Members of Villagers for Trump made their message known loud and clear Saturday afternoon – the American people need to support the president’s call for a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
The members of the highly popular club turned out en masse – 378 golf carts, most with more than one occupant – for a “Build The Wall” parade that kicked off from the Barnes & Noble parking lot in Lake Sumter Landing.
From there, the group made several passes around Market Square and then headed for Spanish Springs Town Square to share their message through horn-honking golf carts decked out in plenty of signs, American flags and other patriotic decorations.
Throughout the parade route, shouts of “Build That Wall” could be heard at both town squares. Most of the spectators along the route gave thumbs up or shouted their approval, though some, like Greg and Dorothy Duncan, of the Village of Hemingway, protested with a sign that read, “Dump Wall Dump Trump.”
“I’m not in favor of the wall,” Dorothy said. “It’s a stupid idea.”
Bill Smith, who was riding in the parade with his wife, Donna, said he had no problem whatsoever with protesters expressing their views.
“This is America. This is what it’s all about,” said the Village of Briar Meadow resident. “You get your chance to speak up. There’s people with signs saying to ‘Dump Trump’ and everything else. It’s America. And because of things like security and if the wall was built, they would even be safer to do just that,” added the retired educator from Hummelstown, Penn., who just last month made quite a splash at the Spanish Springs Town Square Christmas tree lighting event by wearing a bright red-and-white suit and Santa hat that lit up.
“Keep America secure!” Donna added as they drove away and continued on the route around Lake Sumter Landing.
Saturday’s parade also included four young voters riding in a cart with a large cutout of President Trump attached to the back of it. The cart belongs to Villager Delinda Osdan, who lives in the Buffalo Ridge area, and was being driven by her 21-year-old son, Chris Parco, of Leesburg, who was joined by Roy Wiles, 23, of Summerfield; Timothy Merkel, 23, also of Summerfield; and 31-year-old Brianna Dyer of Ocala.
“We voted for Trump last time,” Wiles said. “That was my first time able to vote. But we’re part of all this.”
“We’re not part of the clubs but we’re here to show support,” he said.
Added Parco: “We can’t make it into the clubs yet, but they said it’s good to see the youth participating.”
For Judy Jones, of the Village of Mallory Square, Saturday’s event was the chance to join with friends to show their support for the president and the things he’s trying to accomplish. She was joined in the parade by neighbor Claudette Richards, and she called it a “more than wonderful” event.
“These people are good Americans,” she said. “I’m grateful to be living in The Villages. We’re grateful for the people who put this together and the hard work they do. These people work year-round, so God bless them.”
Jones added that she thought the turnout of 378 golf carts was amazing. And she predicted the next Villagers for Trump golf cart parade would double that number, vowing to be one of the first to sign up for it.
“You better know I’m going to be there!” she said with a huge smile, adding that she’s never missed any of the group’s golf cart rallies. “I’m going to have my golf cart decorated even more and I’m going to be decorated even more!”
Jeanne and Phil Martin, of the Village of Charlotte, stopped to get their photo taken next to fellow Villager Dick Clapp’s customized red Yesteryear golf cart that included a light-up sign flashing an American flag. They both agreed that Saturday’s event was a huge success.
“It was pretty neat,” Jeanne said. “It’s exciting to see a large group of
For the two leaders of Saturday’s event, Villagers for Trump Action Committee Co-Chairs Sue Cianci and Donna Hoak, having such a large turnout and making sure participants had a good time was the goal from the beginning. The two paced the parade in the lead golf cart, with Hoak driving and Cianci manning her megaphone.
“I yelled, ‘Build The Wall,’ and we got thumbs up,” she said. “Sometimes you got thumbs down, but most of them were thumbs up, which is great.”
Cianci said participants also appreciated the fact that Villagers for Trump members sold signs reading “Trump 2020” for $2 and small American flags for $1. And “Build The Wall” signs were free, she said.
“Build The Wall, it’s not building houses for illegals. That’s what I said,’” Sue pointed out with a chuckle.
Hoak also labeled the day a huge success, adding that she expected a large turnout because the weather was great and the snowbirds from up North are here.
“It was a lot of fun and everybody enjoys it,” she said. “And it’s a chance for people to act like kids again. Everybody likes a parade.”
Members of Villagers for Trump have held several successful golf cart in the past. In October, a contingent of 383 golf carts and about 800 people turned out to show their support for Republican candidates running in the November election. In August, they staged a rousing ‘Red Wave’ rally with horn-honking golf carts traveling through Lake Sumter Landing and Spanish Springs Town Square. And in March, 60 carts roared through Florida’s Friendliest Hometown with participants sporting signs and American flags to show their support for the president.