PEDVAC Fund Raising Shopping Bus Tour Succeeds Again

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Hello there, Vivienne here to report on the second annual PEDVAC fund raising shopping bus tour to Bangor and Portland, Maine and the Outlet Shopping Mall in North Conway, New Hampshire.

This year we had 44 participants compared to 26 last year and starting point was the Port Elgin Regional School. As pick up time was 06:00 hrs. still dark, this made it so much easier for drop off and pick up in the brightly lit parking lot than last year on the residential street where PEDVAC offices are located. We also made a stop in Sackville at the Home Hardware Store to pick up more people. Several tourists who were part of our inaugural group last year returned and the new people, young and old; who joined our group tour this year made it the great success that it was bringing even more fun and diverse interests. The more the merrier and PEDVAC will certainly put the funds raised to good use for the many programs which benefit so many throughout our region. All these numbers and reports are always available at the AGM in the Spring. Please do attend if you can. You will really be amazed at how much good comes out of this small group to help so many people throughout our region.

I must start by saying a great big “Thank You” to all those who participated this year for your kind cooperation, consideration and appreciation of me as a volunteer, reflected so generously in your collection and sweet “thank you” card. I must also apologize for the delay in writing this post and hope that you enjoy it nonetheless.

For our second year, learning as we get better at this, there were some changes as we went along which made the tour slightly different to the first year:

  1. We had requests to add Cabela’s (not in the original itinerary) to the tour this year, which we did after taking a vote on the bus, making all the hunters, fisherman, the brave lone man on the tour, Todd Trenholm and generally adventurous outdoors people very happy indeed. Thank you Todd for being our mascott! 😀
  2. We had a rotating seating plan which was loosely followed. Thank you to all of you who agreed to switch seats with those who had motion illness, allowing their family and friends to move with them so that they could sit together.  Many thanks also for helping me find your name on the seating chart to make boarding that much easier.
  3. We did not stop at the foothills of the White Mountains for our group photo as folks were quite tired after walking the outlets to shop ’til we dropped. So on our bus driver’s suggestion, we posed at the entrance of the mall with the moose. Try as I might, I just could not remember everyone’s name all the time. I remembered most some of the time, but that was the best I could do with so many on the bus and the absence of “dweeby” name tags. This is my meek explanation of the lack of names in the photo below taken by Brenda Trafford and graciously sent to me for which I am truly grateful:
PEDVAC Bus Trip 2013 group photo

PEDVAC fund raising bus tour participants, tour director and bus driver 2013

On the PEDVAC shopping bus tour 2013 fund raising

Fun on the bus. Much better than reading facts about the area.

We learn each year as we go to make the trip easier and smoother by allowing enough rest stops, tweaking the drop off places, making sure the eating stops are reasonably paced and timed for everyone and having enough down time to accommodate activity levels and pace for everyone.
Folks certainly did miss the cup holders at each seat this year for those of us wanting to carry a drink back onto the bus.

We had a 50/50 draw each day on the bus, handled by Diane Allen and Lynn Brander. Thank you ladies for a job well done! Congratulations to Bev Wood who won the first day, Jan Legere who won the second day and Sue Hawkes who won on Day3. Always nice to have a little extra shopping money! 😀

Surveys were given out at the end for feedback on the tour. The response was overwhelmingly positive about the tour and again we thank everyone for taking the time to fill them in making planning next year’s itinerary that much easier and tailored more for the wonderful participants who make this fund raiser ever more successful each year.

Shopping bags in the luggage hold PEDVAC annual fund raising shopping bus tour 2013

Shopping bags in the hold looking a bit alien 🙂

Clear large garbage bags were supplied by PEDVAC to put smaller shopping bags in for ease of unloading back at the hotel. Someone suggested I take a photo of the shopping in the hold when it was full as it looked a bit like something out of Star Trek all the bags, clear and egg-like. Eeeeewwwww, but what fun we had! By the time I got off the bus, Hal the bus driver was so fast helping everyone get their bags that not many were left so you’ll have to use your imagination.

Instead of the China Buffet group meal like last year, food stops were made at the mall and in places where everyone had a choice of fast food and restaurant food in most cases. At our North Conway stop, I really enjoyed a meal at Applebees with fellow PEDVAC board member, Brenda Trafford. Great meal and great company, thanks Brenda!

bus driver and tour director PEDVAC fund raising shopping tour 2013

Bus driver, Hal Arbeau and volunteer tour director, Vivienne Edwards

All that talking, I had to buy some throat lozenges. Ever handy and helpful Hal, our bus driver standing by as I get settled into my tour director seat at the front of the bus. At the Settlers Green Outlet Mall in North Conway, NH, the bus was set to be available for an hour to for us to drop shopping off half-way through our shopping time.  Hal, bless his cotton socks 🙂 was kind enough to give out more large bags as people returned with their shopping from the boxes on my seats and although we were late returning with ours, he was on the bus to unlock it for Brenda and I after we lost track of time at lunch. I feel that I was remiss not thinking to leave the movies on the bus in case he might want to watch one in his rest time. Thank you Hal for your great service above and beyond just driving us on our bus tour there and back safely.

It is indeed my pleasure to be the tour director each year on this fund raising bus tour to enable PEDVAC to continue its work as a Social Agency with outreach benefiting so many in our region and beyond.

For those of you unable to get out to the many craft shows or join us on the bus tour but wishing to help, we now have donation buttons you may use with your credit card here in the side bar of this Web site for general donations or donations in memory of a cherished one and gift certificates for the PEDVAC Boutique. Please consider using any of the donation methods you feel comfortable with.

Blessings for a safe and happy holiday season.

Vivienne Edwards

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