DeLeon Springs State Park - On Saturday, February 9, 2013, twenty-four CCO Members cooked up thier own Spanish Sugar Mill breakfast fare on griddles in the middle of each table inside this historic water-wheel powered sugar mill. After an hour-long Corvette caravan through western Volusia county, we entered the State Park grounds, strolled leasurely to the spring's edge and awaited our tables & griddles. Pitchers of pancake batter, eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast and piping hot coffee was the order of the day. After breakfast, we strolled the grounds and enjoyed a brisk February morning among the oaks circling a natural pool of crystal clear spring water. Then, a few photos taken and we made our way back to the remainder of of our Saturday. Thanks to Don for setting up a delightful morning drive and a special Saturday CCO Breakfast!
See more Deleon Springs State Park & Old Spanish Sugar Mill Pics below/right in 'Latest Happenings!'
CCO Gives Back
Metro West Country Club, Orlando - Highly anticipated, the February, 2013 meeting of the membership of The Corvette Club of Orlando had everything going on! Club President Mike Nostro's agenda lead-in was the announcements on CCO's 2012 charitable fundraising results, with our main focus being support for Give Kids the World. Pictured above is Mike and Don handing over the big check to special guests Colette Krahenbuhl, Public Relations Manager and Kara Dhuse, Events Manager with GKTW. Colette warmly thanked CCO and shared some thoughts as well as a full-length NBC News Feature on GKTW for our viewing pleasure. Stay tuned for more announcements as the year progresses regarding volunteer opportunities and a potential visit to the facility!
Apopka, Florida - March 30th, 2013 - CCO Attends Invitational Show sponsored by Second Annual Apopka Music & Bike Fest.
Past Apopka Chamber of Commerce Chairman and his wife Terry are fellow CCO members and very involved Apopka citizens & businessfolk. The Levesques are not just Corvette fans, they're avid bikers as well. Fulfilling a long-time dream, in 2012 Wayne and Terry worked with the city of Apopka, local business leaders and the music & biker community to bring the first annual Apopka Music and Bike Fest to northwest Orange County. At this year's Second Annual event, Wayne & Terry added an invitational peoples choice car show - Exclusive to Corvette and Mustang owners. This was a well attended event with tons of food, drink, great music, vendors, beautiful bikes and cars! A cloudless day brought much sunshine, plenty of 'Vette and 'Stang spectators and time to reconnect with our group of die-hard car show-prone members. Peoples Choice? Well, it seems a well deserving classic Mustang and a mid-year Corvette, (not from CCO) took the honors today! Thanks to Wayne & Terry for including CCO in this year's event! See event photos below!
WWII Veteran Honored
MetroWest - At CCO's April, 2013 Meeting of the Membership, Senior Member Norman Goldner was honored for his service to our country during the Second World War. As thirteen other CCO members (see below) - all US Veterans of more recent conflicts, stood along side, Norman was presented with a special Veterans Cap embroidered with all the important details including his European Service Ribbons and his very own personal moniker "Slick 99" on the back. Originally trained as an infantryman, Norman's Army service career made an early shift to spending his time in England serving in supply staff support. Norman, we salute you and thank you for your service. Now, we always want to see you proudly sporting that new gold embroidered hat at every event!
2013 Homecoming Program Wraps Up November 1st
Sunday - October 27. Five Central Florida High Schools reserved their dates with CCO this year. On Friday, November 1st, CCO wraps up this season with First Academy's annual Homecoming Parade at halftime as the Royals take on Warner Christian.
CCO member volunteers can Click Here
to login at My CCO
to check the most current Homecoming schedule and to review location staging and CCO's Homecoming Coordinator contact info.
Thanks go to each and every member for stepping up this year and donating their time and Corvette! Giving back is the most rewarding part of club membership.
Finally, a great deal of thanks from the Board of Directors and general membership goes to Georgia Wellons and Sue Neokleous for coordinating this year's Homecoming Fund Raising Program. Their volunteer spirit, hard work, and dedication to the community is what makes all the difference! We would not be giving back nearly as much without these two ladies' help!
Beachfront & Wine
Flagler Beach, Florida - Although the weather was downright gloomy at times, Saturday morning, April 20, 2013, saw nine Corvettes along with their determined owners and riders leaving Central Florida to drive back roads in search of the Flagler Beachfront Winery on A1A.
Deep grey clouds followed us most of the way along with sprinkles here and there. The hour-long drive was a scenic tour with twisting canopy-covered roads, fields of wildflowers and fences where horses and livestock grazed the morning away. Even in the subdued light of this damp morning, spring was ever evident in the newly sprouted leaves and colorful blossoms at every turn.
There was crispness in the air…, and our tires seemed to hug the road a little more snugly.
Upon arrival, we were welcomed with great enthusiasm by our gracious host, Kelly. She was surprised we would drive our Corvettes on such a dismal day, but glad we did just the same. Kelly went on to explain just how she and her husband, along with three children, left their Ohio home & vineyards and with hard work and determination, made their Florida dream come true. The winery, newly opened in March of this year, sits directly on A1A across the street from the great Atlantic Ocean and it’s beaches.
For over an hour, we sampled various wines and indulged in a few bottles at our tables. Kelly served up flatbreads to accompany her wines while we watched the ocean churn just across the old highway. The experience was wonderful.
As might be expected, this enjoyable morning did not include the planned “beach day” part – as we all agreed to put sand and surf on hold due to the inclement weather. So, saying our goodbyes to Kelly & her staff, most of us turned the Corvettes south on A1A and had a late lunch at an ocean-side restaurant down the beach. After food and more socializing, everyone rolled out on their own, heading home or wherever the open road led them.
