Every week, the Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club cruise-in at the Austintown Senior Center is gaining entries. Last week's event saw well over 100 classic and custom vehicles show up, which makes everyone concerned happy.
The MVOCC began in 1978 when a few classic vehicle owners met at the Southern Park Mall to share their experiences and talk shop. Over the past 35 years the club has grown from that small group to almost 200 members.
The club puts on an annual car show called Cars in the Park in Boardman Park and every Tuesday in the summer months they put on a cruise. The cruises started at the mall parking lot, then were moved to Chick-Fil-A in Boardman. After 10 years there, it ended last year when the parking lot went under construction for a new business.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
The Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club cruise-in at the Austintown Senior Center on Tuesday. Aug. 20 continued to set new records in attendance with more than 100 entries.
"We thought it was the end of our Tuesday cruise-in," said MVOCC member Dee Tripp.
When Ron Cole from Austintown, a classic car buff himself, heard about it, he came up with an idea.
"When I heard they were no longer doing the show in Boardman, I asked them to bring it to the Senior Center," Cole said.
With nothing to lose, the MVOCC members decided to go for it and they have been amazed at the turnout. They average more than 100 cars each night and many retired car owners have joined the Senior Center.
In order to bring the cruise to Austintown, Cole was told he had to raise $3,000 to cover a D.J. and trophies to give out at each event.
"I got on the phone and begged for the money," Cole said. "A dozen donors came through with the funds."
The Senior Center itself jumped on board and provided food for the cruise and opened the doors of the center for the car enthusiasts to enjoy.
"A special thanks goes out to the Senior Center kitchen crew for all the hard work they do to for us," Cole said.
Proceeds from the weekly event are donated to Hospice of the Valley. To date, the car club has raised more than $26,000 for the hospice.
Cole said he was very pleased to bring the MVOCC and the Senior Center together to continue the cruises. He said it has been a win-win for all concerned.