Highway 43 Car Club fuels up local food banks with cash

Starting second from left: Kanata Food Cupboard Community Client and Community Outreach Coordinator Cara-Leigh Wyllie; Kemptville Salvation Army Food Bank Director Calvin Wong; Highway 43 Car Club executive member Jeff Roulston; Community Food Share Administrator Ian McKelvie; Highway 43 Car Club Rod Rafter; Club Treasurer Cindy Keyes; Club executive member Charlie Gordon; Club Vice-President Mike Lecuyer; House of Lazarus Operations Manager Jennifer Westendorp; Club executive member Kevan Whittaker; Club executive member Scott English; Smiths Falls Community Food Bank Manager Natalia Soteroff and Director Carolyn Barr; and Lanark County Food Bank Chair Karen Lomas Wood. Representatives from the six Eastern Ontario food banks collected $500 each from the Highway 43 Car Club, Nov. 23, in Kemptville. Missing from photo are Club executive members Gina Rafter, Kelly Searson and Dave Choban. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

$3,000 donated in latest annual contribution

KEMPTVILLE — The summer driving season may have been a wash-out for the Highway 43 Car Club — but it didn’t put a dent in their annual year-end contribution to local food banks serving a broad swath of Eastern Ontario.

In fact, the group of classic car enthusiasts upped their combined donation by $1,000 and added two new recipient organizations in the Ottawa Valley this year. The resulting giveaway of $3,000 to six food banks went ahead Nov. 23, despite a soggy summer that rained out 10 or more of the Club’s regular Friday evening cruise nights. Those weekly gatherings at the Food Basics parking lot are a staple in the Club’s sale of raffle ticket and 50/50 draws toward the annual food bank donation.

The cancellation of so many evenings represented “a substantial amount of money,” said Club Vice-President Mike Lecuyer. “But we managed to pull it off.” They made up for it through ticket sales at other special events, “especially the show at Winchester BMR,” he said, referring to the annual gathering of vintage vehicles in the North Dundas retailer’s parking lot.

Among the entities collecting $500 apiece in the Kemptville Fire Station last week were the Kanata Food Cupboard and Lanark County Food Bank. They were added this year as a result of connections forged when the Highway 43 Car Club was approached this season to get involved with local-food-bank-supporting car shows in Kanata and Almonte (which is served by the Lanark County Food Bank). The “All GM Show” at the Myers Kanata dealership generated $428 plus 900 pounds of food, while the Canada Day Show at Almonte General Hospital (a combined effort with ‘Ottawa Car Scene’) raised $3,470 for that institution.

The Club’s existing special shows in Kemptville (Father’s Day) and Winchester (BMR) also brought in $660 and 500 pounds of food, plus $500 and 224 pounds of food, respectively.

The rainy trend that otherwise curtailed the Club’s regular Friday gatherings mercifully spared their shows in 2017. “Every show that we did put on this year, it turned out good,” observed executive member Kevan Whittaker. “Every day was a beautiful day.”

All told, the Highway 43 Club has revved up $8,058 plus 1,624 pounds of food when amounts raised at this year’s shows are added to the 2017 year-ending $3,000 donation.

Community Food Share, House of Lazarus, Kemptville Salvation Army Food Bank, and Smiths Falls Community Food Bank also got a share of that donation — which was split six ways at $500 apiece.

This article was edited to correctly attribute the first quote in the story to the vice president of the Highway 43 Car Club.


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