RVers who come to Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort in Casa Grande, Arizona, for the winter are active, environmentally aware and generous.
They recycled 80,000 aluminum cans and 40 tons of paper last season, with the proceeds going to the local food bank. They donated 500 gifts ranging from basketballs to bicycles for distribution to needy children at Christmas. And they raised $15,000 to fight cancer with a two-day program that included golf, tennis, lawn bowling and horseshoe tournaments.
Those are just a few examples of the volunteer efforts and charitable giving at Palm Creek, a luxurious 270-acre RV resort midway between Phoenix and Tucson.
General Manager Wendell Johnson said it’s an older population, but an active one, that starts arriving at the resort every November. From 300 summer residents, the population swells to a winter peak of 3,000, drawn by more than 100 activities—everything from bingo and billiards to Pilates and pickle ball.
Johnson said the activities reflect the improved health and vigor of today’s older population. “There is no comparison,” he said, between the active seniors of today and the sedentary seniors of a generation ago. Just look at all the people 65 and older on the softball teams at Palm Creek, he said. And, of course, it’s not just softball. The centerpiece of the resort is an 18-hole executive par 3 golf course that gets plenty of play. There’s also a swimming complex, tennis courts, pickle ball courts, a manicured lawn bowling area, shuffleboard courts, fitness facilities and more.
Dancing, games, social activities, clubs, educational classes and numerous other offerings keep residents occupied. The woodworking room is often a beehive of activity, with 150 people working on projects. The sewing room is busy from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Residents often use their time and effort to benefit others. Quilts are made for soldiers in Iraq; pillows are sewn for homeless shelters. Many volunteers teach classes or work in the mailroom at the resort; other volunteers help in the community by working at the humane society and with other organizations. Johnson estimates that residents contributed $60,000 in goods and services to the community in the past year.
One of the highlights last winter was the Cancer Awareness Program. Volunteers and staff members made 1,000 luminarias, which are paper lanterns created by placing sand and candles inside little paper bags. The luminarias were set along the palm-lined road from the main gate of the resort to the clubhouse. For $5, residents could buy a luminaria and attach the name of a loved one who had experienced cancer. One of the residents of Palm Creek, John Ross, is a balloonist, and he brought his huge balloon to the event to be illuminated along with the lighted luminarias.
Sales of the luminarias, plus sports tournaments and a two-mile walk and bike ride, succeeded in raising $15,000 for the Susan G. Komen campaign to cure cancer
Johnson said the two-day Cancer Awareness Program was so successful that it will be expanded to three days when it is staged again in February.
Palm Creek Golf and RV Resort has 1,862 spaces for RVs. In addition, the resort offers 400-square-foot park models and two-bedroom, two-bath village homes. For information, phone (866) 486-1432 or visit ww.palmcreekgolf.com.