Author Archives: rgrafer

Porsches Take Over Ft. Myers Roadways for the Golisano Children’s Hospital & FGCU Food Pantry

Porsches Take Over Ft. Myers Roadways to Deliver Gifts to Golisano Children’s Hospital and Donate Food to the FGCU Food Pantry
Everglades Region PCA members John (JP) and Valerie Petracco arranged the second annual Porsche Parade to the Golisano Children’s Hospital. The goal was to bring smiles to children’s faces, support the fabulous Golisano Children’s Hospital, enjoy the holiday spirit and bring awareness to this fabulous and much-needed community resource. The event also featured donations to the FGCU Food Pantry. Click the Fort Myers New Press article to the right to see it in more detail.

The Petraccos organized this Porsche Parade as a joint effort between the Everglades Region PCA and Porsche/Exotics owners in their Fort Myers neighborhood, Gulf Harbour. The event took place on Tuesday December 11 and was wildly successful by all measures. All participants brought toys for the kids as well as 3-4 food items for the Florida Gulf Coast University Food Pantry. Azul, FGCU’s furry eagle mascot, was at Glory Days collecting the full pick-up truck load of food donations. Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies made sure the 80+ participating cars made it safely from the meet-up point, Glory Days restaurant on Daniels Parkway, to the Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Once at the hospital, cars lined up and gifts ranging from stuffed animals to games, cars and drones filled five rolling bins to be distributed from kids ages infant up to 18. Speeches were made and tears were shed. A check in the amount of $43,000 was presented to the hospital from the Bruning Foundation. All participants were welcomed on a tour of the hospital to view the bright, cheerful and loving facility where miracles happen for children and their families.

The was an incredible heartwarming event. If you missed it, you should definitely join in on the fun next year! Thank you to JP and Val Petracco for setting it up, to all the volunteers who helped with parking, the Lee County sheriff’s office for getting us there safely, FGCU for sending their mascot, Glory Days for letting us meet up at your restaurant, the Golisano Children’s Hospital for welcoming us with open arms, Terra Nostra Ristorante for the wonderful lunch and to all the attendees who participated bringing food, gifts and other donations. Special thanks to Dr. Larry Antonucci, President of Lee Health and Armando Llecu, Chief Administrative Officer at the Golisano Children’s Hospital for participating in the parade and welcoming our group. Also thank you to Tom Stuart, Gee Lopez, Steve Wassersug and Carlos Ojeda for taking charge of parking at Glory Days.

We are already planning to return for the 3rd Annual Porsche Parade in December of 2019. We’ll keep you posted!

Links with more detail:
Fort Myers News-Press Feature
News-Press Link to Video of Porsches En Route to Golisano Children’s Hospital
More Info About Golisano Children’s Hospital and Donating
More Info About FGCU’s Food Pantry and Donating

Tune-up Your Everglades Region PCA Membership

Tune-up Your Everglades Region PCA Membership

Southwest Florida is a melting pot of people from all over North America and indeed the world. This includes PCA members from other regions who bring their cars and Porsche passion to our beautiful corner of Florida.

So it’s no surprise we are frequently asked how to transfer PCA membership to the Everglades Region. Follow these simple steps to tune-up your PCA membership:

1) To request membership transfer to the Everglades Region, contact PCA National headquarters in Maryland. Email your request to or call 410-381-0911. Region transfers can only be made by PCA National.

2) Confirm that your email address and mailing address on file with PCA are current. You can view and update this information by logging into, select the Edit tab and follow the onscreen instructions.

If you are not receiving Panorama magazines in your Florida mailbox or Everglades Region emails in your inbox, PCA probably does not have your Florida info on file.

3) Update your Affiliate member information. Every PCA member has an opportunity to designate a family or affiliate member. This can be a spouse, child, parent, sibling or friend.

40% of current Everglades Region members have not nominated an affiliate! To take advantage of this free member benefit, contact PCA National by emailing or calling 410-381-0911.

Affiliate members can only be added or changed by PCA National. Include the Affiliate’s name, address and email in your request.

