Monday, April 25, 2016

Bruster's of Culpeper, VA Inaugural Cruise 4-23-2016


Last fall Lou & I started exploring why there wasn’t a Saturday cruise in Culpeper….there was one on Friday night but nothing on Sat.  We began talking to the local hot rodders to see what they thought about it and if they would support a cruise on Saturday if someone set one up.  We made sure there wouldn’t be any heartburn with other clubs about having another cruise on Saturday.  The Orange County Cruisers of Orange, VA (their monthly cruise is the third Sat)….the Good Times Cruisers of Locust Grove, VA (their monthly cruise is the second Sat) and the Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club of Fredericksburg, VA (their monthly cruise is the first Sat) all agreed it would be a good idea and said they would support it when they could.  We asked our group, Cruisin For Heroes, for leadership volunteers and Jim H. agreed to help Lou forge the idea into a reality.  Lou & Jim met with the owners of Bruster’s to work out the details then secured the cooperation and active assistance of the land owner of the whole complex.  They explained to all the adjoining business what was going to be happening during the cruise and met with the local Police department to give them a heads up on the event too.  We built a page on our website to advertise the event, http://www.cruisinforheroes.com/#!bruster's-cruise .  Then we designed flyers and convinced our print sponsor, SpotsyBlue Printing Services, to make a few 1000 flyers for us!  We designed an acrylic trophy that would reflect our mission for Fisher House Foundation and the uniqueness of our group.  Then another one of our sponsors, Ed’s Awards & Engraving, took the idea and fashioned the acrylic trophies that would be the Bruster’s Manager’s Choice monthly pick.  There was a lot of stress and problem solving for everyone over the winter making sure we hadn’t forgotten something.  Lou & Jim had to line up a DJ to volunteer their time to the event.  Then the week of the inaugural event on April 23, 2016….the weatherguessers were not presenting us with good news.  Friday the 22nd it rained most of the day….and the rain was to continue till midday on the 23rd.  This would keep people from coming out but too much had been put in place to turn back….  Thankfully, for the most part the rain stopped around 1PM and most of the roads were dry by 2PM with partly sunny blue skies calling us to cruise to Culpeper.

Some of our group was onsite when we arrived in Culpeper around 3PM….then everything went into a blurred crash mode for me till I came up for air to take pictures around 5PM.  Everyone helped to park cars, erect the Fisher House canopy, help the DJ and generally try to accommodate the cruisers as they began to show up.  Kim & Rick led a crew of the Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club members to our event….a whole bunch of FC&MCC cruisers that drove 35 miles one way!  Then Kim & Crystal volunteered to run the 50/50 for us because we didn’t think to appoint someone for that task and we really didn’t know how to do it….  Kim & Crystal do a superb job of running their 50/50 at their Friday night cruise in Fredericksburg and they brought the same enthusiasm and purpose to our cruise’s 50/50.  They collected $165….and later in the evening the winner gave their half back for Fisher House Foundation!  We made $90 for Fisher House donations and we still have a % of the event’s business proceeds from Bruster’s to receive….a good afternoon for The Fisher House Foundation.  We also had the opportunity to explain to a couple people what the Fisher House is and what they do for our Veterans and their families….this is the most important long range thing we do at these events….raise awareness about Fisher House.

We had about 35 special vehicles visit the cruise which was ok for the first event.  A lot of ice cream & hot dogs were consumed.   Andrew brought Jack the Host Dog to mingle among the crowd….you had to be there.  Mark & Crystal won the Bruster’s Managers Choice with their red late model Dodge Challenger.  Also being the first event we learned some things that will be changed for next month to make the experience better for everyone.  Please check the pictures so you can enjoy the afternoon we had and if you’re not in the pictures….you have a month to get ready….  May 28th….Culpeper Bruster’s….be there or be




 


Monday, April 18, 2016

Morais Vineyard & Winery event 4-17-2016


The Mission of our group, Cruisin For Heroes http://www.cruisinforheroes.com/ is to raise awareness and money for Veteran and First Responder charities.  We have been focused on The Fisher House Foundation the last few years as it uses over 90% of the donated funds directly for the Veteran….one of the gold standards in charities. https://www.fisherhouse.org/  One of the ways we accomplish this goal is to offer a classic vehicle display with accompanying owners that are customer friendly to add to a business’s event.  Such as a Grand Opening, a Cruise in, airshow, car show or a winery’s special day.  Sunday we set up a display at Morais Vineyard & Winery in Bealeton, VA to accompany their special days events.  We negotiate a donation to Fisher House as a price to provide the vehicles.  We have a list of 70 people that have agreed to attend our events if they are not engaged at something else.  These volunteers are handpicked for their vehicle AND their demeanor and friendliness to spectators and customers. We have a pretty awesome group that helps us.

