RFWTV Hold Annual BBQ Fundraiser

A packed house for the RFWTV dinner

Last week the Republican Federated Women of The Villages welcomed international author and media personality Katie Hopkins to headline their annual BBQ fundraiser. The Wildwood Community Center was packed with members and their spouses. There were 287 tickets sold, and ticket sales for this year’s event surpassed last year’s sales by $1000.

Elected officials in attendance included Congressman Daniel Webster, Sumter Tax Assessor Randy Mask, Sumter Commissioners Roberta Ulrich and Andy Bilardello, VCDD-6 Supervisor Tweet Coleman, VCDD-10 Supervisor Holly Bell, NSCUDD candidate Ellie Decker, and State House candidate John Temple.

While the dinner is the club’s largest fundraising event of the year, it is their biggest philanthropic one as well. The club is donating a $500 check to the Florida Relief Fund. A slate of gift baskets were auctioned off and fetched the club more than $2800. The club, like any other in The Villages, has yearly expenses. Carol Mangan, RFWTV’s President, told the crowd what last year’s budget covered. The club purchased two new secure computers, paid for website development, funded registration costs for the state convention, and leased space for a phone banking system to help get the vote out for Republican candidates.

The RFWTV president Carol Mangan

Mangan emceed the event. In typical Republican fashion, the formal portion of the dinner began with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Mangan told the crowd the club’s membership has surpassed 200 people. She reiterated the club’s purpose of educating and activating the members into helping Republican candidates get elected to office. To that end, she said the club helped increase the number of Republican voters in the area and was heavily involved in issue advocacy. Specifically club members focused on fighting against CRT and supporting the Keep 9 Resolution (urging Congress to keep the number of Supreme Court Justices at nine). The club’s campaigning activities include the creation of “Walking for DeSantis” and the execution of a Get Out The Vote phone bank that made over 60,000 phone calls. Mangan concluded her remarks by thanking the board, local businesses that contributed to the club over the past year, and the club’s different committees.

Katie Hopkins was the event’s featured speaker

Dinner was prepared and served by OakWood Smokehouse & Grill. TC Chas provided the musical entertainment for the evening. After dinner was over, Katie Hopkins took the stage. Aside from being side-splittingly hilarious, she was immensely insightful and proclaimed her love for America and The Villages. “Someone put a ‘Don’t mind my driving, I’m English’ sign on my rental buggy.” Part of her schtick was to ask the crowd for the Americanized versions of British words and phrases- like golf cart. Hopkins spoke about the late Queen Elizabeth II. “She was the greatest queen England has ever had.” Hopkins said while the majority of her home country is “insane”, there are several million America- and freedom-loving people in England who “have your back.” Hopkins then told a personal story about her horrible experiences with COVID lockdowns in other countries. She quickly turned her remarks to American ideals. “Americans have freedom hard-wired into them.” She told the crowd they have the greatest Governor in the country, and she can’t wait until he is re-elected. She ended her remarks to a standing ovation from the crowd.

After Hopkins concluded, Mangan announced the winners of the gift baskets and reminded everyone about early voting.

If you would like more information about this wonderful, active club please visit their website,  www.rfwtv.org.