Questions? Contact Phil Castronova, Everglades Region Membership Chair at

Autocross Races the Clock and the Weather

Autocross Races the Clock and the Weather

34 drivers turned out for the joint, Everglades / Gold Coast Region autocross at Buckingham Airfield on December 9th. It was a race against the clock and the weather as the cold front moved into SW Florida, bringing wind and rain to the final hour of competition.

Fast raw time of the day went to Dave Wells behind the wheel of his Subaru BRZ.

Mike Drake was quickest Everglades Region driver, finishing third overall and first in Super Stock with his 991 Carrera S.

Tom Kring finished fourth overall and first in B Stock driving his Cayman S.

Complete raw and PAX results can be viewed here:
Dec 9th PAX results
December 9th Autocross Results

Once the rain set-in, everyone was treated to a display of wet weather driving by Bryan Heitkotter, nine-time national autocross champion and Pirelli World Challenge driver.

Everyone retreated to Il Primo Pizza & Wings for lunch and the awards ceremony afterwards. Thanks to Bill and Il Primo for taking us in!

Register Today for the EGR PCA Holiday Party!

Celebrate the Holiday Season with your Everglades PCA Friends!

Register online now to attend the holiday party! Click here to sign up using Club Registration!

Saturday, December 8, 2018
Longshore Lake Clubhouse:
11399 Phoenix Way in North Naples (off I-75 exit 111)

5:30 Cocktail Hour
• Feely Bag Contest
• Hors d’ Oeuvres Including Bacon-wrapped shrimp
• 1 drink ticket included
6:15 Annual Membership Meeting
• Awards Presented
-Membership Anniversaries, Contest & Raffle Winners
• Vote on Board of Directors
6:45 Dinner (Table Service)
7:30 – 10:30 Live Music by the Bill Colletti Trio

$50 per person. Includes a Caesar salad and chocolate dessert. Your choice of:
• Thyme-roasted Chicken Breast
• Seared Salmon Fillet
• Grilled Beef Tenderloin Filet

Space is Limited: Register today on ClubReg! Click here to sign up using Club Registration!

If you prefer to pay by check, email Hope to see you there!

PCA Juniors: Pass Along Your Passion

PCA Juniors: Pass Along Your Passion

If you are looking for a way to share your Porsche passion with the next generation, PCA Juniors is just the ticket.

PCA Juniors is a program for Porsche enthusiasts under age 18. As an active PCA member, you are eligible to enroll a Junior. And maybe best of all, it is free!

PCA Juniors was created so kids can enjoy PCA events, learn about Porsches and build the enthusiasm that runs through all of the Porsche Club of America. PCA Juniors will receive a welcome package that includes age appropriate gifts and PCA Juniors ID badge.

Simply go to and log in with your username / password. Click on Membership at the top of the home page and look for PCA Juniors on the drop down menu. Click on PCA Juniors, then click on Register for PCA Juniors Program Here. Complete the registration form and submit. That’s all there is to do and it’s free. How cool is that?

Caloosahatchee Cryptic Clue Rally: Epic Adventure Kicked off the 2018/2019 Driving Season for EGR PCA

Caloosahatchee Cryptic Clue Rally: Epic Adventure Kicked off the 2018/2019 Driving Season for EGR PCA

On Sunday October 26, Jenny Branston (Rally Chair) and Chris Branston (Past President) led 80 eager participants across several counties of the Everglades Region on the Caloosahatchee Cryptic Clue and Photo Rally.

Each year, a Cryptic Clue Rally kick-starts peak driving season for the Everglades Region. The destination is never revealed in advance. Participants are advised of the meet-up point and time upon registration. On the day of the event, each driver receives a clipboard with driving directions and must zero out their odometer at the meet-up point before starting off on a day of adventure, puzzle-solving and back-road exploration.

