The Villages Convertible Club - - - also known as the best "topsdown" club in The Villages was founded in 2009 by now president emeritus, Jim Judd. The club is open to any resident of The Villages who owns a convertible.
For the convertible to qualify, it must be identified as a convertible in the manufacturer's specifications, be any make, model, color, or year, and must have a fully removable or retractable top. The vehicle must be located in The Villages.
Club meetings are the second Thursday of every month (except July and August) at 10 am in the Bradley Room, Eisenhower Recreation Center.
Click on the Membership tab above to find more details on joining the club.
Membership Renewal Email will be sent at 6 am on October 15.
If you missed the email, go to the Members Only page.
For Details and to Register for Events go to the Members Only Page
November 14th 2019 Lunch after meeting at Havana Country Club Details and Registration Open!
December 6th Mt. Dora Christmas Walk and Dinner Details and Registration Open!
December 7th Singing Christmas Trees Details and Registration is FULL!
December 18th Dining Out with Tom and Anita - Goblin Market Details and Registration is FULL!
December 18th Stetson Mansion Tour Details and Registration is FULL!
December 19th Enchant Christmas light maze in St. Petersburg Details and Registration Open!
January 5-8th 2020 Key West Tour Registration is Full!
February 12th Annual Dinner and Dance. This year it will be held at Katie Bells. Details and Registration Coming Soon!
February 24th-25th Florida State Capital Springs to History Tour Details and Registration Soon!
April 14th-16th 2020 Georgia on My Mind Details and Registration Coming Soon!
Before you start your car...
Do you know how to adjust your mirrors?
I learned something by watching this video. Check it out!
Here is a link on setting up your seat and steering wheel for better operation of your car!
Capone's Dinner and Show
We started out at Eisenhower on a sunny top down day and headed for an hour drive to Kissimmee for a matinee show of a roarin 20's speak easy show.
After we were seated the drinks began to flow from our attentive servers Bottles and Vito. It wasn't long before the servers started us toward the buffet line where there was plenty of food. My plate was over flowing when I got back to the table and even with just samples I did not get to try everything on the menu.
Soon after we finished round one of the food the show was beginning to start. Ms. Jewel and Fingers came out told us that to fool the coppers we had to divide up in sections and we were all family (We were a good Italian family called the Ricardi's). When pointed to we were told to say Heeeeeeeey!. We were all made to feel like family while the servers kept the libations coming. As part of the mystique were we suppose to be the Italian Opera Lovers Society there just to enjoy the music and food.
As part of a surprise I arranged to be part of their skit and presented my wife of 35 years an anniversary present. Everyone including my wife was floored when she realized that I had put things in motion to present her with a gift. It will be an event we will remember for along time.
After the show everyone came by to see her bracelet and to thank us for putting together a wonderful event. We really enjoyed seeing the happy faces during and after the show.
Written by Michael Mathews
See more pictures in the Gallery.
Joe (Toys for Tots) Apichella
Some may not know this but Joe was 7 years old when he received his first Toy for Tot. (Well let's say he was around at the time) That's right folks he was there at the beginning and he continues to give back for the one of the greatest charities performed at one of the greatest holidays. This guy fills up his garage with toys and delivers them to the Marines for distribution.
Christmas is time for giving and sharing with others who otherwise would have nothing.
Well The Villages Convertible Club will once again support this wonderful cause. Everyone is asked to bring an unwrapped toy or check made out to Toys for Tots for the next two meetings (October and November) Please give a child a happy with the memory of a welcomed gift.
Every year Toys for Tots needs new unused toys or donations so they may buy the gifts needed. Last year they had to spend $8000 to provide gifts for 8 to 11 year old boys and girls. So remember if you purchase a gift please try to remember that older children are in need also. See Joe in back while he is taking your money for the 50/50 drawing.
Please play the video above and hear some of the history of this program. You will be amazed at some of the events this organization has responded to.
I am always proud to see the participation by our members who enjoy knowing there will be smiling faces on Christmas Day because they were able to give a helping hand.
Happy Holidays to All
Joe and Pauline Apichella
Michael and Ann Mathews
VCC Road Rallies
2019 VCC Car Show at Lake Sumter
On March 15th the club hosted the annual car show at Lake Sumter. The weather was great, all the tops were down and the crowd loved the display of our favorite toys.
George Ortiz and his crew put on a great display. George happens to be in charge of the Special Events. We presented quite a variety of vehicles. Some new and we had some antiques that are always a favorite.
We would like to thank George and his gang for making this event one of The Villages favorites.
You can see the cars and members present in the GALLERY
Don't forget to support the 50/50 Raffle at the next meeting!