Despite a grey day and cold rain on this Saturday, the Corvette Club of Orlando enjoyed time together – discovering more of Florida. CCO – Friendship, Family, Fun!
Great times always!
See Photos to right in Latest Happenings.
~ Photos and storyline contributed by Rich C, Nick F and Patty L
Run For The Roses Best Hats Recognized
Sweetwater Country Club - Apopka, FL
- Saturday evening, May 4th saw almost 50 CCO members cheering on their favorite horse for the 139th "Running for the Roses" at a rainy Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. With hats festooned in all the feathered and flowered glory normally found at a botanical garden, our group gathered for the festivities at 4:00 PM. The bar opened and we settled in with refreshments and began the difficult task of selecting our favorite hats worn by our fellow members. Dinner was served as our men selected their favorite ladies hats & our ladies picked their favorite mans hat. Don kept us entertained by introducing all the men and ladies for review, reintroducing the Ladies award, 'The Kellie,' and showing off our new Mens Hat award category, 'The Horses Ass.' The voting took place and Don announced three men finalists, John, Paul and Mike. Finalists among the ladies were Susan, Sandi, Debbie & Patty. Soon after, the excitement in the room went to a fever pitch as the Churchill Downs gates opened and our favorite horses made their Run for the Roses
. Coming from the back in a half-track burst of speed, it was #16, "Orb"
at the finish! Lucky winners cashed in, more refreshments were served and Don began the second most anticipated part of the evening, announcing the Best Hat
Winners for 2013. Congratulations go to Susan and her bright, multi-flowered blue work of art and Paul, for his, well..., we'll just say 'unique thingy,'
for being our favorites. Susan & Paul will keep 'The Kellie' and 'Horses' Ass' each respectively for one year, and present them all over again to two lucky new Best Hat
recipients in 2014. Thanks go to Don for all his hard work on making this another special CCO evening. Thanks go to the helpful & friendly staff at Sweetwater Country Club, and of course, thanks go to each CCO member in attendance for supporting CCO!
For photos of this event - check out CCO's Facebook Group Page
and on our Gallery Pages
Festival of Speed
Mission Inn - Howey In The Hills - May 5th, 2013. Sunday was a crisp, beautiful morning. Looking forward to a great day, several hardy Corvette Club of Orlando souls journeyed to the Mission Inn in Howey-in-the-Hills for the 3rd annual Festival of Speed Concours d'Elegance. This is one of motorsports' premier gatherings in Florida. As the morning dew gave way to bright blue sunny skies, more and more cars of all eras began to arrive. Covering the first hole of golf at Mission Inn, our ten beautiful Corvettes were among the dozens of cars that came out to be seen this fine morning by many spectators. There were also Ferraris, Bentleys, Benz's, BMWs, Porsches as well as vintage and muscle cars of all eras, race cars and plenty of Camaros. Some really cool motorcycles made their way here and even a small plane landed on the fairway. One of the highlights of the day was the All-You-Can-Eat buffet offered by Mission Inn. Eighteen dollars and a paper wrist band allowed us a 'til your heart's content or stomach's fill (which ever came 1st), come back anytime you felt hungry, all day through 5 PM meal deal! Knowing our group of hungry freinds, guess who took full advantage of this opportunity several times throughout the day? John Bradham's beautiful '58 Corvette won the Vintage Spirit Award. Awesome job John! Spending a beautiful sunny Sunday morning with great CCO friends, awesome cars of all sorts, great food and fun overall truly brings our motto to life once again; CCO - FRIENDSHIP, FAMILY, FUN!
~ Story and photos contributed by Nick Francoforte.
Talladega Nights... and Days! Photo Galleries Now Complete!
Memorial Day, May 27, 2013
- From battleships & submarines, to poolside fun, museum tours, car shows to historic reenactments, pit road to victory lane, there's stories to be told, pics & movies to share. Below is just a taste of what we've now published in our Galleries area
. Also see CCO's Facebook Group Page as our CCO Pit Crew posts images and comments there as well.
CCO owes John & Barbara an immeasurable "thank you" for promoting this event, then organizing and executing everything to the last detail! And to our members in attendance; "thanks for doing your part to make the trip a memorable one!"
We must give thanks and remember... Freedom is not free. Vettes 4 Vets, 2013!
John & Barbara proudly display one of three official event banners signed by everyone in attendance - John won the fundraising auction and now owns this very special and collectible piece of memorabilia!
A touching Iwo Jima Flag Raising Re-enactment Ceremony - Performed by Veterans at the 2013 Vettes 4 Vets Annual Banquet, International Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum, Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln, Alabama
CCO lined up awaiting our first of two hot lap sessions on Talladega Superspeedway!
CCO's Bench Installed
Granite Bench Commemorating CCO's Core Values Placed in the NCM Courtyard.
Bowling Green, Kentucky - The National Corvette Museum announced on Tuesday, June 11, the long awaited installation of CCO's Commemorative Bench on the grounds of the NCM. The NCM is a 501-c3 organization and as such, is funded in part by various fundraising methods including the NCM Commemorative Brick and Bench Program. CCO has a long legacy of support for the National Corvette Museum throughout the entire nineteen years the NCM has existed and is proudly recognized as a Lifetime NCM Business Member. In early 2013, CCO's Board of Director's recommendation to acquire the bench was handily approved by the membership. Paid for by 2012 and 2013 fundraising efforts as well as several generous member family gifts, the bench is now a reality.
Engraved with six 'core value' statements surrounding our logo, this granite bench will now stand as a lasting tribute to who we really are as an organization - and it further shows just how passionate we are for the Corvette.
