MFGRC Honors Seven With Lifetime Memberships

Recognizing members who have rendered extraordinary service to the Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club over a long period of time, the club’s Board of Directors has honored seven longtime members with Lifetime Memberships in the club.

Those named were Mike Orloff and Pat Kopco of Dover, Fla., Camille Nasca of Orlando, Fla., Ann and Bob Rowe of Sorrento, Fla., and Dee and John Thibodeaux of Sorrento, Fla.

Mike Orloff and Patricia “Pat” Kopco – Members of the club since 1994, the married team of Mike Orloff and Pat Kopco has been involved in almost every aspect of the club during that time. Both have served multiple terms as board members and Pat has been club president. Pat also has been active with the Golden Retriever Club of America, serving a four-year stint as Eastern Director for the GRCA Board of Directors. Both have assisted with working at many club events over the years, previously traveling from Miami to the Mid-Florida area before they relocated to their current residence. Both are multiple-time winners of the club’s “Mover and Shaker” and “Above and Beyond” awards and Pat was honored as Member of the Year for 2021 after leading the club’s hosting of the 2021 GRCA National Specialty as chair. Mike retired from his position as Hunt Test chair for the MFGRC after 2021, a position he held for many years, but he and Pat remain active judges for hunt tests and WC/WCX events.

Camille Nasca – A member of MFGRC since 1987, Camille has been an active and integral part of the development of this club. She served two terms as president, multiple terms as vice president, treasurer and board member and is a member of the 2022 board. In 1997 she and another club member spearheaded the process of applying to the AKC for licensing, leading to her serving as chair when the club hosted the 1998 GRCA Eastern Regional. In 2002, she was the general chair when MFGRC hosted its first GRCA National Specialty. Through the years she has chaired a number of WC/WCX’s, supported entries and agility trials and in recent years she has been the trophy chair for the club’s annual specialty and was trophy chair for the 2021 GRCA National. She has received numerous awards from the club, including being named “Member of the Year” for 2015. She also spent several years as secretary for the Golden Retriever Foundation; a member of a nominating committee and chair of the CCA for the Ohio National.

Ann and Bob Rowe – Ann, who has been a member of MFGRC since the formation of the club in 1984, has served numerous terms as president, most recently from 2018-2021. She also has held the vice president position multiple times and continues this year as a board member. Over the years, she has chaired WC/WCX events for the club and in 2021 was hospitality chair for the club’s hosting of the GRCA National Specialty. Ann and Bob have organized and hosted the club’s annual Christmas party at their home, with few exceptions, for more than 20 years. They also host the club’s annual Fun Match, an AKC-sanctioned “B” Match, of which Ann is the chair, at their home. She has been breeding and exhibiting Goldens for 35 years.

Dee and John Thibodeaux – having served MFGRC as president two times and vice president, and as a board member and event chair, Dee retired from her role as treasurer at the end of 2021. Most recently, she was chair of the club’s two annual agility trials from 2017 through 2021, building the trials into large profit centers for the club with full entries and much praise within the agility community. In past years she worked at nearly every type of event the club has staged, including judging hunt tests and WC tests. Members of the club since 1990, Dee and John worked together on the agility trials and other events and both have received recognitions from the club. In 2019, Dee was honored with the Lloyd Kiernan Service Award and in 2016, John received the club’s “Above and Beyond” award.

MFGRC Announces 2021 Year-End Award Recipients

The Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club announced its 2021 year-end awards recipients and winners at the club’s annual Christmas party on Dec. 18 at the home of club president Ann Rowe in Sorrento, Fla.

2021 Year-End Dog and Competition Awards
Dog of the Year award winners received custom car magnets from the club that were created by club member Anney Doucette of K9-Design.

Agility Dog of the Year:  Peaches – Nina DePetris
MACH Picabo’s Sweet As A Peach MX MXS MXJ MJS OF

Field Dog of the Year: Mya – Marilyn Booher
Surefire My Armani at JBoo QA2 MH CD CDX CCA RN

Hunt Dog of the Year: Boomer – Ron & Pat Rubrecht
Turbo Supersonic Shock Wave MH22 **

Obedience Dog of the Year: Boom – Sally Sherman
OTCH4 Hi-Star Stealin’ All the Thunder UDX13 OGM BN GO.

Rally Dog of the Year: Autumn – Barbara Page|

Show Dog of the Year: Boss – Mustapha and Carlotta El Khorchi

  • Also received perpetual Show Dog of the Year trophy donated by Diane and Vern Gank, Wonderland’s Golden Retrievers

Tracking Dog of the Year
Not presented

Versatility Award: Cody – Karyn Angel

Fallchase Owner-Handler Award: Laura Bellochi
Legend (GCH Pathfinder’s Some Gave All)

  • Received perpetual trophy donated by Fallchase Kennel

Gold Standard Challenge: Elizabeth Scherer
Kody (Am. CH SHR U-CH. IABCA HnrCH/IntCH/NatCH Star Crowned Kodiak Island CD BN RA JH CCA CGC TKN WCX VC)

  • Perpetual trophy donated by Kristin Sipus In memory of Jagger, Sophie & Fisher, three MFGRC Champion Master Hunters

2021 Year-End Club Member Awards

Mover and Shaker Award
Camille Nasca

Above and Beyond Award:
Robin Bowen

Lloyd Kiernan Service Award:
Tom Misilo

Nancy McCune Member of the Year
Pat Kopco

Special Award of Appreciation
Robin Scott (for stepping in to assist the club with agility trials in October when agility chair Dee Thibodeaux had to have emergency surgery)

Special Award of Appreciation
Chris Jeffrey (Editor of club’s “Golden Tales” newsletter)

MFGRC Will Resume Year-End Dog Awards for 2021

After taking a year off due to the high number of canceled events related to the pandemic in 2020, the Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club will resume its year-end dog awards in 2021 with some changes, including splitting a previous category into two separate awards.

