All was good at the Good Sam Missouri State RV Rally Friday where attendees were playing games, participating in a benefit cake walk, buying raffle tickets and getting ready for an ice cream social inside the Mathewson Exhibition Center.
Missouri State Director Sharon Waddell, of Ballwin, said 10 states were represented and more than 375 people were signed up to attend the annual event. The Missouri Good Sam organization is made up of 24 chapters and the rally has been coming to Sedalia each fall since 2013. The rally officially began Thursday, but many members arrived Tuesday and Wednesday on the Missouri State Fairgrounds to register. The event will end Sunday.
“Good Sam is an RV organization, although it’s been extended that you can stay in motels or tents, if you like,” Waddell said. “It’s just a group of people who like to get together and have a good time and camp and travel.
“You can say we have food, fellowship, fun and friends,” she added. “You meet lots of friends. When we leave here, we’ll go to Kansas, Sunday. We have people here from several states.”
Waddell said the members in their region follow a rally circuit in the fall of Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. In the spring they attend rallies in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.
“You know, one of the things that’s real nice about going to an RV rally, is if it’s a place you haven’t been,” she noted. “You park and it doesn’t cost you as much is if you were in an RV park to stay overnight.”
Good Sam staff members provide little amenities for the attendees such as coffee and donuts, biscuits and gravy, pancakes and even ice cream socials. Live entertainment is provided for four nights of the rally. Members also have the opportunity to visit interesting places in the towns they visit.
“We have some friends that came to this rally and they visited the Sierra Bullet company for a tour,” she said. “They have been out to the Bothwell Lodge and they went down to the Katy Depot. It’s a good thing, but then they can come back here and every night we have entertainment.”
Waddell said she has been a member since 2002 and has been the state director since 2013. Her position as director will end this year and Scott Leven, of Springfield, will take the helm.
Arkansas State Director Bill Nery said the six regional Good Sam directors would be presenting Waddell a tree made with $20 bills shaped as flowers Friday evening. The gift is in honor of her service to the Missouri State Good Sam Club.
Leven said he and his wife have been members since 1999 and they have traveled to 27 different states.
“The Good Sam Club has really been just like a big family for all of us,” Leven said. “The local Good Sam members in the Sedalia metro area and beyond should come out next year in September, we’ll be at the fairgrounds again.
“We really like Sedalia,” he added. “We are going to continue to come back here, at least for a couple more years. We really enjoy the hospitality the city has to offer for us.”
“All of the merchants in town are very nice to us,” Waddell added.
“Local merchants have been outstanding,” Leven added. “You know, we’ve got probably close to 400 people here, and they love to eat, they love to go see the sights, and they love to go out and visit local merchants, so it’s good for Sedalia and it’s good for us as well.”
“We love Sedalia,” Waddell said. “My husband and I come to the state fair every year, and we are one of those who come a week early and stay for the whole thing.”
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.