Our Bench is located in the prominent courtyard gardens area at the northeast corner of the lawn, just behind the huge red marquè NCM sign/tower out near Corvette Drive.
When asked about his response to the placement of Our bench, current NCM Ambassador Lloyd Johnson had this to say; "As a World Class Corvette Club, we are proud to support a World Class Corvette Museum Facility!" Former NCM Ambassador Herk Neokleous commented "I would like to thank all the CCO members who stepped up with their donations to make this possible. Job well done!"
CCO Appears in 'Southwest Orlando Bulletin'
El aboard her 60th Anniversary Grand Sport at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum
Southwest Orlando - CCO and the 60th Anniversary of Corvette has been featured in the Southwest Orlando Bulletin's June 20 - July 3, 2013 edition, thus again reflecting well on CCO's approach to Friendship, Family and Fun. We're featured in an article writen about Southwest Orlando residents enjoying their 'Classic' modes of transportation - the Corvette and Harley Davidson motorcycles. The Southwest Orlando Bulletin has set the standard in maintaining that 'small-town' feeling of bringing good news to the residents of Southwest Orlando since 1986. With a direct mail circulation of over 26,000, rack and digital sales in excess of 6,700, the Bulletin's total readership is in excess of 33,000 subscribers! Now that's good exposure! CCO extends a big 'Thank you' to Contributing Writer, Karen Contino, who recognized CCO's community impact and asked us for interviews and wrote a very complimentary article. The very newsworthy 60th Anniversary of Corvette, the fact our group obviously is recognizing and celebrating the 60th birthday as evidenced by the fact we have four 60th Anniversary Edition 'Vettes in our club was no doubt an attraction for the Bulletin. Pick up a copy at your Southwest Orlando area newsstand starting June 21! Or click to view digitally here. Thanks go out to Howard, Rich & El, Nick & Tom for contributing to the interviews for our segment of the feature!
Clarks Fish Camp & Old St Augustine
Don & Debi Get Close to a White Tiger at Clarks Fish Camp!
St Augustine - Saturday, June 14, 2013 - CCO traveled backroads and highways on this recent Saturday drive, finding ourselves on the eastern shores of the Saint Johns River at a very unique dining destination - Clarks Fish Camp. Fox News recenty is quoted as saying "Clarks Fish Camp is the number one reason to visit Jacksonville." And, during the last 30 years, Clarks has amassed what is "rumored to be one of the largest collections of wild animal taxidermy anywhere in the United States!" "Clarks menagerie of preserved animals includes lions, tigers, monkeys, bears, giraffes, dear, bobcats, etc. Their menu includes quality seafood, prime rib, chicken and exotic meats. They are fondly referred to by the locals as "The Peoples Place." Well, CCO sure enjoyed lunch and the atmosphere!
Then, it was off to Old Saint Augustine, and the highlight of the second half of the day - A boarding of the Tall Ship Replica - El Galeón.
In a salute to the bold Spaniards who sailed to Florida 500 years ago, El Galeón is sailing Florida’s Atlantic Coast, inviting visitors to come aboard this spring at four ports of call: Miami, Cape Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale and St. Augustine.
El Galeón is a detailed replica of ships that brought Spanish explorers and settlers to Florida after Juan Ponce de León claimed the land for Spain in April 1513. It is a floating museum and a living-history testament to the mariners who forged Florida’s history. The Voyage - Viva Florida 500 is commemorating the 500th anniversary of Ponce de León’s landing in Florida. The ship departed from Puerto Rico, where Ponce de Leon was governor, and is being sailed in much the same way his crew did.
To view photos from this CCO adventure, click here or navigate to our Galleries page.
A Mystery Trip to Yalaha Bakery - Howey-in-the-Hills
Corvettes staged at Yalaha Bakery, Howey-in-the-Hills
Yalaha Bakery - Howey-in-the-Hills, June 23, 2013 - It was a beautiful summer morning. Corvette Enthusiasts - some bright eyed and bushy tailed, some not, gathered for what turned out to be a mini-car show for the patrons of the Wal-mart neighborhood market. A total of 29 cars, counting 13 cars from the Jacksonville Corvette Club and 16 of ours combined with the Florida Corvette Club, all came together for a mid-morning Mystery Tour.
The Jacksonville club was eager to travel, and who would they think of other than CCO when it came to an innocent Sunday drive (what little they did know wouldn’t hurt them!) It was evident that after all the rains from the previous week that the drivers from Orlando were eager to get out and just stretch their sports cars. Or, could their eagerness possibly be from knowing the 24 hours of Le Mans was just starting halfway round the globe? (story continued on our Yalaha Bakery Gallery Page)
Click Here for the rest of the Yalaha Bakery and Mystery Trip story and photos in our Galleries ~ Contrubuted by Candice Gray of CJ Gray Photography.
CCO Visits with a Drag Racing Legend
Big Daddy's 'Swamp Rat VIII'
Ocala Florida - Saturday, July 13, 2013 - 48 CCO members in 25 cars drive to Ocala via the back roads of Seminole, Lake & Marion Counties to visit Drag Racing Legend "Big Daddy" Don Garlits' Museum of Drag Racing and his Personal Automobile Collection. 41 members then met at Margaritaville in the Villages of Lady Lake for a lunch gathering. We thank Herk for hosting this event and Ed for planning our back roads route. This was another Top-Notch CCO Event! See our Don Garlits Gallery Page for photos! What's next on our activities agenda? See the Upcoming Activities Rotator on the right side of this page or navigate to our Event Calendar Page for all the details! ~ Photos Submitted by Herk Neokleous
CCO Rolls Back Roads to MOSI
'Sea Monsters Revealed' Exhibit - MOSI, Tampa
Saturday, August 17 – Tampa - On a muggy Saturday morning almost thirty CCO members in their Corvettes met at Starbuck’s on Cagan View Rd in Clermont. Departure time for this back roads trip to Tampa was 8:30 AM. Ed – a fantastic route planner, out-did himself again with a fabulous back roads trip heading south, southwest and then west to the MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry,) slightly northeast of Tampa.
