Olde Boys Toys Car Club donates $2,000 to Niles Amvets

NILES — Just around 5 p.m. Wednesday, dozens of classic cars in every color from powder blue and baby pink to black and electric orange began to fill the green space outside of the Niles Amvets building on Bertrand Road.

As the cars pulled in, the drivers waved to a group sitting near the entrance, the same way they had each week for the past 10 weeks. Wednesday’s event would be the last time the drivers would be gathered together for the summer, and they celebrated by donating to a Niles veterans’ organization.

The Olde Boys Toys Car Club hosted its 10th and final car show of the season Wednesday evening at the Niles Amvets building, 1117 E. Bertrand Road, Niles. During the event, the car club presented a $2,000 check to the Niles Amvets.

“We did this for 10 weeks, and everything goes to the post for their programs and the things they do for veterans in the area,” said Ron Gerkey, president of the Olde Boys Toys Car Club.

The $2,000 was collected through donations made at the car show by participants — who come from across the Michiana region— throughout the season.

Wednesday marked the second year the car club had donated to the Niles Amvets. Last year, members donated $1,500.

According to Post Commander Kerri Witte, the donation from the Olde Boys Toys Car Club will be used to maintain the Amvets post and go back into programming to help area veterans.

“If there is a veteran in need, we try to help in any way we can,” she said.

Witte said she has enjoyed working with the Olde Boys Toys Car Club throughout their show season and is grateful for the donation.

“[The club has] been absolutely amazing,” Witte said. “They have been so supportive of us, assisted with clean up lawn maintenance, clearing off our property and really assisted with getting our name out there and community. We really appreciate the support of our community. We hope we can reach local veterans and make a difference in their lives.”

After what Gerkey called an “excellent” season of car shows, he said he was happy to cap it off by donating to an organization he believes is doing good in the community.

“They serve the community and veterans that need help,” Gerkey said. “Some of us are not as fortunate as others, so those of us who are willing need to help where we can. That’s why we do it.”

Before he parked his Oldsmobile for the season, Gerkey said he was looking already looking forward to next summer’s car shows, hoping for yet another successful season.

“I’ve gone to car shows for years, probably 40 years,” he said. “We always think we can do things better, so we always try.”

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