Heroes of RVing

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August 23, 2011

Good Sam members Don and Marilyn Buller rallied a group of RVing volunteers to rebuild homes in the wake of natural disasters. Sue and Monty Scales quit their construction jobs and drove to New Orleans to put their skills to good use following Hurricane Katrina. Richard Daniels adopted a stray dog he encountered at an RV campground and ultimately founded a network of homes for strays and a no-kill animal shelter.

These admirable Good Sam members have something in common beyond making the world a better place. They’ve all received the Good Sam Club’s RVer of the Year Award.

Once again, it’s time for Good Sam members to recognize outstanding service among RVers and vote for your favorite candidates in our fourth annual RVer of the Year election. Find out about this year’s worthy nominees below, then go to GoodSamClub.com/vote to get the rest of the story and cast your votes daily through the end of October. You’ll need to register or sign in on the website before voting.

Let’s give a big hand of applause to these members who’ve gone out of their way to lend a helping hand.

Ted Caine
In 2009, Ted Caine founded a unique charity that provides financial support to needy citizens of British Columbia and promotes community engagement in the giving process. With mostly small donations and little corporate support, Citizens Care Giving Circle Foundation has assisted more than 60 families so far, sent 50 kids to camp and started a hot-breakfast program that feeds hungry children and their families, along with providing funds for women’s shelters and transitional housing.

Muriel Greene
For 28 years, Muriel Greene has overseen the collection of handmade quilts, school supplies and personal-care items for shipment to needy communities around the world. Muriel has responsibility for four Midwest collection points and makes arrangements for trucks to transport the donated necessities to the nearest Lutheran World Relief warehouse. To accomplish this charitable mission, Muriel and her husband, Ken, travel 700 miles in their motorhome each year.

Sharon and Duane Thiel
Sharon and Duane Thiel and Sharon’s children from her first marriage have traveled to veterans’ hospitals in all 50 states in the name of Sharon’s first husband, Darrel L. Vik, who died from lung complications after being exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam. As part of their music-therapy mission, the family presents rolling carts packed with CD players and cases of music CDs. As they travel in their motorhome, the couple continues to spread the healing power of music to hospitalized veterans across the country.

John and Joyce Williams
Since taking an offer of early retirement 14 years ago, John and Joyce Williams have volunteered their services building houses and helping out in children’s homes, church camps, homeless shelters and soup kitchens for RV groups ranging from Habitat for Humanity’s RV Care-a-Vanners division to RVs on a Mission. They spend at least six months of every year away from home actively doing good deeds, having logged nearly 40,000 volunteer hours and always paying their own expenses.

Dave Wolfsen
“Tractor Dave” Wolfsen spent this past summer driving his bright red 1937 tractor across the country to raise money and awareness for Christian Reformed World Relief Committee’s Disaster Response Services and Foods Resource Bank. Initially, Dave towed a 20-foot camping trailer and planned to tractor through 48 states but had to scale back because of sweltering heat and mechanical trouble. He also has participated in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and traveled to Nicaragua to help organize farming projects.

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  1. Marcel & Jennette Ethier

    It is too bad there will be only one selected as RVer of the year because in our book they are all RVers of the year. There are so many out there doing so much with such little recognition. You are not forgotten and will always be remembered by those whose life you have touched

  2. Ward Smith

    In an time when so much of what we see in the media seems to glorify greed and deception it does my heart good to acknowledge people quietly helping others. It proves once again, RVing is a caring community.

  3. Debra Thacker

    Thank you to all who make a difference in other peoples lifes. Your deeds don’t go unoticed.