Once there, we broke into small groups and ventured into the unknown - where great creatures roam our oceans. We had access to the entire museum and a chance to see as much as we could take in. First, we watched the IMAX short feature film about great white sharks. It was simply outstanding to watch these creatures on screen as if you were in the water with them. The film was frightful, entertaining and educational as everyone watched in awe of these magnificent creatures and of those individuals who dedicate their lives to studying them and helping in their conservation.
We then toured Sea Monsters Revealed, an awesome exhibit of many different known and unknown sea creatures. There were excellent displays of creatures in full form, yet transparent, so one could see their inner workings. Many great comparisons were shown between human organs and aquatic creatures’ hearts, brains, lungs and such, to help the visitor gain a better understanding of how similar we actually are to our sea-bound relatives. We roamed at our leisure from exhibit to exhibit until the lunch bell starting ringing. What’s a road trip with a lunch plan!!!
Next, we drove to Ybor City and the infamous Columbia Restaurant. Even in the middle of the day, this place was so crowded that sitting as a group could not be arranged so we gathered at tables with whom ever we could sit with. Always on tap when this group gets together; laughter, friendship and discussion about the museum was the order of the hour as we dined well in this traditional Old-Tampa venue.
Our ‘Back Roads Trip to MOSI’ was another fine production. Thanks go to ‘Fearless Leader Mike’ who coordinated the trip, to Ed, for concept, a superlative route plan, and driving lead car, and to Susan for collecting museum fees ahead of time to get us quickly out of the heat! Guys, this is Corvette Club of Orlando at its finest, each time, every time. Until the next venture..! See more pics in 'Latest Happenings' on the right side of all site pages!
~ Story contributed by Nick. Photos by Nick, Mike, Don & others…
Mystery Solved... Destination: Lake Worth Beach
Sunday Morning Over the Intercoastal! Photo courtesy of Susan Adams
Lake Worth Beach, Florida - On Friday, August 2, seventeen Corvettes assembled at Florida Turnpike's Canoe Creek Service Plaza for a noon departure for somewhere south. Billed as a low-key beach weekend - destination unknown, we were all ready for a drive and some relaxation - CCO Style! By 3:30 PM and a Worth Avenue/South Ocean Boulevard 'Billionaires Row' tour, the mystery was solved. Thirty-plus drivers & passengers were either in or near the heated spa between the west wing suites and the intercoastal at the Fairfield Inn, Lake Worth Beach. Refreshments, snacks & laughter were in order as we relaxed after that 'spirited' Friday afternoon commute down the Turnpike! Damp weather and no sunshine (a tropical system hovered nearby) would not deter our spirits! Later, dinner was in the lobby after all contemplated what our phoned-in orders would be to the Italian restaurant Mike recommended. Pizza and pasta finished, the evening topped off with two tables of Hand-n-foot going 'till after midnight for some, a stroll to Mulligan's for a nightcap for others. Saturday found breakfast in the lobby and later, (tropical system still hovering nearby,) most of us headed over to the beach & boardwalk, pier, or the Lake Worth Casino (not a real casino) building for various shopping, ice cream and eats or local exploring, biking, etc. Poolside & Spa later Saturday, (a tropical system STILL hovering nearby,) and a group dinner at Mulligan's topped the evening. Hand-n-foot for the diehard card gamers again Saturday..., 'till?
Then, Sunday, (NO tropical system nearby-Wow how pretty it was finally!) Breakfast done, a handful request late checkouts and head back to the beach. Others begin their treck back to Central Florida. By nightfall - all are safe and back home and are sending Mike appreciative notes for another great weekend. We like these low-impact weekends! Thanks Mikey! See more pics in Mikey's Mystery Trip August 2013 Gallery.
Sunday's Buttermilk Sky..
52nd Running of the Rolex 24
The #3 Corvette C7.R in 2015 Z06 Trim
Daytona International Speedway - January 25, 2014 - CCO VP Howard Brown spent the first race day photographing the Rolex 24 and has posted a gallery of racing action in our Vette Racing, Shows and News Gallery. In their first-time debut, Corvette Racing's new C7.R teams didn't achieve that coveted 'Podium Finish,' but they both led laps and proved themselves as true endurance machines. The #4 machine finished the 24 hours 5th place in-class in spite of a twenty-minute trip to the garage for a transmission replacement. The #3 (photo above) ran hard for twenty-two hours but unfortunately went behind the wall due to a fatal over-heating issue. The Corvette Daytona Prototypes dominated in class, and overall. We congratulate the Action Express team as their #5 Corvette DP was overall race winner. Their #9 Corvette DP finished third overall. Wayne Taylor & Sons brought their Velocity #10 Corvette DP across the start-finish in second place.
Please see a full gallery of race images featuring all manufacturers in our 52nd Rolex 24 Gallery!
Annual Auction Set to Break All Records
Orlando - In the news for some time now, CCO's annual fundraising auction is set for Wednesday evening, April 16th, 2014, in conjunction with an abbreviated regular monthly business meeting. To provide ample space and a banquet-like atmosphere for this important event, we have contracted with MetroWest Golf and Country Club for a one-night return to their facility. We will be back at Gators Dockside in May. Dinner will start serving at 5:00 PM. Meeting and auction to follow. Check Calendar for more details.
