Veterans Car Show celebrates wellness

Car show enthusiasts have one thing in common: they love to congregate outside where they can show off – or go to admire – some of the community’s most beautiful vehicles.
That’s what made the second annual Veterans Car Show such a success for the Safe Haven Wellness and Recovery Center, in Colusa, and the Veterans Memorial Wall, which both benefit from the fundraiser.

“We came last year and loved it,” said Dan Reiff of Kelseyville, owner of a 1965 Factory Ford Cobra replica. “We go to the small town shows where they are benefiting somebody, and we feel like our money is going to a good cause. That is why we do it.”

Close to 30 classic and antique cars lined Veterans Memorial Park in Colusa last Saturday for the car show, which was sponsored by Safe Haven, a drop-in center that promotes awareness and outreach so that issues related to addiction, mental illness and isolation can be addressed and supported in practical ways.

“This is an ‘Each Mind Matters’ event,” said Daniel Hernandez, of Colusa County Behavioral Health. “May is Mental Health Awareness Month so this was an opportunity to give out information on a variety of subjects, such as knowing the signs of suicide.”

‘Each Mind Matters’ is a California Mental Health movement. It is a campaign to help create more open and supportive communities, reduce stigma, share information about mental health services, and provide peer support, Hernandez said.

Information was also available to help people, including veterans, learn about services related to PTSD, homelessness, and substance abuse.

“The money raised at this event will go toward future events at Safe Haven,” said Valerie Sterling, peer support specialist. “We also gave a donation of $400 to the Veterans Wall.”
The 2018 Mary Winters Award, named after former Colusa City Councilwoman Mary Winters, was given to Colusa’s SavMor Market, for their generous support to Safe Haven and the community.

“The award is given out every year of the car show,” Stirling said.

More than 40 raffle prizes donated by individuals and businesses throughout Colusa County were also given out.

“It was the biggest raffle we’ve ever had,” Sterling said.

Although Safe Haven has sponsored the Veteran Car Show several times in the past, the May 12 event was the second since becoming an annual event. The show included entertainment and a free lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, macaroni salad, potato salad, chips and water.

There were also a number of local veterans that had cars in the show including Maxwell’s Stan Roper, with his 1969 Plymouth, and Ron Azevedo, with his 1955 Chevy.

Participants came from all over the county and beyond, including Tom Corbin, of Maxwell, with his 1948 Ford Pick-up, and Phil Schaer, of Yuba City, who came in a 1931 Ford five-window coupe. Each car was unique is some way. Many were customized; some were constructed from kits, while others were completely stock.

Reiff, 75, said he got his Shelby Cobra replica on his 72nd birthday.

“It has a Stover engine and 400 horse at the rear wheels,” he said. “It’s just a lot of fun. I had a Sunbeam Tiger with a V8. It was also fun.”

The Veterans Car Show is not a judged event and no awards were given out.

The real prize, organizers said, is the community coming together to support a cause and to admire all the fabulous vehicles that have been manufactured over the years, and are now loved and cared for by their owners.

“All of the cars are special to the people that own them,” Stirling said. “There is no one car that is more special than another car.” ■