On this particular day, Manatee Park on Palm Beach Boulevard in Ft. Myers near I-75 exit 141 was the starting point. The directions sheet provided various clues at specific odometer readings and passengers were charged with looking around at that location for the solution to the cryptic clue. As mere puzzles aren’t enough of a challenge, there were also 12 photos of items along the route that had to be identified with a description of the location. Needless to say, our eyes were out on stalks keenly observing our surroundings. Amazingly, even after a decade of rallies, the Branstons continue to find roads most of us have never traveled before.

The Caloosahatchee Cryptic Clue and Photo Rally covered a total of 114 miles. The distance included a 40-mile stretch where rally-goers experienced the sheer, unadulterated joy and exhilaration of driving a Porsche on some of the very few curved roads in Southwest Florida surrounded by the roars and purrs of over 40 other Porsches on a perfect blue-sky day.

We traveled through back roads in Lee, Collier and Hendry counties. The route took us through rural estates and cow pastures, over bridges, along sugar cane farms, through panther habitats, by a bird-watching area and past orange groves. Participants spotted sandhill cranes, woodstorks and one very well-fed deer. Eventually we landed back in civilization at the charming and quirky Landsdowne Street Pub in Bonita Springs for a fabulous outdoor lunch. We enjoyed a great meal and swapped stories about the day’s adventures.

At lunchtime, participants had the chance to complete a craft project. We were advised to bring small photos and Porsche bits along to the rally but the project wasn’t revealed in advance. It turned out to be a lightbulb that could be opened and decorated inside and out.

No Cryptic Clue and Photo Rally would be complete without prizes! The rally winners and prizes were as follows:
1. Carlos & Maria Vasallo – Porsche Radio
2. Adrian & Bonnie Simonet – Porsche Radio
3. Tom Pitser & Marcie Wells – Porsche Coasters
4. Jack & Judi Bottoms— Porsche Coasters
5. Jenny & Tony Reed— Porsche Scarf
6. Delores & Jim Claeys— Edison Lamp
7. Gordon Wright & Chris Brandt— Patriotic Frame
8. Connie & Bob Schmidt— Moscow Mule Cups
9. Robert & Sharon Vigorito— Glasses
10. Gordon Browne & Barbara Carnes – Mango Candle
11. Scott Harle & Becky Grafer-Harle— Basket
12. Larry & Suzanne Pickering— Screwdriver Set

Prizes were also awarded for the lightbulb craft projects. The lightbulb submissions were anonymous and independently judged by the good sport bartenders and servers at the Landsdowne Street Pub. Winners and prizes were as follows:
1. Becky Grafer-Harle—Shells
2. Bonnie Simonet— Terrarium
3. Gloria Plyser— Oak Forest Candle
4. Brooke (member’s daughter) – Molton Brown Gift
5. Karen Kirkpatrick— Flameless Candle

When all was said and done, it was a thrill (and great luck) to spend the first day of cooler weather on an epic driving adventure followed by social time with Everglades Region PCA friends. Our members are from all different backgrounds and from all over the world, united by a passion for Porsche. Join us!

Register for Jenny and Chris Branston’s next driving event – a November 13th lunch run to Babcock Ranch, an entirely new solar town. You can find more information on this event here: Babcock Ranch lunch Founders square 10 20 doc Email to sign up.

2019 Porsche Parade in Boca Raton: Let’s Go!

2019 Porsche Parade in Boca Raton: Let’s Go!
Porsche Parade is the largest Porsche Club event of the year: our annual national convention. Parade offers a variety of activities and club members from all across North America come together for this once a year extravaganza to participate in a week of competitive events, to socialize and enjoy their cars, with seminars and tours adding to the event’s variety.

For many club members, Parade is their big vacation for the year. It provides them with an opportunity to see new parts of the country as well as to visit with PCA friends that they only see once a year, at Parade!The 2019 Porsche Parade will be held just a hop, skip and a jump from our region. Mark your calendar for July 21-28, 2019 and let’s head over to the east coast to represent the Everglades Region at this national event. There will be opportunities to volunteer!