So….the invitations to the volunteers went out in January for Sunday’s event at Morais Winery and about 30 responded that they would support this event.  The Winery made a special basket to be raffled off and the sales would be donated to Fisher House….that ended up being $273.  The Winery will donate another $500 plus a % of their days business.  The vendors will donate a % of their days business and our friend Denny will donate $80 from the sale of his handmade wine bottle stoppers!  We put a “donation barrel” on the table in the Fisher House canopy so people can donate through us….we collected $300 in it!  I think it was a good day for the Fisher House Foundation because of the support of our volunteers, Morais Winery and the customers that visited the Winery.  Thank you!

The day was picture perfect weather-wise and the volunteers began setting up around 9AM and everyone was in place by 11AM.  The food vendor, Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ, was superb.  The Italian ice cream vendor was a welcome addition and I think they  did well too.  The winery provided a very cool musical group, Acoustic Soul; https://www.facebook.com/BookAcousticSoul/?hc_location=ufi We set up a “Hospitality” canopy for those that want to sit together and visit instead of behind their car.  Usually it ends up being a place for the ladies to gather….but not always.

The folks at the Winery were extremely helpful and gracious to us and our volunteers.  They conducted tours of the Winery at the beginning of each hour.  Joe, the owner, opened the door to his private auto collection….it is a very eclectic collection with some vehicles one does not usually see. This Winery has the most welcoming persona of any winery around and once you begin to explore the grounds a little it feels very comfortable.  They have a ‘chapel’ that can accommodate a wedding with 3000 guests!  They are open Friday-Sunday….check out their website for hours of operation.    http://moraisvineyards.com/ 

We had the Morais basket drawing at 4:30 then released everyone for the day….  The members of Cruisin For Heroes stayed and staged some photos in front of Joe’s car collection building….the end of a great day!

The pictures for the day are parked here;  https://www.flickr.com/photos/53063560@N05/albums/72157667158310741

Rolling Thunder Inc, VA 3 Spring Poker Run 4-16-2016


During the year our group, Cruisin For Heroes, partners with a few like minded Veteran centric organizations, like Rolling Thunder Inc., to raise awareness and money for our Veterans needs.  We have partnered with Rolling Thunder, VA3 a few times last year and one of the things we like to do to support their mission is attend their Spring Poker Run.  Since we rode a motorcycle for over 40 years, the call of the open road still beckons from time to time but now we answer it on 4 wheels.  The Poker Run was fun, running from different fire houses/rescue squads and ending up at Virginia Barbeque in Fredericksburg, VA.  The run took about 2 hours total and we decided to have lunch at Tim’s II Seafood in Fairview Beach before we came in to the final stop.  Tim’s is always a good choice for seafood around our area and Saturday was no exception.  The waitress was very friendly and efficient….a good experience.   

When we checked in at the last stop, Debie had the best poker hand….for about 5 min!  The Princess had nothing so when Debie’s hand was bettered we thanked Mac, the President of Rolling Thunder, for inviting us to the day’s festivities then we headed to Carl’s Ice Cream.  Carl’s is a very special place around here….and actually Nationwide too!  It’s on a very important list that some very important people codified for us minions….so we know where the good ice cream is kept…..Carl’s is near the top of that list.  Whenever we are within….oh…..500 miles of Carl’s, the Princess begins to whine about how bad she needs Carl’s ice cream….it’s incessant….and the only way to quench the noise….is to visit Carl’s….you have no idea….

We were going to cruise to Orange, VA and the monthly cruise at the BK on Rt. 15 after the Poker Run….but the Princess was getting tired and wanted to go home.  When I suggested that too much ice cream can make one tired she began to talk to me through her clinched teeth….never a good thing.  Hehehehe  David had agreed to visit the BK cruise in Orange to pass out flyers for our Bruster’s cruise (more ice cream) so that task was covered…..we cruised home and got the farm truck ready for Sunday…..

The 2016 season begins...


The season begins for us on Friday, April 15 at our favorite haunt, Virginia Barbeque in Fredericksburg, VA.  The host club, Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club, had begun the season a couple weeks ago but we got a cold Arctic blast of air that made the Friday night cruise just unbearable.  I think a lot of folks were itching to get out with their special rides because the lot was almost full.  We spent most of the time touching base with friends we haven’t see, face to face, since last fall….it’s always a fun time to reconnect.

The Princess had a nonstop audience listening to her recent ordeal with the local hospital and all that goes with that….  The stories do not end…  Today while getting the Princess in the car with all her support stuff, I tripped over a decorative barrel in our yard and when it was all over I was on my back looking at the sky….trying to figure out if my parts work well enough to stand up or did I need to have the Princess call AAA.  I took inventory of everything and they were all there and kinda working like before so the 72 years old guy won that round of the yard gymnastics at the Shotwell hovel…..getting old & clumsy isn’t for wimps.

