Fri, May 24

Classic car club a class act<br><i>Members donate to Boys & Girls Club</i>

If you see classic antique cars motoring down Arizona 89A in Cottonwood or parked in Fry’s parking lot on Saturday, stop and pry open your wallet for a worthy cause.

The cause is the Boys & Girls Club of Cottonwood; it faces serious financial woes and possible closure. The Veteran Motor Car Club of America (VMCCA) Central Arizona Chapter is determined not to let that happen.

Car club president Dan Guernsey presented Elizabeth (Liz) Heaney, the Cottonwood club’s branch director, with a check for $700 on Feb. 10.

“We are blessed to have the community behind us,” Heaney said. “We can keep the club’s door open for a while longer.”

The donated funds will be used to improve existing programs, snacks for the kids, art and PE supplies, and some remodeling, she explained.

The club has 347 children as members and averages 88 to 100 children a day, she said. It has six staff members.

After-school programs are offered from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. and serve children from several area schools, Heaney added.

Programs include physical education, arts and crafts, socialization activities, and a tech lab (technical laboratory) for computers, she said.

Guernsey said the car club members decided to donate to the Boys & Girls Club after reading an article about its financial hardships in the Verde Independent on Jan. 15. In the past, the club has awarded a small scholarship each to Mingus and Camp Verde high schools.

“We’re only helping two kids with that money,” Guernsey said. “This way we can help several kids.”

But the goodwill doesn’t stop there. On Feb. 15, some car club members will gather in the Fry’s parking lot at 10 a.m. for a mini parade. The group will display a two-foot-high plastic heart to collect contributions for the Boys & Girls Club. The goal is "to fill the heart," Guernsey said.

After an hour, club members will motor to Basha’s parking lot and later on to Safeway to allow everyone the opportunity to give from the heart.

The town of Jerome may even bring down its antique fire truck, he added.

“We're hoping to attract a lot of attention and make a donation to the boys & Girls Club,” Guernsey added.

Staff reporters Dean H. Borgwardt and Guinda Reeves contributed to this story.