CCHS Excel Club holds car show, raises funds for child abuse prevention
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove High School Excel Club held a car show to raise awareness and funds for Child Abuse Prevention in the Cove Terrace Shopping Center Saturday.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and Child Abuse Prevention is one of the major platforms that the National Exchange Club likes to focus on, according to Excel Club Advisor Charles Lyons. The Excel Club is the high school equivalent of the Noon Exchange Club and Morning Exchange Clubs of Copperas Cove.
Funds raised from registration fees will go to organizations in the area that help with child abuse prevention mitigation and education, including Child Protective Services and even the Hope Pregnancy Center, Lyons said.
Sponsors of the event included Team JLyons, the Johnson family, the Lyons family, Grandes Ligas Barber Shop, the Caricano Group, Janet Ritter, Manning Homes, the Exchange Club of Copperas Cove, Cove Terrace Shopping Center and the Five Hills Royalty.
The car show offered an opportunity for car, truck and even motorcycle enthusiasts to gather outside and share their love of vehicles and engines, especially after COVID-19 caused car shows to be cancelled in 2020. Lyons said that this was one reason that a car show was selected.
“At the same time, you have families who have been in the house and everything, and the car show afforded them an opportunity to come out and see the cars and in an open air environment and at the same time support a cause- Child Abuse Prevention,” Lyons said.
There were approximately 58 cars registered, with a fee of $15 per car. Trophies were given for 27 different categories including People’s Choice, President’s Choice, Oldest in Show, Something Special, Best Car in Show, Best Car Pre-’72, Best Truck in Show, Best Motorcycle, Best Muscle Car, Best Lowrider, Best Patriotic, Best Import and more.
Lyons said that the high turnout for the car show meant a lot.
“It means that the community as a whole supports the fight against child abuse,” Lyons said. “It also means that even though we’re not at normal, we’re getting close to normal by verge of the people coming out, just the interaction itself. Seeing the smiling faces. That’s what it’s about.”
Carlos Perez owns a 2004 Jeep Wrangler that pays homage to Spiderman, Stan Lee and the Marvel Universe, complete with custom decal work, custom metal work and more. A tribute to the comic book superhero can be found just about everywhere on the Jeep. His Jeep won the award for President’s Choice, which was selected by the Excel Club president.
This Jeep is called Spidey-II. Perez said he had another Spiderman Jeep previously that was involved in a wreck.
“I love Marvel characters, but what Spiderman embodies- the friendly neighborhood Spiderman. I literally, all the neighbors, I wave at everybody. I say hi to everybody. I talk to everybody I can, and so it just kind of morphed into let’s do Spiderman.”
Perez said he likes to take his Jeep off-roading and take it to car shows. He was glad to come to Saturday’s car show because of the cause it was supporting.
“That’s why I really wanted to do it,” Perez said. “I contemplated all week long, ‘Do I go? Do I not?’ and I started reading into it. It’s just for a great cause. I was like, ‘This is something I definitely need to do.’ Whether I win or don’t win, it’s going to a good cause.”
John Jones brought his 1924 Cadillac, which took home the trophy for Oldest in Show Car.
Jones bought the car for $19,000 in an auction on Ebay by accident, he said. The 97-year-old car has all of its original parts and still runs and drives. It was previously in a museum and was painted in the museum, but other than that is just like it was when it was first created, Jones said.
“It’s the dividing line for me between a modern car and a previous thing,” Jones said. “Everything on this car had to be invented. Everything after this car is just an improvement on what somebody else already invented.”
Jones also had a 1953 Cadillac displayed at the show. He said he enjoyed getting to take his cars out to shows.
“I don’t do this for the trophies,” Jones said. “It’s more for just people’s education, for letting people see different things that are old and everything. Kids love it. I let the kids get in there, get their picture taken. It’s not a piece of art. It’s just a car.”