The annual VHPAF reunion was held at the Sheraton East Hotel in Tampa on September 26 – 29 2013. About 70 members and guests attended and all reported having a great time. Kudos to Don Welch and Gary Harrell for organizing the reunion. About 30 members came on Thursday 26 September and helped set up for the reunion. Registration, Sales and Memorabilia were set up in three connected rooms which turned out to be a perfect arrangement. Setting up together provided more security and also allowed workers to chit chat when things slowed down. So many members just came and congregated in the three rooms that we never used the gathering room. The LOACH was located just to the side of the main entrance to the hotel and we got lots of great comments from other guests who were staying at the hotel or attending meetings in the conference center. The Hospitality room was located on the second floor with a large balcony overlooking the main lobby. The free bar was located in the hospitality room and Barry Speare proved to be an outstanding bar tender with help from Chris White. The Hospitality Room was the hot spot after events. A pizza party was held Thursday night in the Hospitality Room and there was more than enough to go around. Friday the membership attended a cookout at the Hillsborough County Veterans Park. The catered meal was a great success and members got to visit the park that the late member,Jim Basta, was so instrumental in updating. Many members had not been to the park before and all were very impressed with the many displays located around the park. We usually keep the little bird in the park when not taking it to support functions around the state.
On Saturday the annual meeting was conducted by President Tom Rountree. Changes to the Chapter Constitution and By-Laws were unanimously approved by the membership. New officers were elected or re-elected as follows. Chairman of the Board: Gary Harrell, President Tom Rountree, Vice-President Frank Hoover, Secretary Mike Waugh, Treasurer Tom Tomlinson, Membership Secretary Don Welch, Web Master Frank Hoover, Listserv Manager Chris White, Assistant Listserve Manager Dan Madish, Representative to the Hillsborough County Veterans Council Dick Doty.
The 21st annual reunion dinner was held on Saturday, 28 September. A social gathering was held prior to the formal dinner. The dinner proved to be excellent and the chocolate desert was the hit of the event. It was so decadent that many could not finish it.
A special thanks goes out to all who volunteered to help make this event the success that it was. Almost half of the attending members contributed in some way or another.
Next year the reunion will be held at the Crystal River Plantation