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Car show celebrates mental health awareness

About 36 old and classic vehicles attract visitors to the annual Veterans Car Show, held this year at the Colusa County Fairgrounds on Saturday for Mental Health Awareness Month.

Colusa County Fairgrounds played host to the annual Veterans Car Show on Saturday.

The event drew several dozen local and out-of-towners who love showing off their antique, classic and uniquely painted rides.

Attendees didn’t even have to be diehard gearheads to love the 1956 T-Bird, owned by Rick and Peggy Bonds, of Clearlake, the 1969 Pontiac GTO, owned by Troy Stevens, of Yuba City, or the 1955 Buick Special, owned by David Furger, of Kelseyville.

“I love all old cars,” said 11-year-old Ari Nercessian, of Stonyford. “If I had to choose by body, I would say my favorite is a 1965 Chevy pickup, but my absolute favorite here is the old 1966 Volkswagen Beetle.”

The annual car show, which was canceled last year because of the pandemic, is a fundraiser benefiting local behavioral health programs and veterans. The event is typically held in Veterans Memorial Park each May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month.

“It was a great turnout,” said Walter Osbourn, president of Safe Haven Wellness and Recovery. “I was really happy with it, and that people came out.”

Rev. Jason McMullan, center, president of the Ministerial Association of Colusa County, accepts this year’s Mary Winters Award for Community Service from Jeannie Scroggins, Colusa County Mental Health clinical program manager, and Winters’ sons, Jeff and Jerry Winters, at the Veterans Car Show on Saturday, May 8.

In addition to the classic muscle cars, like Stan Roper’s 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner, there were a number of vehicles that were manufactured in later years that have been making it on the car show scene in the past decade, like the Chevy El Camino and Ford Ranchero manufactured in the 1970s. There were also antique vehicles like Jay Gould’s 1934 Ford 3-window and the 1925 Ford T-C Cab, owned by Ted Brown of Colusa, who has owned the untouched pickup for 57 years.

“I bought it from an old Japanese bean farmer who lived on the other side of the bridge in Colusa,” Brown said. “I paid $100 for it.”

Attendees at Saturday’s car show also received information about local behavioral health and substance abuse, as well as spiritual guidance offered by local churches.

One of the highlights of the car show was the presentation of the Mary Winters Memorial Award.

“Every year, our department likes to highlight a person or organization that has gone above and beyond the call of service to give back to our community,” said Jeannie Scroggins. “Mary Winters selfishly gave her time to many organizations and was a dedicated volunteer of Colusa County. She served on our Behavior Health board for many years and helped pave the way to bring about mental health awareness and reduce stigma.”

Winters died Aug. 1, 2020, and the annual award was renamed in her honor and presented Saturday by sons Jeff and Jerry Winters to Rev. Jason McMullan, president of the Ministerial Association of Colusa County.

McMullan has led the Association in coordinating 10 food distributions, eight food pantries, and three clothing closets in Colusa County. In 2020, the Association, through its partnerships, served more than 600 families with food boxes at Christmas, established a hot meal program in each community, and helped families in need keep their utilities, avoid home eviction, or find permanent housing in Colusa County.

“The Ministerial Association is really the one behind this, 22 churches that have banded together for charitable endeavors,” McMullan said. “I would not be here accepting this without fellow pastors like Ken Edwards and Sarkis Nercessian.”

Also during the event, Safe Haven donated $400 to help sponsor families that cannot afford to honor their veterans with a brick on the veterans’ wall at Veterans Memorial Park, in Colusa.

Osborne presented the check to Ron Azevedo, Commander of the Maxwell American Legion Post No. 218.

Azevedo also shows his own custom street rod, a 1955 Chevy.

Saturday’s car show included a free lunch and many raffle prizes. It is Safe Haven’s primary fundraiser to support their program of providing peer support for those living with mental health or substance abuse issues.

 

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