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.
For Details and to Register for Events go to the Members Only Page
Dec 1, 2020 Cat Boat Adventure Tour
Dec 11, 2020 - Palm Gardens Lunch
Dec 17, 2020 - Dinning Out with Tom and Anita - Goblin Market
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!
Blackwater Inn and St. Johns River Tour
On February 26th we started out at Laurel Manor Rec Center on a cloudy cool day. We didn't go with the tops down but the ride was definitely scenic as we went thru the country side and Ocala National Forest.
We arrived and checked in with the first group already on the boat and ready to go. So we went in the Blackwater Inn and found out they opened the downstairs main restaurant for the Convertible Club. We were the only ones in there. We all sat with a great view of the waterfront and marina. The seagulls provided some entertainment and we talked and went over the dinner menu. Whatever we wanted was available. They don't normally open until 4:30pm. The servers and staff were very friendly and the food was excellent.
We walked around a bit after lunch until the boat returned and then we were off Captain Bob who was very entertaining and knowledgeable about the flora and creatures we observed. We got a little damp and chilly when the rain started but we all had a good time and enjoyed the tour.
Article by Michael Mathews and pictures from Martha Lafortune
You can see the birds and gators in the GALLERY
Don't forget to support the 50/50 Raffle at the next meeting!
Toys for Tots
I love this commercial. I always get a lump in my throat when I see the look on this kids face when the marine holds out his hand. Well you can be that marine this year by donating to the Toys for Tots. Joe Apichella is the biggest kid we got and this year he is asking for our help by donating to this very worthy cause. We all know someone who can use a helping hand around the holidays. This is what the season is all about. It is not only a religious celebration but also time to spread joy to those around us. We all feel good when we see the gleam in a child's eyes when they open the present you gave to them. I want that feeling to last for a long time not just Christmas morning. This is going to be a tough year because of the Covid -19 virus. We are asking that you donate money to the Toys for Tots campaign. The marines can buy what they need cheaper than we can at the store. We will reduce the risk of spreading the virus by writing a check. Joe and Pauline are asking you to write the checks to "TOYS FOR TOTS" send the check to Joe Apichella at
916 Adams Lane, The Villages FL 32162 if you have questions you can find his contact information on the leaders page on the Convertible club web site. Please give generously for those in need.
Thanks you from the Apichalla's and Mathews familes.
Singing Christmas Trees
Another blessed start to the Christmas season was enjoyed by 98 of the TVCC members at the Singing Christmas Trees 2019.
Where we were all met by Santa at the Eisenhower rec center and drew random seats tickets pairs.
We headed out for an enjoyable ride over country roads. First stop was made at the Yahala bakery. We continued on towards Orlando through the rolling hills, lush countryside and marvelous vistas The beautiful Florida lakes, Orange Groves, horses, cows, estates, etc. made for a great Tops Down ride.
We had 12 reserved tables for dinner so we were able to find and locate a seat more easily. The dinner buffet was scrumptious and the “all you could eat” dessert bar a big hit.
Next We sent to “The Bethlehem Village”. Then onto the performance which was unique again this year with a whole new genre.
The Pageant was complete with Mary on a donkey coming through the audience as well as the camel and wise men.
One of our group touted that the “HALLELUJAH CHORUS” was the best they’d ever heard.
Another great trip from The Villages Convertible. See you again next year for a brand new show.
Written by Maureen Wilson
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.
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
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.
VCC Road Rallies
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
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
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