By Nahreen TARZI
The 19th annual Elks Car Show took place in Glendale on March 16, raising over $5,000 for children’s charities while providing a fun day for locals. With 103 cars entered, there were many impressive vehicles, but only 35 went home with special plaques. The “People’s Choice” plaque, voted on by the public, went to Kevin Christenson and his 1979 Cadillac.
“Any year, make or model. We welcome them all,” said George McCullough, the man behind the car magic. McCullough has been running the Elks Car Show for the past 10 years, with a team of volunteers who help make sure it’s a success.
“I was into cars myself,” McCullough explained when asked how he got started. “But it’s a fundraiser, and all the money we raise goes to the children’s charities.”
The funds raised at the car show will aid students in Glendale in various ways, including providing dictionaries to all third graders, providing scholarships to high school students, hosting a “hoop shoot” and “soccer shoot” competition for kids on a local, state and national level, and coordinating a holiday program for special needs kids in which they bring Santa Claus to hand out cookies and presents. The Elks Lodge also sponsors local Boy Scout Troop #118.
“It’s a major effort,” said Jack Wright, an Elks volunteer from La Crescenta. Wright explained that people are always willing to help because it all goes toward benefitting children. There were over 300 items donated for the raffle and silent auction for the many visitors who attended this all-day event.
“We have a reputation that brings in all these cars,” explained Wright, “because they know they have good breakfast in the lodge, and grilled hamburgers … and this is such a perfect day for it, weather-wise.”
The many car-owners gathered and enjoyed the car sights, the weather, the good food and the camaraderie. The majority of them had entered in prior years, and returned to support the cause, including Tony Wade from Burbank.
“It helps children. That’s the main reason,” Wade explained. Wade owns a 1932 Ford and has won plaques in the past.
“Oh, it doesn’t matter,” Wade said of the plaques. “We don’t come for that reason. We come for the fellowship, and to support the Elks Lodge.”
Many folks involved were actually raised in Glendale, including McCullough.
“Born here, raised here,” said McCullough. “We used to terrorize this town, 50 years ago,” he joked.
If one thing is certain to be found at the Elks Car Show, it is the companionship amongst the volunteers, some of who have even grown up together.
“She lived two doors down from me,” McCullough said, pointing at one of his many friends. “And we didn’t see each other for 25 years, and we reunited here.”
More information about the Elks Lodge and their events can be found on www.elks.org.