We spoke with event organizer, Don Ianitelli and have this report as of March 24, 2014: "We have had a wonderful response from our members for sign-up. Thanks to more than seventy-five members who have committed to our event already." Don says "Please feel free to invite friends and family, but let us know for the head count at the restaurant, they can still pay at the door for a meal. Members and Sponsors, Your response to gathering the items has been outstanding!"
Don says he's extended a special invite to a music legend we've not seen or heard from in a very long time. And, he's had a positive reply. Could it be...?
When asked who could we expect to run the proceedings, Don replied: "Kurt Chana - CCO's very own Auctioneer Extraordinaire will be Master of Ceremonies - you will not want to miss Kurt's unique brand of 'Make the Sale' auctioneering prowess! He's fun and effective!"
Here's just some of the items Don has mentioned that are going up for bid:
- Tickets to the Orlando Science Center
- Golf Foursomes at Metro West CC, Celebration, Tuskawilla CC, and Solivita
- Eagles Tribute Concert tickets
- NCM Commemorative Items
- A Dyno Run at NEXT LEVEL PERFORMANCE
- BID ON A VERY SPECIAL WINE TASTING EVENT….you don’t want to miss this one!!
- $25 Dining certificates at places like NICKS FAMILY DINER…heck you can take someone to breakfast
- Some awesome surprises by Stoddard Plumbing such as Jim Stoddard’s green shoes - with Jim in them!
- Joey Stoddard, not to be outdone, is planning something too!
- Detailing by our Platinum Sponsor David Maus Chevrolet
- Limited Edition Rolex 24 Racing Poster Prints by Howard Brown - LouisAnnImage Photography
- Rick Woodley's got a surprise…what is it?
- Get your Corvette Detailed by some very special folks???
- Tons of Corvette Memorabilia
- Apparel, books and collectibles
- and a whole lot more - the really unique items will go at Live Auction - but you will see really nice items up for Silent Bid in our "CCO SILENT BID HALL" - just off the main dining room…..
Don leaves us with this note: "There is still time to maybe ask a retailer for a gift Certificate or perhaps buy one as a donation, grab a GROUPON or a LIVING SOCIAL certificate for something nice or bring a bottle of a great…you know….libation.
And New Members: Don’t be shy…this is your chance to help out the club and meet all the other members. Bring yourself, bring your items…don’t forget your wallet and check book, remember we can not take credit cards so cash or checks please. Susan will take CASH!"
Finally, Don is asking all Volunteers to please come early for setup.
"See you ALL there!"
CCO Road Trip To History...
Nina & Pinta Replicas Sail Into Ponce Inlet
Ponce Inlet, Florida - Wednesday, March 12 - This was another of Ed's great half-day road trips and billed as a 'Retiree's Only,' mid-week event. We think this may be the first of many similar new events, right Ed? Mike submitted a few photos below and the following comments: The day started at Bob Evans [at Lake Mary and I-4] and it was a rainy morning.
Fifteen CCO'ers in eight cars made the back road drive - another one of Ed's finest. The rain lifted just as we arrived at the docks where the Nina & Pinta were berthed, and the sun shone the rest of the day. The ships were awesome and really are great testament to the engineering of the day. Thanks to Ed for organizing this new mid-week event idea!
CCO Attends Venice Florida Corvette Show
Venice, Florida - March 16, 2014 - Fellow Club, Venice Florida Corvettes, threw a great party at Centennial Park in downtown Venice this past weekend. Nine CCO cars made their way down the West Florida Coast on Saturday for this Sunday show.
Some of us took a beach-side drive before checking in, while others gathered around the bar Saturday afternoon. Later, most of us made our way over to the event reception and buffet dinner between 5:30 and 7:00 PM.
Seems we all regretted not bringing our suits, as the beach and pier area and the hotel pool & spa were very inviting and the weather was almost unseasonably warm. We'll have to make up for no watersports this weekend when we cross the state in early May for Derby Day!
Sunday, registration began at 7:30 AM and by 9:30 nine Corvettes were all lined up in CCO's parking area, and within an hour, despite the high winds and dust - were all shined and ready. The Venice Club has a great following on Florida's West Coast as this show attracted near 190 Corvettes, and including their Club Cars, there were approximately 250 Corvettes in downtown this day. Plenty of vendors, nice door prizes, and a healthy 50/50 approaching $900 was up for grabs at the awards ceremony!
Two forms of awards were available - Participants Choice or Full Judging. Congrats go to Don & Darlene Heber and John and Barbara Bradham for picking up a Participants Choice Award in their respective C5A and C1 Categories. In the Judged Category, competition was really tough as the remainder of our group just didn't bring enough clean to bring home awards... Better luck next time to all!
CCO owes John Bradham, VP of Events a nice round of applause for coordinating a really fun weekend down south! Thanks John!
A sweet C7 at Venice Florida Corvettes - March 16, 2014
Another Breakfast Mystery Solved!
The Beautiful Mission Inn - Howie-in-the-Hills is no longer a mystery...
Howie-in-the-Hills, Florida - May 31, 2014 Ed's Mystery Breakfast for May started out at RaceTrac on Hwy 441 and Wolf Branch Road, Mount Dora. At 8:30 am nearly thirty cars pulled out headed east, then south, and west again across the muck farms of western Orange and eastern Lake Counties. Soon we were rolling up and down the hills so common in central Lake County until our driving directions brought us to an old Florida landmark - The Mission Inn at Howie-in-the-Hills. Long known for it's beautiful grounds, fine dining and traditional old-world accommodations, the Mission Inn has long been a fine convention, golf and wedding destination. It was not that long ago CCO attended a Concours quality car show at Mission Inn.
