Classic Cruisers hit the streets

PLATTSBURGH For retired mechanic Jerry Seymour, going to the office means walking to his garage and working on his prize possessions his classic cars. Ten years ago, Jerry and his wife, Dianna, founded the Champlain Valley Classic Cruisers. Ive always been the president, shes always been the secretary, said Jerry. Jerry said the club was established to get people together whom he knew through car shows. One of the goals of the club is to help out organizations by gathering donations each year. This year, our charities for the car show are the [Vietnam]Veterans Assistance Fund, explained Dianna. We hope to give them a major contribution. The VVAF is a nonprofit humanitarian and educational organization founded by veterans for veterans, though despite the name, is not only for veterans of the Vietnam War. The fund works to improve the quality of life for veterans and their families by awarding grants to organizations that address housing, education and medical needs. The CVCC also contributes annually to Hospice for the North Country and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, more commonly known as DARE. To raise money for the organizations, CVCC holds raffles and 50/50 drawings at various events, such as the Champlain Valley Motorsports Show held April 4-5 at the Crete Memorial Civic Center. They raised over $1,000 just selling tickets, said Dianna. The group aims to raise $3,500 this year to contribute to the three groups. Among the other events CVCC hosts throughout the year is the 10th annual Champlain Valley Spring Nationals held at the Clinton County Fair May 24-25. Admission to the show at the fairgrounds is free to the public, explained Jerry. Theres a horse show going on there the same weekend, so it is hard to charge admission. Selling raffle tickets is a must for the group in order to raise any money as well as sponsors helping out. [We] could not do it without the sponsors, he added. Currently, the group is raffling off a motorized ice cooler and a rebuilt 350 Chevy engine. The drawing for both will be May 25. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5. As well as raising money for organizations at the spring nationals, the group will have honor guards perform the National Anthem at noon to honor veterans. Its Memorial weekend, so its kind of touching, said Jerry. The weekend is also when four trophies are distributed to winners based on class. There are also two Best of Show trophies awarded. One of our Best in Shows gets picked to go to the Super Wheel Showdown in Boston in October, explained Dianna. CVCC pays the fee for the winner to go to Boston, where only a hundred other cars are chosen to be presented. Its quite an honor to go there, said Jerry. They have the best of the best. The Seymours own four cars between the two of them. Their best of the best includes a 1972 Oldsmobile, 442 Model W30. The car may look familiar as it was featured in the 1994 movie The Next Karate Kid, which starred Hilary Swank. Dianna explained that during the movie the back windshield was broken by a man with a baseball bat. Some of the glass was under the carpet still, said Dianna. We kept it. Its a nostalgia thing. We put a lot of repairs into it. Tried to get it in really nice condition, Jerry added. For people who enjoy cars as much as the Seymours, CVCC is the group for them, they said. Even for those who do not have a classic car of their own, they are still invited to join their group of more than 300 members. We have a good membership and its pretty consistent, said Jerry. We lose some, but then toward spring we always seem to make up [for it]. Those interested in joining the Champlain Valley Classic Cruisers may contact the Seymours for an application at 563-6657, or by sending them an e-mail to seymourd2@charter.net. More information may also be found on the club Web site, www.cvcc1.homestead.com. Members also receive a newsletter, The Lug-Nut, which informs them of the dates of each event during the season.

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