Langley charity car show disburses loot

Fourteen Langley charities will share a trunk full of loot courtesy of this year’s Langley Good Times Cruise-In.

The list was released today of the organizations that will share $60,453 raised during this year’s charity car show.

Every year, the Cruise-In directors pick a few primary charities to receive money raised by the two-day automotive event held in early September in downtown Langley City.

Last year, the Cruise-In donated $54,000 to charities, that money coming from vehicle registrations, raffle tickets, and the sale of In-N-Out Burger meals on the car show day.

The charities of choice for the 17th annual car show are Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Langley Community Support Groups, Valley Therapeutic Riding Association, Legacy Water Search & Recovery Society, PuCKS, the Boys & Girls Club of Langley, and the Douglas Park Elementary Association.

Following a meeting on Monday night, the directors added a few other recipients to the list: Aldergrove Ninja’s and Cheeta’s soccer teams, Fort Fury Rowing Team, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Foundation, the Gateway of Hope, Spartan Foundation, and St. John Ambulance will receive some of the dollars.

For Eric Taylor, one of the highlights of being at the helm of the Cruise-In for the past two years is that “incredible” give back to the community.

“The importance of Cruise-In is the good that it does for the community,” he told the Langley Advance.

“There is the money that it raises for local charities, the crowds and attention that it brings to the City of Langley, the opportunity to enjoy a really good car show, and the opportunity for community-minded people to make meaningful contributions in a way that they can enjoy.”

The money will be hand delivered to each of the charities during the upcoming week, making Taylor and his team feel a little like Santa heading into the holidays.

“We had some setbacks, such as the loss of a couple of large cash sponsors, yet we managed to outdo our  fundraising of last year by about 10 per cent. As a board, we are very proud of our accomplishment and look forward to doing it again and again.”

He added: “We are very pleased to be able to contribute in a small way to the charities in our home community and for us, this is what it is all about.  Whether we are talking about the children based charities in the Douglas Park school area, the Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary,  Langley Community Support Group, Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association, or any of the smaller charities that we support, it is money going to good places right here at home.”       

In addition to sharing the windfall from the 2014 show, the Cruise-In board recently held a volunteer appreciation dinner, to give thanks to more than 150 people who donate their time to preparing for, hosting, and cleaning up after the charity car show on the Saturday and the car corral and swap meet on the Sunday.

The thank you dinner, Taylor explained, is the one time a year that they are able to get the volunteers all in one place at one time and “express our appreciation and share with them some little thing in return for their efforts,” he said referring to a mountain of door prizes that were handed out.

“This is the time when we can report to them the state of the show, the things that they helped to make happen, and encourage them to return next year,” Taylor added.

“Volunteers are not important to our show, they are the Cruise-In. Everybody, from the guy who goes to pickup sandwiches all the way to the board of directors is a volunteer. Without volunteers, the Cruise-In does not exist.”

Taylor elaborated that more volunteers are needed within the organization.

“We are always trying to improve and expand the show to new levels and that takes people with new ideas and capacities to manage them. There is always turnover in people as their lives change or they move in and out of the community. I also believe that a healthy board has regular change so that it does not become stale or stuck in old ideas,” he said.

Anyone interested in being involved in the 2015 show is invited to contact the Cruise-In organizers through their website at www.langleycruise-in.com.

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