Saturday, February 24, 2018
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FromthepublisherWhen I received a call from Norma Moe at Casa del Valle RV Resort about a Ladies Christmas Brunch, I wasn’t sure what to expect – or how a male would fit in with a room full of ladies at a brunch. But when she said it was the park’s food drive kick-off event to help the children and families in a local colonia, I said, “I’ll be there Saturday!” And I’m glad I did.

What a treat!

As soon as I walked in the door of the rec hall at Casa del Valle I knew this was going to be really special. The decorations were amazing – all creating the theme “Down Candy Cane Lane.”

20171202 CasaDelValle ChristmasLuncheon JB 1025

Casa del Valle Brunch Chefs
These are the ladies who prepared the wonderful food for the Casa del Valle Ladies Christmas Brunch. From left to right are: Pat Billings, Linda Barnes, Nicole Dextraze and Diane Schneidmiller. Al Billings and Phil Schneidmiller helped in the kitchen as well.

Sandy Tegen and Norma Moe, co-chairs of the brunch planning committee explained how the brunch and the food drive came to be.

Several years ago, some of the ladies at Casa del Valle attended a Christmas brunch hosted by someone else outside the park, and they decided they could do their own brunch. But they wanted to do it with a purpose. So, they decided to use the brunch to gather food donations to help the children and their families in La Mesa Colonia in the Alamo area.

“We wanted it to be meaningful to get everyone’s hearts and minds into the Christmas season and to help those that are less fortunate,” said Moe.

I’ve always said, “If you want something done right, put the ladies in charge.” These ladies certainly know how to do it right!

The event was festive and fun. The ladies had fun playing a “right-left” game as Tegen narrated a crazy story about Mr. Wright (Right?) running an errand for Mrs. Wright while trying not to get lost. I was so relieved to learn that he was successful and didn’t get lost after all. There’s nothing like getting in trouble with the good wife. Whew!

20171202 CasaDelValle ChristmasLuncheon JB 1066

Texas Grandmas Quilters
The “Texas Grandmas” quilting group at Casa del Valle RV Resort made quilts to give to 20 needy families in La Mesa colonia, along with the resort’s food drive to help the families at Christmastime.

Adding just the right mixture of fun with a purpose, the ladies heard a presentation by Peggy Phillips, a Winter Texan from Bibleville (and Minnesota), as she explained the meaning behind the candy canes we give at Christmastime. This was a nice reminder of the symbolism behind one of the many traditions we enjoy at Christmas to help us remember the “reason for the season.”

Each of the approximately 120 ladies attending the brunch purchased a brunch ticket and brought a food item donation for the families. (Did I mention that the breakfast was marvelous? Yes, the ladies even fed me too, and I was happy to donate to the cause.) Many are also making monetary donations as well.

The ladies at Casa del Valle will be gathering more food and monetary donations until Dec. 15 to help 20 families from La Mesa colonia. If you’d like to donate, contact Norma Moe at 605-212-7932. Or just drop off your donation at the park office.

The ladies are also doing a toy drive for the colonia children. And the “Texas Grandmas” quilters from Case del Valle have made 20 quilts that they will present to the families.

20171202 CasaDelValle ChristmasLuncheon JB 1014

Ladies Christmas Brunch
Pictured are some of the almost 120 ladies from Casa del Valle RV Resort who attended last Saturday’s Ladies Christmas Brunch in the park’s rec hall.

What a wonderful, busy group of ladies at Casa del Valle! That’s what I love about Winter Texans. You are wonderful people!

What is Your Park Planning For Christmas?

I’d like to know what your park or group is doing to make Christmas special for those less fortunate. Call me at 956-580-7800 or email me at to tell me about any events you are planning, and we’ll cover as many as we can. Or, after you hold your event be sure to send us photos and a brief description of your park’s “Operation Christmas” events so we can share your stories in the newspaper and online at

Thank you for making Christmas just a little merrier for so many underprivileged children in the Rio Grande Valley. God bless you all!

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