The La Hacienda Dining Room served up scrumptious breakfast fare.
After a short stroll uphill we found ourselves at the La Hacienda Restaurant - Mission Inn's main facility dinning room. A comprehensive menu of breakfast offerings - from fresh fruit to a made-to-order omelet station, and all the trimmings kept us coming back for seconds and thirds! Surrounded by beautiful garden views out every window, we enjoyed the food and each others company before heading our separate ways to complete our Saturday. Special thanks to Ed for the drive and arrangements and to John for promoting the event and keeping the roster!
Prez Mike gives the camera a wave in a room full of hungry CCO Road-trippers.
The blur of a fast bowler...!
Leesburg - May 18, 2014 About forty CCO members converged on AMF Leesburg Lanes on Sunday May 18th for an afternoon of fun and bowling. There was a lot of trash talking, laughing, and just good ol’ revelry. The highest game for the men was 201, bowled by Nick Francoforte. The highest game for the women was 193, bowled by Sue Bischoff. After getting their fill of bowling, the group headed to Zachary’s Restaurant, also in Leesburg. Zachary’s had set aside a beautiful room for the exclusive use of CCO. The special menu included fish, chicken, pasta and steak entrees. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food. While CCO’s gang will probably not win any bowling tournaments, the group seemed to really enjoy the camaraderie that existed while bowling. The buckets of beer for $10 probably helped as well!
~ Story by Don Bishoff, Photos by Susan Adams and Debbie Nostro
The gang takes the alley by storm...
CCO Dyno Day at Next Level Performance
Geoff Skorupa explains Steve Jone's dyno results as Nick and Bruce look on.
Altamonte Springs - May 10, 2014 - Club Sponsor Geoff Skorupa ~ AKA: Next Level Performance, held an exclusive Dyno Day for CCO Saturday. Members started arriving at Next Level after a record-attendance breakfast at CCO Sponsor, Nicks Family Diner... (wow, CCO has the greatest Club Sponsors!) By 9:30 AM at least ten Corvettes were in line for a horsepower / torque test. Geoff & Riana had drinks and snacks and plenty of chairs for the ladies who also came out for the event. As each car was set up in the dyno, the guys gathered around the computer screens eager to see results after each of Geoff's runs. After their run, Riana presented each member a nice laminated 'Run Sheet' that graphed their car's best-of-two run performance on horsepower and torque. Nice touch Riana!
Steve's C5 all strapped in for a Dyno Run.
Geoff is a very accomplished LS tuner and worked with each owner regarding tips and suggestions for squeezing even more power out of their motors. We were glad to see some members discussing additional tuning work that would be scheduled for another day. Thanks to Geoff & Riana for your support and a great day in the shop. Thanks to Don Ianitelli for event coordination and to John Bradham for publicizing the event. See more event photos at CCO's FaceBook Page or in our CCO Dyno Day 2014 Gallery!
CCO's Annual 'The Kellie' Recipient Recognized
Susan (left) presents CCO's Favorite Ladie's Kentucky Derby Hat Award to Debbie Boone.
Daytona Beach Shores - May 2-4, 2014 - CCO's annual Kentucky Derby Party weekend event just wrapped up and yes, we have a new 'The Kellie' recipient! All our ladies (and guys) were sporting all manner of Derby Tops, some humorous, some serious, some boisterous, some conservative, but all imaginative and fun! (See our 2014 Derby Gallery) After first balloting was complete and finalists Rena Woodley, Debbie Nostro and Debbie Boone were announced by Master of Ceremonies Don Ianitelli, we voted again for our favorite overall winner. Top honours went to Ms. Debbie Boone, decked out in a striking red-on-red ensemble that certainly took the Shores's Coastal Room by storm. Congratulations to Debbie on her most-coveted win. This award, fondly entitled 'The Kellie', honours the memory of Kellie Goodale, a long-time CCO member who lost finally lost her valiant battle against cancer some years ago. Kellie loved attending our Derby Parties, laughing, smiling and showing off her beautiful hand-made derby hats!
Rick takes home the 'Horse's Ass!'
In the CCO Men's Favorite Derby Hat category, Rick Woodley's imaginative race horse top took top honours. We suspect it was actually Rena's imagination and design that brought home the trophy. CCO President, Mike Nostro presented this especially saught-after award to Rick. Hey who wouldn't want a statue of a horse, backside in the air, proudly displayed in thier tropy case at home? Anyway, Rick seemed excited to be CCO's 2014 'Horse's Ass!' Congratulations to Rick!
CCO Gals & Guys ready to compete for our favorite Derby Ladies and Mens Hat!
This was CCO's Sixth Derby Party and our fourth venue to have hosted the event. Thanks to Don and John for making all the arrangements at The Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach Shores. This year, a storm system that had engulfed the north half of Florida dampened and chilled our Friday and Saturday - forcing all activities indoors. On Friday evening, CCO Member Ray Ingrassia found us a group of tables at 'Down the Hatch', Ponce Inlet's popular waterside bar and grill. Saturday, with pool, hot tub, sand and surf rained out, we played bingo, took long naps, shopped or did short road-trips through Tamoka/Ormond Loop and, oh yes, bar-hopped in the hotel lobby. The Derby event began about 4PM Saturday in the 11th floor Coastal Room - with hazy, but still wonderful floor to ceiling window views of Daytona Beach and the inland waterway. Our evening began with some small-time wagering, an antipasto tid-bits on one end, cash bar on the other and our big-screen in the middle to watch the 'Run for the Roses' where later, the chestnut colt California Chrome won it all at Churchill Downs. Payout's made, our derby hats competition winners were then announced, candid, couples and group photos captured for our 2014 Derby Gallery and then it was off for dinner at several select oceanside eateries for dinner in small groups. Sunday brought a sunny sky with a lingering bit of chill in the air as we watched children hit the pool and beach after an all-couped-up weekend! Breakfast coffee down or maybe a late check-out arranged, we all said our good-byes and headed back to reality. Another Derby Weekend in the books. ~ Editor
Please see our 2014 Derby Party Gallery for event photos!