Competitive Events:
5k Run/Walk
Concours d’Elegance
RC Cars
Tech Quiz
Gimmick Rally
TSD Rally

Other Events And Activities:
Art Show
Driving Tours
Ice Cream Social
Parade of Porsches

The 2019 Porsche Parade will be headquartered at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Details on the venue can be found on their website: Boca Raton Resort

Stay tuned for more information. Check out the 2019 Porsche Parade Facebook page at: 2019 Porsche Parade

You can also check the PCA National website to watch for new information: PCA National Website Porsche Parade

EGR PCA Celebrates Oktoberfest at Big Blue Brewing in Cape Coral

EGR PCA Celebrates Oktoberfest at Big Blue Brewing

Everglades Region PCA took over the Big Blue Brewing Company for an Oktoberfest party on Sunday October 14, 2018. Members enjoyed the opportunity to get together socially and celebrate all things German: Porsches, polka music, the chicken dance, schnitzel and of course, beer!

Eighty members and guests drove their Porsches to the brewery in downtown Cape Coral. Members traveled from as far south as Naples and as far north at Punta Gorda to attend. Although Cape Coral resident members Steve & Polly Crane didn’t have far to drive, they did enjoy two exciting laps around the new Cape Coral roundabout with vertical side walls. Upon arrival at Big Blue Brewing, our revelers found plenty of coned-off fresh pavement for a little pre-party parking lot car-gazing.

The party started at noon and our group was welcomed with Porsche banners and a plethora of Oktoberfest décor. We started out with small group tours of the brewery given by Big Blue Brewing’s master brewer. Many party-goers tasted the beer and weren’t surprised to learn that the “Lightest Thing Ya Got” cream ale was the winner of “Best Florida Beer 2018.”

The brewery tour was followed by lunch. Big Blue Brewing went all-out offering our club a menu of fabulous Oktoberfest favorites including beer-glazed bratwurst, jaeger schnitzel and Oktoberfest turnovers. Dessert was German chocolate cake.

Dave Noelken, President of the Everglades Region, gave us welcoming remarks. He introduced party-goers Susan and Mark Pelak, who were founding members of our club in 1997. Twenty-one years ago, the club held a contest and asked members to submit logo designs. Mark Pelak submitted his hand-drawn winning logo design: a Porsche 993 with an alligator tail (pictured). The 993 was the hot new 911 at the time. His design was used on the club newsletter “Gator Tales.” Years later, alligator legs were added to Mark’s design to create the version of the logo we still use today. If anyone knows who added the legs, please let Dave Noelken know!

President Dave Noelken took a collection for Hurricane Michael victims and reminded us that last fall our area was the one affected. Members contributed $135 cash on the spot. The Everglades Region matched this amount and sent a check for $270 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Michael victims.

The Oktoberfest festivities included a costume contest judged by applause volume. The winners of the costume contest were Tom and Robin Kring. With a very narrow margin, Gordon Browne and Barbara Carne came in second place. Both leading couples were wearing authentic traditional Oktoberfest garb purchased in Munich. We all enjoyed seeing these men in Lederhosen and the ladies in Dirndls.

Attendees were serenaded by the EGR PCA “Glee Club.” Our singers performed Que Sera Sera. We were all surprised to learn from our North Area Events Organizer Steve Wassersug that Que Sera Sera is on the list of songs that are very popular in

Germany at Oktoberfest. John Denver’s Rocky Mountain High is probably an even more surprising song of choice in Germany.

No Oktoberfest celebration would be complete without polka music and the chicken dance. Steve and Faith Wassersug led the dance sporting some amazing chicken hats. They were joined by dancers Anne Wardlow, Avienne Elverd, Rosa Kim, Caryl Noelken, Gordon Browne and Barbara Carne. Avienne Elverd, the youngest competitor, took home the prize for best chicken dancer.

Sincere thanks to Steve & Faith Wassersug for all the work they put into organizing this function. We also appreciate all of the on-site assistance from Cindy and Tom Stuart, JP and Val Petracco as well as Gee Lopez. Thank you also to Joe and the rest of the staff at Big Blue Brewing for making this day special for the Everglades Region PCA. Danke Viemals!