Like I said, the VA BBQ rocked….the music is great….the cars are an excellent mix of old & new, slow & fast….everything is welcome.  The evening was perfect and we stayed till the bitter end then cruised to Stafford for some Popeye’s Chicken….  It’s cool to cruise up to the drive through window in the farm truck….the top is chopped so much the employee has to bend down and flatten out the bag O chicken as he passes it through to us….kool….  It’s good to be on the road again….

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Update

Hi All.....


I have been taking care of a very sick Princess....she started getting sick in the middle of March and it continues now.  We/I haven't been to any 'car' deals yet this year....in fact I haven't unwrapped the truck yet to get ready for the 'season'.  So....I don't have anything to write about....yet!  Check back the last week in April and I hope she is well enough by then to hit the road again.....


chuck

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Arena Racing


So....February 27th Bob Randall and I visited the Arena Racing event in Richmond, VA to represent Fisher House and Cruisin For Heroes at their Military Appreciation night. It was held at the Richmond Coliseum in downtown Richmond. We were invited by the owner to set up a table in the infield at the "meet & greet" before the race so we could share the Fisher House Foundation mission and give Fisher House magazines to interested folks.  After Bob enthusiastically interacted with the crowd and shared the Fisher House story while I took some pictures of the crowd & cars, we folded up our stuff and retreated to the stands to watch the races.

 

The little cars use a little Honda, sealed engine. The car build is very restrictive as far as the parts you can use and the modifications to the engine. The idea is to make the cars equal so the winning results are from the set up of the suspension and the skill of the drivers....not the $$$ of the engines and other cosmic car parts. They use a centrifugal clutch (no transmission) and chain drive on the rear mounted engine. The drivers range from 12 to 50 years old....yeah, old guys! The aluminum track is built in sections so it can be removed to reconfigure the Coliseum for ice hockey, basketball and other indoor sports.

 

I don't follow NASCAR but I’m told that Arena Racing uses a lot of NASCAR "protocols" in their racing too.....safety, tech inspections and other stuff. We had a great time enjoying the racing....hope you enjoy watching the video. It's 25 min long, with the stills followed by a movie clip of the event....  If you live near Richmond, VA and want to spend a fun family evening watching indoor racing, you might want to check it out.    http://www.arenaracingusa.com/events/

 



Friday, December 18, 2015

Toys For Tots 2015


Saturday, December 12, 2015 would be the 6th running of Dan’s Toys For Tots event, the Santa’s Helpers Toy Run.  For the last four years we have begun the day at Chili’s in N. Stafford.  The manager, Derrick,  opens the restaurant early for Dan so we can have brunch and mingle a little before we cruise north.   The last two years have had a low turnout because of the weather, one year it snowed!  This year the weather was perfect, even a little warm! 

People began arriving shortly after Dan set up at 8AM….and they kept rolling in till right before we left at Noon.  This event is becoming very well known to the point that other clubs join in with us….  The Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club, Northern Virginia Mustangs, Virginia Stockers….and others I haven’t seen in a while!  This year 109 vehicles joined in with us!  We have always had a ‘Police’ escort, without the escort it would be bedlam at every intersection.  The Fredericksburg Classic and Muscle Car Club also presented a generous donation check to our group, Cruisin For Heroes, for The Fisher House Foundation!  How cool is THAT.

As soon as the Sherriff’s escort arrived, the group left Chili’s and gathered in the nearby commuter lot for the drivers meeting then they departed north, to the National Museum of the Marine Corps near Quantico, VA.  I left Chili’s early so I could setup and shoot a video of them arriving at the Museum.  Parking at the Museum was….special….but we all managed.  The night before the event Dan received an email from the Museum stating that because of heightened security concerns they would not be allowing people to bring the toys inside the museum but they would receive them in the parking lot!  This is a big change but we adapted.  I think we overwhelmed the Marine driving the Toys For Tots truck….I had a Richard Dryfuss, Jaws flashback….’you’re going to need a bigger truck’ as I watched the toys pile up!  Everyone was to bring one unwrapped toy to donate….most of the hot rodders brought bags of toys!  Going to be a bunch of happy kids in our area this year!  As it worked out they had to make a couple trips to the warehouse to empty the toys from the truck….how cool is that.  We had an absolutely amazing day….Please check out the pictures and video….and plan to join us next year! 

Unless something unusual presents itself, this will be the last blog entry for 2015….the farm truck is put away for its long winter hibernation till March 2016.  I want to thank you for following us around through this blog….it’s why we do it, for you!
I also made a website that displays our Vacation we took this May, you may want to check it out too;

The Princess & I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a fulfilling New Year.