The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 19, 2013

Monthly cruise-ins are an outlet for car enthusiasts in Andover

By STACY MILLBERG - smillberg@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

ANDOVER — It all began 15 years ago when four young families got together and decided to form a group to share their love of cars with others and give back to the community.

The Our Gang Family Car Club is getting ready for its 15th season with their first cruise-in slated for June 11 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Andover McDonald’s and Covered Bridge Pizza parking lots.

The group hosts four cruise-ins each year. The month get-togethers are held on the second Tuesday of the month during the months of June, July, August and September.

The group started out small, but has grown to anywhere between 15 to 150 cars featured each month. Member Dave Jordan said it all just depends on the weather how many people come out. The cruise-ins are held rain or shine.

“Even if its pouring, there will still be people sitting there,” he said.

A 50/50 raffle is held at each event and several local business offer discounts including McDonald’s, Dairy Queen and Covered Bridge. There is also a disc jockey each month to provide entertainment.

The club welcomes all makes, models and years of cars, trucks and motorcycles and would like to see some of the younger generation come out and join in as well, Jordan said.

The cruise-ins are an outlet for car enthusiasts to get together and talk cars, but they also serve as a way for the group to give back to the community, he said.

It was difficult in the beginning for the group to get underway, as the four families had to finance everything themselves. Once they started to get a following, they were able to get a few sponsors and now a large percentage of the funds they raise are donated to various organizations throughout the community.

Jordan said the groups donates a lot to HALO and other children’s organizations at Christmas time. The group also donates to numerous churches and veterans organizations as well as local families in need.

“We try to kick in here and there,” he said. “Whatever it takes to help out.”

Jordan said if a local family suffers a tragedy such as a house fire, the group is always there to help out.

“We try to give back to the community as much as we can,” he said.