July '20

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22 • RV PRO • July 2020 RV PRO SPECIAL SECTION Good Deeds Amid COVID-19 Red Bay Acres Gives Out 850 Free Plates of Food to Town At a time when the folks of Red Bay, Ala., were under a lot of stress as the impacts of COVID-19 were beginning to be felt in the community, representatives from Girard Systems and the Red Bay Acres RV Park pitched in to give as many as they could a night off from cooking. Marcia Girard and Johnnie Mathiesen opened the Girard Systems factory in Red Bay in 2019. When they saw the need for an RV Park with amenities, they decided to open Red Bay Acres, themed after the TV show "Green Acres." While under construction, several customers asked if they would have food, which resulted in the formation of the Red Bay Yacht Club. The Red Bay Yacht Club is now a casual full-service restaurant with food made from scratch. Girard and Mathiesen have expressed a desire to support the many visitors and residents of Red Bay, so when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, the couple felt a genuine desire and need to help the Red Bay community. A decision was made to develop a "Feed Red Bay" effort that would sup- port and feed the residents. About 1,000 plates of spaghetti were prepared and donated to the community and guests at Red Bay Acres. A team and group of volunteers came together to make this effort a success. More than 850 plates of spaghetti were handed out. The team reached out to many shut-ins through the local churches. Church members came and picked up delivery plates that were taken to those who could not come on their own. Likewise, Mayor Charlene Fancher helped by making sure first responders were aware of the outreach, while plates were made ready for hospital staff and many others who were able to come through the drive-through. Every effort was made to safely prepare for an event that would bring a pleasant surprise and much-needed meal to residents. RV Country Donates Motorhome to Nevada Medical Center "Business-wise, it has been pretty slow," RV Country President Curt Curtis told RV PRO in early April. It's a common theme across the country as the COVID-19 pandemic dampens, at least initially, what was to be a very promising year for the RV industry. However, even in a time of struggle, dealers are showing why they got into this business in the first place: People. When Sparks, Nev.-based RV Country saw how health care workers at Northern Nevada Medical Center were battling the coronavirus on the frontline, the dealership donated a 2015 Holiday Rambler Vacationer as a place to rest. "Our community has truly come together during this crisis, and we are grateful to RV Country for supplying a tem- porary RV for our staff," says Helen Lidholm, BSN, MBA, CEO/ managing director for Northern Nevada Medical Center. "This resource will allow our staff to take a much-needed break during their shift at the hospital as well as access comfort items." "The health care workers' response has been overwhelming," says Curtis, who said that one facility is testing more than 400 people per day. "They were just beside themselves that we were willing to participate. And for us, we wanted to give back to the community and in some way." He says it was an easy decision, adding, "The reality is that the RV business is not super busy right now." RV Country has continued to flex those philanthropic muscles by delivering more motorhomes to fire departments and other essential workers in the battle. "It's so refreshing to know that this industry has people that care about the community and the wherewithal of other individuals," says Curtis. "Our employees see that. And knowing what (these motorhomes) are being used for makes them feel good as well." RV Country donated use of a Holiday Rambler Vacationer to a local medical center. Girard and Red Bay Acres teamed up in March to feed the local community, including first responders and many shut-ins.

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