Redneck Wine Tour Kicks Off CCO's Summer Season
Beautiful Label Artwork - And Good Wine at Tangled Oaks.
Country Roads of Florida - Our tour started in Mt. Dora with sixteen souls in eight Corvettes eager for a full day of motoring in rural mid-Florida. After a pit stop in Bellview, we rolled on through the backroads of Ocala Horse Country making our way to the ‘Gem of the Suwannee Valley’ — Chiefland.
A Classic Experience at Dakotah!
Our first stop was at Dakotah Vineyards Winery, just north of Chiefland. Based on the number of bottles and other merchandise the group purchased, this winery was even better than we had expected!
We departed Dakotah and headed northeast into High Springs for lunch at the Great Outdoors Restaurant. It was their annual “Pioneer Days” so parking was somewhat of an issue until we found a big patch of somebody’s grass.
Who gave us permission to park here?
After lunch we continued our tour - now heading generally southeast toward toward the Palatka area and the tiny town of Grandin, where we visited Tangled Oaks Vineyard. It was a much smaller family-run facility but still educational and fun to visit.
Departing Tangled Oaks, we started our last two legs of the tour with a stop at the Rodman Dam and a drive into Deland for dinner at Cooks Buffet & Cafe Bakery.
It was a Great Day spent with Great Club Members!
Thanks go to Ed Merchut for organizing the tour, leading the group & submitting these great photos and feature story! ~ Editor
CCO Annual Auction Shows Record Shattering Results
Don & Mike working for Kurt.
MetroWest Country Club, Orlando - On Monday, April 21, CCO VP Don Ianitelli announced record shattering news to the membership. Don says “Our Treasurer, Susan King has published our final results and I can now say Our Live Auction netted $4882, and our Silent Auction added another $1208! That's $6090!! All along, my goal for this year’s auction was to surpass
Kurt getting a 'All-In' Top Bid.
$3000 with the hope we’d get to $4,000. Last year, by comparison, we raised just a bit less than $2000. Yet, I'm not surprised that we surpassed our goal because of our people. I am very grateful to a group of wonderfully generous members. As a result we are looking forward to a more relaxed homecoming season, as our second major annual fundraiser now needs less intensity and will certainly be much less stressful.”
On auction evening, April 16, nearly one-hundred CCO members arrived at MetroWest, auction items under arm and in boxes and bags. Settling in — refreshments in hand, we began visiting and browsing the silent auction area, jotting our names and bids down when we found interesting items for bid. Soon, the buffet was served. Not long after, Elvis made his grand entrance, socializing and
Silent Auction is underway.
posing for photos with the ladies. Then Elvis took his microphone and in hand and crooned out a few well known golden oldies! At 7pm, Mike called a very short business meeting to order. Business done, Kurt got the live bidding started and for almost an hour and a half, entertained us — raising ton of dollars to boot! It was a long evening for our members and event organizers, and
we can’t thank everyone enough. When asked Don what he attributed our wonderful results to, he had the following to say: “The biggest of all ‘Thank you’ goes out to each of you, CCO members! You donated more items, and many were more valuable than was expected. There were more classy items and certainly many upgrades from last year. Many of you were not afraid to reach out to the business community and ask for a donation. Others of you let go of some of your favorite Corvette or even non-Corvette items for the good of the club. We can't thank you enough! And of course, lets not forget the members who were bidding on items including many overbids too. You’re the best!Thanks go to Susan King who was continuously busy all night handling the tally and collecting the monies. She
Marjean enjoys the evening.
probably had the toughest job of all. Thanks to Mike for helping me deal with all the live items and to John Bradham for sending out great emails as constant reminders of the event.
“ I want to extend special thanks to Jim and Joe Stoddard. You boys are the best! These two raised over $300 bucks by auctioning themselves off for a Stoddard Lunch. And Jim, you told me this wouldn't work! Thanks for keeping the faith. It had to be the shoes. And finally, If I’ve forgotten anyone please know it’s not intentional!”
Don’s last thoughts were to say: “CCO Members, we just couldn’t have accomplished these results as a group without your kindness, loyalty and determination. You really have the will to win! What we stand for goes beyond our basic love of the Corvette. We are a group of active folks who love the club as if it was family. I’m proud to belong.”
Jim & Joe do lunch with the highest bidder.
Jim's Green Wingtips - it must have been the Shoes.
Lake Wales - March 29 - Thirty Corvettes meet at Champions Gate. Departing at 8:15 AM, with well prepared directions given by top-notch navigators, we drive generally south through rural Osceola & Polk Counties on damp yet picturesque country roads. Then, Bok Tower rises above the fog - long in the distance. Soon after, a stop at Race-Trac.
Two more miles... Mystery Solved. Chalet Suzanne. A really nice Breakfast! After... shopping anyone? Thanks Ed! Thanks John. A big welcome to many of our new members for quickly joining 'Friendship, Family, Fun..!'
Susan and Mike present our check to GKTW Representative Lauren..
Orlando - Wednesday, March 19 - CCO's 2013-14 Charitable Giving Campaign came to a big conclusion at our March Meeting of the membership. Our year-long efforts were rewarded with much success as President Mike Nostro confirmed we'd had a 'banner year.' Initially announced at February's meeting, we were advised that our total gift this year would be split evenly between a donation to Give Kids the World, and the National Corvette Museum. A representative from GKTW was in attendance on the 19th and graciously accepted our gift - presented by Mike and Treasurer Susan King.