Held on April 10th and also on the 12th, this year’s Road Rally was put together by Kathy and Frank Dolence, Jan and Steve Brown. We set them around Coleman, FL, skirted in and around Lake Panasoffkee, with clues and riddles along the way.
Whispering Oaks Winery was our final destination, where we sorted out the answers, determined the winners, and awarded prizes for the top three spots for each day.
Winners from Wednesday the 10th:
1. Christine Syfert and BonnieMason
2. Carl and Pat Chew
3. Jane and Bill Mackinnon
Winners from Friday the 12th
1. Roger Akers
2. David Kanches and Sue Hill
3. Glenn and Carolyn Croteau
We enjoyed the beautiful setting, the meals, the wines, the music, and the exquisite company!
Until next time,
Submitted by Steve Brown
See more pictures in the GALLERY
St. John's Paddleboat tour
Rollin on the River!
Arriving at the Marina ahead of our group of 122 folks, Nan and Mark Leverentz (trip leaders) were there to welcome our bunch of river rats to board the Barbara Lee Paddleboat. Once aboard, the cruise director covered the safety info, introduce our service staff and crew, shared the day's agenda... but most importantly, released us to dig into their sticky buns!
Some folks took their beverage outside to listen to bits of historical and wildlife tidbits while sucking up an absolutely perfect day on the water. Others sat and listened to the entertainment provided in the main cabin, enjoying the view, and making friends as the galley was busy preparing our meals.
A PA announcement got our river cruisers heading back to their seats to enjoy the extraordinary meals which staff served quickly. Nan, Mark, Jan and I checked in with the tables after dinner, and all the feedback was A+ on food and service.
Mark and Nan are new to The Villages and the Convertible Club... yet didn't hesitate to jump in and do this trip. If you didn't get a chance to meet them/thank them... please do... they are fun people.
This trip (again) checked all the boxes for a great day in north Florida!
Submitted by Steve Brown
More images will be in the Gallery
NAME TAGS AND STICKERS
After joining you will receive your name tags and stickers for your cars. Jan Brown has them at every meeting ready for pick up. Members can also make arrangements with Jan to pick them up at her house. If you have questions about membership, please contact our secretary and membership chair, Jan Brown: or 352-633-6073.
10th Anniversary Dinner Video
Click on ARROW to Play Video
VCC MEMBERS TOUR
BIG CAT RESCUE IN TAMPA
Today, we took 50 members on a beautiful day in January to Tampa for a visit to the Big Cat Rescue. Some of the back roads were traveled and the tops came down. The staff was very attentive to us and answered all of our questions before we started. We were split into 3 groups and shown an informative safety video on how to behave around the animals. It told us who the tour guides were and who brings up the rear. I was especially pleased to see that they provided a golf cart and driver for those who could not walk for the 1.5 hr tour.
Our tour started with the tigers and I was amazed at the size and weight of these beautiful animals. There were many different species of felines kept and cared for at the rescue. There are Lions, Tigers, Cougars, Leopards, Jaguar, Bobcats, Lynx, Ocelots, Savannah Cats, Servals Cats and a Siberian Lynx. Each having a disturbing story of how they were literally rescued by Big Cats.
Even though I have two domestic cats at home the guide taught me a thing or about feline behavior that I did not know before. Most of the personnel who care for and give the tours are volunteers. They have worked there a number of years and were quite well versed on the history and behavior displayed by the animals.
When you see the pictures of the animals in cages is does not reflect the size of the area they are allow to move. These animals could not defend or feed themselves in the wild. They are mostly animals bought as cubs and displayed to the public for petting. When they get an unmanageable size they are discarded or destroyed. The Rescue gets these animals after being removed from an unhealthy environment. These are not zoo or circus animals.
For lunch we went to Smokey Bones right around the corner and had a good meal and conversation with friends who went on the tour.
I am posting a link to the web site for the BIG CAT RESCUE. Go see the work they are doing. You can support them just by gong to see these amazing animals and how they are cared for.
See more pictures in the Gallery
We have celebrities in our Club
The Convertible Club had some members honored by being interviewed by the Daily Sun about their passion for cars. In December Greg Stickney and Cheryl Calabro were featured in the Wheels section for their 2008 Chysler Sebring. They have trip leaders many times for the Club. Januray Janet and Mike Weese had their day in the Sun about their 2017 Vette. Janet and Mike have been to many events with the club along with Cheryl and Greg. Janet helps VP of Communications Kathy Dolence with the announcements you get about trips or events with the VCC. In February Eric and Sandy Puryear made the pages of Wheels with their 2001 BMW. Eric and his car have been in multiple homecoming parades. Congratulations to All!