With the previous Field Dog of the Year award split into Field and Hunt categories, the MFGRC is offering the following awards for 2021:

Agility Dog of the Year

Field Dog of the Year

Hunt Dog of the Year

Obedience Dog of the Year

Rally Dog of the Year

Show Dog of the Year (Conformation)

Tracking Dog of the Year

Versatility Award (calculated by adding points from at least three separate categories)

Recipients of all awards listed above receive custom car magnets created by K9 Designs and presented by MFGRC. In addition, the recipient of Show Dog of the Year receives a special award of a perpetual trophy donated by Wonderland’s Golden Retrievers.

Additional MFGRC year-end dog awards for 2021:

Fallchase Owner-Handler Award – recognizing the club’s top owner-handler in conformation with a perpetual award donated by Fallchase Kennels.

Gold Standard Challenge — awarded to the owner handler accumulating the highest points in breed shows and field events during the awards year, with award donated by MFGRC member Kristin Sipus.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Dogs MUST reside with the person making the application.
  • To be eligible for any official MFGRC award, member MUST have attended one club general meeting and volunteered at two club functions during the awards period (or performed the equivalent work behind-the-scenes, subject to approval and verification).
  • Information must be included on the entry form about meetings attended and club work performed (all subject to verification).

The awards competition application will be made available later in the year, with the deadline for applications set for Nov. 30. Awards will be announced and presented at the MFGRC’s annual Christmas party on Dec. 18.

2019 New Title Rosettes for MFGRC Members

Members of the Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club who earn new titles for their Goldens during calendar year 2019 may be eligible to receive a new title rosette from the club. The rosettes will be similar to this one from 2018 being modeled by Ralph and Maria Orlando’s Golden boy Smokey:

This year a stipulation has been added to the process: in order to be eligible to receive a new title rosette from the club, a member must have volunteered to work for at least one club event during the year, or have done equivalent work for the club behind-the-scenes (subject to verification). The stipulation was added to encourage members to help with club events.

If your dog has won a new title in 2019 and you feel you are eligible to receive a rosette, please email the full name of the dog, what the title earned was and what event(s) you worked at to MFGRC board member Robin Burket. Robin will order the rosettes later this year and make them available for pickup early next year. If you will not be able to attend an event to pick up your rosette, you will be asked to send a check for $10 for postage and handling, made out to MFGRC, so that it can be mailed to you.

Robin’s email address is robin.c.lemieux (at) gmail (dot com). The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2019. 

Special Award Donated by Club Members for Show Dog of the Year

The reward for winning the Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club’s “Show Dog of the Year” is going to be even bigger this year and in the future thanks to a donation from two club members.

Diane and Vern Gank of Wonderland’s Golden Retrievers have donated a new perpetual trophy that they will present to the winning owner of the MFGRC Show Dog of the Year. The special award will be in addition to the club’s award of a custom car magnet to the winner.

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Mid-Florida Golden Retriever Club News & Notes

Dock Diving Fun Day

All MFGRC members were emailed information on the club’s upcoming Dock Diving Fun Day a couple of weeks ago – a reminder to please send in your registration and payment if you plan to attend. The event will be Saturday, May 11, at Central Florida Dog Sports in DeLand, beginning at 10 a.m. A general meeting for club members will be held at approximately noon. If you did not receive the information, please email club secretary Andy Hall at

New MFGRC Specialty

The next big competition event for the MFGRC will be the club’s new, second Specialty that will be held on Friday, June 14, at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. The entry premium can be downloaded here. Club members who are not competing will be welcomed as spectators. The new Specialty is part of the Sunshine State Cluster and is a Concurrent Specialty with the Greater Venice Florida Dog Club, Inc. The event will include Sweepstakes, Veteran Sweepstakes and Junior Showmanship in addition to regular Conformation for Golden Retrievers. Judges for the event will be Jay Richardson of Elgin, Ill., (breed classes, best owner-handled and junior showmanship, and Alejandro Lima of Miami Beach, Fla., (all sweepstakes classes). For many years, the MFGRC has held a Specialty in December as part of AKC National Championship week at the Orange County Convention Center and the club will continue to do so – this year’s event will be Friday, December 13.

Obedience/Rally Trial Aug. 10-11 in Daytona Beach

The entry premium is now available for the MFGRC’s annual Obedience and Rally Trial, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10-11, at the Obedience Club of Daytona building in Daytona Beach, Fla. Judges for the trial will be Ted McCall, Carol Mett and Nancy Watson. For those interested in competing, the entry premium can be downloaded here. Anyone interested in volunteering to work as a steward at the event is asked to contact event chair Andy Hall at

New Title Rosettes for 2019 – Eligibility Rules Have Changed

A reminder that in order to be eligible to receive one of the club’s new title rosettes at the end of 2019, a club member must have worked at one of the club’s events during the year (or the equivalent behind-the-scenes work), a new stipulation this year. In order to be eligible for the club’s annual year-end awards (Show Dog of the Year, Rally Dog of the Year, etc.), a club member must have worked at two events (or the equivalent behind-the-scenes work) and must have attended one of the club’s general meetings during the year. Upcoming opportunities for club members to volunteer include:

Aug. 10-11 – Obedience/Rally Trial, Daytona Beach, FL

Oct. 18-19-20 – Agility Trial, Wiersdale, FL (and set-up day Oct. 17)

Nov. 2-3 – WC/WCX, Montverde, FL (and set-up day Nov. 1)

Nov. 22-24 – Hunt Test, Montverde, FL (and set-up day Nov. 21)

(the MFGRC board is discussing adding more events this summer)