South Florida Autocross Drivers Tackle Sebring Concrete

South Florida Autocross Drivers Tackle Sebring Concrete

Everglades Region and Gold Coast Region joined forces to host an autocross at Sebring International Raceway on September 15th. Although best known for it’s road course, Sebring frequently serves as a venue for autocross events. For this dual PCA region event, the concrete paddock adjacent to turns 16 and 17 provided a blank canvas for the autocross course designers. Registration was open to Porsche and non-Porsche cars.

On Saturday morning, 35 drivers checked in, entering 19 Porsches and 16 “others”. The day started with a novice school attended by eight drivers including four from Everglades Region. Instructors Tom Kring and Steve Kidd reported school was a hit! Three of the novices are already planning to attend the next GCAC event at Buckingham airfield. Next on the program was the technical inspection, track walk and drivers meeting, the course went hot. With average recorded times in the 27 second range and a well balanced field, most drivers were able to enjoy eight runs in the course of the day.

Quickest raw time of the day was posted by Mike Drake from the Everglades Region driving his 2012 – 911S. Congratulations Mike!

Fast PAX (indexed) time of the day went to Everglades Region member Tom Kring, posting 19.448 seconds in his 2006 – Cayman S. Second was Everglades Region member Mike Drake, posting 19.656 seconds. Steve Kidd from Gold Coast Region was third quickest Porsche, recording 20.448 seconds in his 1989 – 944S2. It was great to have six women competing, with Zsa Zsa Blyden quickest, recording a PAX of 21.046 seconds in her Subaru Impreza WRX.

PAX and raw results for the entire field of 35 drivers can be viewed on the Everglades Region website under Driving Events, then the Autocross tab. Scroll down until you see the blue Autocross Results banner.

If you missed this autocross opportunity, stay tuned for bulletins on upcoming 2018/2019 AX events in the Everglades Region.

Special thanks to Tom Kring and Steve Kidd for pulling this multi-Region event together!

Zone 12 AMCM Charity Event Nov. 10 in Melbourne

Zone 12 AMCM Charity Event

Come out to the American Muscle Car Museum in Melbourne, Florida on Saturday November 10th from 1pm-4pm with all of your Zone 12 friends. This is where Space Coast holds their Autocrosses, but you’ll actually get to go inside to see all the amazing cars, displays and classic automobiles. This is a one-of-a-kind private collection. Your $40 entry (only $15 for kids) includes entry into the museum and a lite lunch and beverages.
Sign up on ClubReg:

AMCM is not open to the public, but they do open on special occasions to host non-profit fundraisers, car activities, and educational tours for school-age children. It’s a 123,000-square-foot complex that houses the personal collection of Mark Pieloch. Mark has been a car enthusiast for over 40 years and has amassed more than 250 cars, ranging from classic 1950s models to 1970s American muscle cars, to every color of Ford GT, to modern “sophisticated” muscle like a 2017 Shelby GT350R, and 14+ of the all-time most collectible Porsches.

Attendance will be limited, and your charity donation will go toward a great cause. The Wabasso School is a special education center serving students ages 5-22. Students are provided specialized instruction, so they can not only achieve academic gains but also increase their social, emotional and behavioral skills. They work to develop communication, daily living, and occupational skills to integrate successfully within their community. Come out and enjoy a boxed lunch with great friends at this amazing facility. We will also have raffles and a 50/50. So don’t miss the fun, and if you haven’t been to this fantastic facility yet it’s a must and don’t forget you’re helping a great cause too.
Visit for more information.

Hotel Options in Melbourne Area:
Hilton Oceanside Hotel in Indian Harbor Beach
– 20 minutes to the car museum
– best hotel on the ocean
– pricing from $ 150 to $ 200 per night

Holiday Inn Express
– brand new hotel, only a few months old
– 7 minutes to the car museum off Exit 180 of I-95
– $ 125 to $ 150 per night
– great free morning breakfast

Fairfield Inn & Suites
– 10 year old hotel in very nice shape
– 6 minutes to the car museum off Exit 180 of I-95
– nice free morning breakfast too.