National honor for local Corvette Club
Community service award includes $1,500 that will go to youth program

       The Colorado Springs Corvette Club has long contributed to charitable causes, and this year the 150-member group is being honored for it.

In a publicity photo at the scenic Mesa Road turnout for the Colorado Springs Corvette Club's recently revealed national community service award, club representatives Mikie Ulrich (far left) and Hal Tumbleson flank Stacy Butler, director of the youth program that the club is helping fund this year, and one of its participants, Tristan Hunzeker, age 7. Club members' Corvettes are parked in back - the red is Lee and Ann Partee's 1960, the white is Nick Renfro's '67, and the blue is Wayne and Susan Umland's '07.
Rob Miskowitch photo

       In addition to a custom trophy, the annual “Golden Rule” community service award from Eagle One and Valvoline includes $1,500 in cash for a club-selected charity and a quantity of automobile products.
       “It's a feather in our cap,” said Westside resident and club president Patty Strauch. “It's kind of cool.”
       For an uncounted number of years, club members have put together annual Christmas baskets with bought and donated foods (plus toys for kids) to 150 families “who have 'fallen through the cracks' onto hard times,” she said. “Most have had no significant help other than ours.”
       Also each year, the club provides funding assistance to a selected charity. This year it's a church youth program for at-risk kids called S.A.Y. (Saving America's Youth) Yes, which started renting space this school year at the Westside Community Center, offering character-building programs for grades 1-6 Tuesdays through Thursdays.
       According to Strauch, the Corvette Club plans to give the $1,500 to S.A.Y. Yes.
       However, that won't reduce the funding the club itself is providing to the programs, she said. As is club practice, such money comes from the club treasury, along with donations from members and from businesses that club members contact.
       As for the automobile products, she said they'll be handed out as door prizes at various club events, such as car shows and auto-crosses, in the months ahead.
       Valvoline and Eagle One annually determine Golden Rule winners for the West, Midwest, North, and South regions of the United States, plus a national award. The local club won both its division (West) as well as the national, Strauch said.
       According to its website, the Colorado Springs group is “one of the oldest Corvette clubs west of the Mississippi River. Our club is made up of people from all walks of life, all economic situations and all social backgrounds who like to enjoy America's only true Sports Car.”
       The club had applied for the award through the National Council of Corvette Clubs.

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