Above and Beyond
Good Sam’s Chapter of the Year is the best of the best
Each year since 1975, the Good Sam Club has chosen a Chapter of the Year that exemplifies the Good Samaritan spirit, and 2015 was no exception. A panel of five judges scored each nominated chapter based on last year’s volunteer hours, charitable donations and other philanthropic pursuits. After the votes were tallied, the 2015 Chapter of the Year award went to — drumroll, please — the Utah Deer Sams.
Based in Orem, Utah, the winning chapter provided more than 21,000 hours of volunteer service last year, as well as collecting money and donating goods with a combined value of more than $23,000. From quilting blankets to raising cash, chapter members constantly came up with new ways to use their skills to help local charities.
Putting their creative talents to work, members donated 136 homemade blankets, 67 knit hats, 49 stuffed animals and 108 pillowcases in 2015. These handcrafted goods went to an assisted-living community and shelters for the homeless and victims of child abuse and domestic violence. Members also stitched 36 superhero capes to help make young patients feel special at the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
Remember the old saying “The train is leaving the station”? The Utah Deer Sams take this to heart. Each year members volunteer at the Heber Valley Train Pull for Special Olympics where locals attempt to pull a 178-ton locomotive 30 feet in a fundraiser that benefits the Law Enforcement Torch Run. The chapter set up, kept score and served as official timers at the 2015 event, in addition to taking applications.
But they didn’t stop there. Members fired up their grills to cook hot dogs at the annual Halloween party to benefit Rise, a nonprofit organization that provides services for adults and children with developmental and other disabilities.
Throughout the year, the Utah Deer Sams also found time and funds to support their state’s Good Sam Club organization. At the 2015 Utah Good Sam RV Rally at Cherry Hill Resort, the chapter organized the Crazy Golf tournament and the Theme Parade, judging the parade floats and making sure both activities ran smoothly.
Music producer Quincy Jones once said, “Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old, shared a little of what he or she is good at doing.” For members of the Utah Deer Sams, those are words to live by.
Chapter of the Year Honorable Mentions
Phoenix Phun Phinders: East Phoenix, Arizona
Trail Blazing Sams: Tampa Bay, Florida
The Good Sam Club has over 1,200 regional chapters of RVing families that get together for good times and good deeds. Joining or starting a chapter is a great way to have fun and meet people who share your interests. www.goodsamclub.com/chapters