New car club launches school supplies drive

August 11, 2009

By David Hayes

There was a time when Brian Turney didn’t have the spiffiest car on the block. So, in looking at today’s economy, he empathizes with families who are finding it hard to make ends meet.That’s the driving factor behind the school supplies drive his car club, Camaro Firebird Club Northwest, is sponsoring.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t have much,” he said. “One parent or the other didn’t have a job in the ’80s’ economic times. So, I know what it was like trying to go to school and having to provide for yourself.”

Getting together with other club members for cruises, talking about projects and having a “brain swap,” as Turney calls it, was not enough.

“I wanted to do a little more than get together and say, ‘Cool car.’ So we’re doing shows, camping trips and volunteering,” the Preston resident said.

The school supplies drive was a logical next evolutionary step for the club. And who better to get on board with the idea than the father/son team at the XXX Rootbeer Drive-in. The Encisos have become renowned for hosting car shows in the United States. Jose Jr. said he was excited to add the school supplies drive to the roster of events.

“We already do the Jingle Bell Cruise in December, collecting toys for kids, so I thought this was a great idea,” he said. “There are a lot of kids in the area who need help.”

Three car clubs with scheduled shows in August were contacted to see if they wouldn’t mind another car club piggybacking onto their shows for a good cause. An exciting buzz began building into something big.

Bud Worely, “ambassador” for the Northwest Classic Chevy Club, was an easy sell. The NWCCC Tri 5 — featuring Chevys from 1955, ’56 and ’57 — is expected to draw 150 or more cars Aug. 16. He said he expects a great return of supplies from members.

“We’re putting an e-mail out to all our members and those who have pre-registered,” he said. “This is such a great idea that of course we wanted to help wherever we can.”

CFCNW members will also be taking donations at the Corvette show Aug. 23 and the Rat Bastards Rat Rod Show on Aug. 30. Donations will be taken at the old school bus at each show all day.

In addition to collecting school supplies, and possibly more importantly, CFCNW is asking for donations to the Issaquah School District’s Nurses Fund. The fund is another way district officials identify and help families in need.

“We use the fund for those situations when we know students and their families are in emergency situations and need the most basic of necessities,” said Karen Herring, nurse in charge of the fund. “Most of the time, that means food and clothing or even medical necessities or hygiene items. Because we work closely with those students, we can see how the fund has made a difference when we check back within the next several days.”

For example, the fund helped a family living at a campground with no phones or gas. The Nurses Fund paid for pre-paid phone cards and gas cards. Another time, the fund helped a single mother with three children provide back-to-school clothes.

In the Issaquah district, there are more than 1,200 children who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. One need that has already been met is backpacks, which Costco donated.

Turney said he is happy the drive has ballooned into something bigger than his car club, involving a much larger segment of the community.

“This raises the awareness and funding for a problem that we don’t always see. We know we can make a difference,” he said. “It doesn’t take much to make a difference in a life.”

On the Web

Camaro Firebird Club Northwest


Mail your check, made out to the ISD Nurses Fund, to The Issaquah Press, 45 Front St. S., Issaquah, WA 98027.

Bring school supplies, cash, checks or small-denomination gift cards to stores to XXX Rootbeer Drive-in, 98 N.E. Gilman Blvd., from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Aug. 16, 23 or 30.

Reach Reporter David Hayes at 392-6434, ext. 237, or Comment on this story at

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