Letter of Thanks from Wendell and the NCM..
March signals the beginning of Spring in Central Florida. Spring brings a new season of outdoor enjoyment and fun - and also the ramping up of CCO's new year of activities, events and yes, efforts that allow us to give back. Up next: CCO's Annual Charity Auction evening - Wednesday April 16. More information can be found elsewhere on this site about this exciting event. Please plan your active attendance now!
NCM Director Wendell Strode seated on CCO's Commemorative Bench..
Earlier in March, our gift to the National Corvette Museum was recognized by NCM Director Wendell Strode with a very kind letter of thanks sent our way. Wendell also took the NCM photographer out into the courtyard where CCO's Commemorative Bench is located, sat down comfortably and posed with our check, being sure CCO's logo on the bench was visable and the trade-mark NCM red tower was in the background. Thanks to Wendell for braving the cold - we see the snow over his shoulder. Wendell wrote that CCO will be recognized in the Museum's America's Sports Car Magazine for our gift and representatives of CCO will be invited to Bowling Green to attend the 2015 Winner's Circle & Duntov Society Evening at the 'Bash' in April of next year! CCO has much to be proud of knowing we made a difference this year!
July Fourth Gathering a Real 'Blast..!'
Greg & Kay's signature smiles while preparing smoked specialties for CCO to enjoy..
July Fourth - Greg & Kay have this Happy Birthday USA thing figured out! Once again they open their home to CCO for an afternoon of fun with friends. An estimated forty CCO'ers showed up bringing favorite recipes to share along with Greg's signature smoked specialties. Needless to say we ate good. The dessert table was full including a custom decorated CCO sheet cake! Soon, CCO's two water volleyball teams went into heated battle, playing several games while the spa ladies dodged out of bounds serves. (Sorry there's no pics of gameplay...) Judges Jim and Dan managed to somehow keep the peace as the two teams loudly objected to almost every call.
The gang enjoying 'Fourth Fare' and pool fun..
After the games ended those in the spa and others waiting to take a dip gathered in the pool for a little low-impact fun and leasurely conversation. As the evening progressed we all began to anticipate Greg & Kay's now-traditional annual pyrotechnics display. As the sky darkened, their back yard lit up 'like the fourth of July' and we all enjoyed the show!
Where there's smoke - is there fire?
Happy July 4th from CCO!!
Thanks to all who attended and contributed to the food and fun! And a very special CCO thanks go to Greg and Kay for their very gracious hospitality. As Greg was heard to say over and again as we were departing "With CCO, it's always fun!" We would agree.
~ Photos and story by Howard Brown
"No Guts, No Glory" Trip a Big Hit!
Pahrump, Nevada - June 8 - 11, 2014. Ten CCO members and three guests - some with spouses and family members, left Spring Mountain Motorsports Park / Ron Fellows Performance Driving School on June 11th with new driving skill-sets and a newfound passion for C7 Corvette. All graduates of the Ron Fellows technique-intensive 'Level One' program, our guys are quoted as saying the school and the new Corvette both exceeded all expectations! The school was three full days of classroom driving concepts, on-track basic handling in dry and wet conditions, safety, shifting, braking and cornering exercises, all emphasizing enhanced visibility and awareness - all in showroom floor, stock C7 Corvettes. Instructors rode shotgun, demonstrated behind-wheel and lead or followed each student in small groups of four cars every day - communicating with us via two-way radio. Day three included several open-lap sessions where we were able to practice new-found high performance driving techniques. Over the three day period we racked up well over 200 miles of seat time. While we all learned new high performance techniques for on-track applications, the primary benefit will be that the skills gained in enhanced visibility, handling, shifting, braking and cornering concepts can be applied to everyday driving. And, as far as measuring our individual experiences with the new C7 Corvette - pushing the car to our own limits, we all know this new car has performance capability far exceeding our abilities! C7 Rocks! Spring Mountain is a state-of-the-art, motorsports country club with all the features any automotive enthusiast would ever need. If you enjoy spirited driving, be it in a Corvette or what ever one enjoys driving, a driving school at Spring Mountain should be on your must-do short list! Thanks go to a tremendous staff of Spring Mountain instructors headed up by Rick Malone and the support staff at the school and resort. Thanks also go to Don Ianitelli for his diligent work with the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School on school and condo arrangements at the resort, to John Bradham for publicity, and Mike Nostro for assisting many of us with after-school, Las Vegas accommodations at Caesars Palace and flight arrangements!
The Polls Are Now Closed!
November 10, 2014 - Opinion Polls are now Closed ((REUSE NOV/DEC 15)) at My CCO allowing CCO members to securely choose their favorite events and Corvette of 2014. Annually at our Christmas Holiday Party, CCO members who offered their time, effort and even their homes are honored with awards based on popular vote of the membership. We honor the member who was primarily responsible for planning our favorite Party, our favorite Single-Day event and our favorite Multi-Day event. Also honored is our pick for Corvette of the Year, selected from the individual Corvette of the Quarter winners. It's now time for CCO Members to login at My CCO and make their selections! A special thanks from CCO's Board of Directors to all those members who stepped up to help insure the Corvette Club of Orlando had a great time in 2014! Polls will be open one month and will close on December 10th.
Login here to Vote Your Choices!
CCO's Double Gold Sponsor - Nick's Family Diner!!
CCO's New Sponsor Tom Stanley!
Grills Lakeside Orlando
CCO - Lifetime Business Member