Here are links to the newspaper articles. 2017 Corvette
The Hudson Show Palace
"The Rat Pack Lounge"
We started out at the Eisenhower on a beautiful top down day after checking in and we got our tickets and instructions on how to get there along with what to expect upon arrival.
After being seated we are met by our servers who are also members of the cast. During intermission we saw the individual actors serving their designated areas and passing out desserts. We got to complement them on their performance and could not wait to see the rest of the performance.
We were turned loose on the buffet line by colors given to you when you came in the door. The food was good and in no time we were all smacking our lips and enjoying the company at our table.
The Show is about Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. who are in heaven, but God tells them they left some unfinished business back on earth. Frank made an unfulfilled promise to Vic, the owner of the Rat Pack Lounge. Now they have one night to make things right in order to secure their place in heaven. They come back to earth and take over three people in the lounge. They are there to prevent Vic from ending his life by showing him what he can really do.
The show was very entertaining. The actors portrayed the rat pack very well. They captured their mannerisms right down to the way Sammy shook his leg and tap danced during his routine.
It was nice to meet the actors/singers after the show, they were very pleasant and appreciated us being there. We had a good time and I hope the Club goes again next year.
Written by Michael Mathews
Check out the fantastic pictures submitted to the Club in the Gallery
Three trips to the Howie Mansion
As a special note: This trip was in demand. So the Club put three trips together. The Club was able to find three sets of leaders to take 50 members each day.
(This is write up from the trip on the 23rd of January)
Started off a little cool but all seemed enthused to be headed out to see Howie Mansion. Some were "brave" enough to go tops down on the way there. Most all headed home with tops down. Tour itself was wonderful. Learned some history about the area and about the Mansion itself. The detail in the architecture is amazing.
The house was built during prohibition and Howe had a hidden Speakeasy in his basement that was accessed through a secret door. The secret door opened up from behind a panel in a bookcase in the library. The tour guides were very informative and helpful in answering questions and providing information on its history.
For the last year and a half the newest owners have been renovating the home to bring it back to its former luster. I'd say they are doing a great job of it. In addition to the tours, there is a 2 bedroom cottage above the garage that can be rented out any time of the year. The home itself can be rented for weddings and other special occasions. It would make a beautiful backdrop for weddings.
After the tour some folks headed to JB Boondocks, Mission Hill, or Yahala Bakery to get a bite before heading home.
Written by Debbie Lomonaco
The Escape Game Orlando
The Villages Convertible Club traveled to Orlando Tuesday morning, June 4th, via beautiful vistas and orange groves before being locked into “rooms” at the Escape Game Orlando.
Forty members divided into groups of 8 to work as a team to find clues to exit a series of rooms within an hour. All five of our teams made it in time, including the Wilson-led team, who had 2 minutes and 26 seconds to spare. One team made it with only on 2 seconds still on the clock.
Written by Bruce Wolfe
Dining Out with Tom and Anita-Stumpknockers
The Village Convertible Car Club 🚗 had a special treat as 30 members visited Inverness for dinner and conversation.
The weather was cold and no one went with the tops down, but with seafood on our minds we traveled for about 30 minutes to Stumpknockers on the Square.
We were greeted by the manager and he immediately set up tables in the front for our large group. The waitress was there in a flash and took our drink orders and the conversations started. The talk quickly turned from the weather to places we have been and want to see.
I heard a lot about how members were surprised at the variety of places we go as a club and had no idea some of the venues existed.
The meals came and no one was going away hungry. I wish I had saved some room for that 6 layer carrot cake. I enjoyed the stuffed flounder and I could see a large variety of meals being passed out. The prices on the menu were reasonable and service was great.
Thanks again for Tom and Anita for putting together another successful "Dining Out".
Written by Michael Mathews
The Bok Tower Garden Tour
40 members set out for Lake Wales on Thursday, May 2.
We split into groups for our tour of Bok Tower Gardens. We were escorted by very knowledgeable docents (Dawn and Rhonda). Not only did they speak about the history of Bok and the area, also shared their knowledge of the plantings. Did you know: it is illegal to crow cotton in Florida and President Coolidge is the only President to visit Bok Tower. The Tower has 4 bald eagles symbolizing America.
Lunch was at the Blue Palmetto Cafe.
After lunch some members headed back to the Tower to listen to the live performance by Geert D’hollander who is the resident carillonneur.
Other members headed to Pinewood Estate for a tour of the house and gardens which was built in the 1930’s for Charles A. Buck. It has 12,900 sq. ft. of living area and the gardens were designed by Olmsted.
We had a few sprinkles, but overall the weather was delightful. We got our steps in, about 3 miles of walking.
Written by Martha LaFontune