By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
A local Corvette club will help veterans with their second such fundraiser in May.
In June of 1953 the first Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Mich. It was a hit, even with its expensive $3,498 price tag.
And its fans have been in love with the car ever since. This year Corvette is celebrating its 60 birthday and with that bragging rights — no other American made car has ever had as long a production run.
Fifty-eight Corvette clubs in Indiana and Michigan alone testify to its continued popularity. Locally, The Elkhart Vette Set meets monthly “to promote the spirit of friendship, sportsmanship, and fun through mutual appreciation of their cars; careful and skillful driving; safety on and off the highway; good rapport with the public and maintain high moral standards at all times.”
That translates into dinner drives, rallies, parades, car shows, autocross and speed events.
The latter is the club’s main event. Over the Labor Day Weekend at the Tire Rack in South Bend, Corvette owners from across the country show up to race in 21 low speed events.
“We race one car at a time around a series of pylons. It’s a timed event,” said club member Stan Delagrange. “I think about 40 to 50 Corvettes compete.”
And while club members love all things Corvette, it certainly isn’t their only focus. Over the years the Elkhart Vette Set has donated to the New Paris and Bristol food pantries and recently to the Center for Healing and Hope in Goshen.
“We’ve had a number of fundraisers over the years,” Delagrange said. “But this is the first year we’ve decided to help out with Vettes for Vets.”
In cooperation with the Star City and Lafayette Corvette clubs of Lafayette, the local club is working to raise money and donations of personal care products for the Indiana Veterans’ Home in West Lafayette.
“They need cotton balls, cotton swabs, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, shower caps and shoes, soap, shower get, cologne, perfume, nail polish and nail polish remover,” Delagrange said. “All of donations and money will go directly to support the veteran’s needs.”
Then on May 4, rain or shine, Corvette owners will take to their cars and head to the Tippecanoe County Amphitheater, 4447 Ind. 43 North (Exit 178 off of I-65). From there they will line up and head a half a mile down the road to the Veteran’s Home where they will drop off their contributions.
Then club members will open their car hoods and doors and let veteran’s see the vehicles up close. Club members will be treated to a tour of the facility.
“It’s a good cause to give back to the Vets,” Delagrange said. “And it’s a good club event for us.”
Corvette owners, even if they are not a member of a club, can participate in the Second Annual Vettes for Vets event.
To donate, email email@example.com or call (574) 361-3832. Donations can also be accepted at the group’s month meeting. The Vette Set meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Monday of every month in the downstairs level of the Goshen Public Library.
The Elkhart County Vette Set, founded in 1967 is a member of the National Council of Corvette Clubs.