Community editor and columnist Kris Capps is a longtime resident of Fairbanks and Denali Park. Contact her at kcapps@newsminer.com, in the office at 459-7546 or by cell at 322-6334. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.

Car club bears

The Vernon Nash Car Club delivered close to 900 stuffed animals to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital on Thursday afternoon, Aug 22, 2019. Kyrie Long/News-Miner

It was a good year for the Vernon L. Nash Antique Car Club in Fairbanks, so the group shared its good fortune with several local community groups.

Usually, the club donates about $1,000 to a local charity every year. But in 2019, due to donations of vehicles from estates, the club was able to share more than $17,000 with other local nonprofits.

The estate of Sara Crawford donated a 2012 Ford Fusion, which the club sold for $7,200. She was not a member, but donated the vehicle so its sale could benefit the community.

At a regular meeting, club members nominated charities and then voted to split those funds between three agencies, with $2,400 apiece going to Guys Read Gals Read, Alaska Health Fair and Friends of Creamer’s Field.

The estate of member Larry Sullivan donated four vehicles from his car collection, which added another $18,000 to the donation pot.

“If people donate cars to us, we’ll put it back in the community,” said Jeff Creamer, club president.

Sullivan had requested that half those proceeds go to Fairbanks Hospice, according to the club newsletter. The Fairbanks Hospice was granted a check for $9,000. The remaining $9,000 from the car collection will remain in club coffers.

The $1,000 raised through the club’s 50/50 raffles at regular meetings went to United Way of the Tanana Valley.

Club members donated their personal time to the community in 2019 as well. One Saturday every month, the group helps pack distribution boxes at the Fairbanks Community Food Bank. That good work started as a one-time canned food drive and became a monthly commitment. 

Every summer, the car lovers hold their Teddy Bear Car Show and collect stuffed animals to donate to the Pediatric Ward at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. That event will be held again at Pioneer Park in 2020.

“I ask members all the time. Who do you see that needs help?” Creamers said.

“It was very satisfying to be the benefactor of multiple charities this year, which is something I hope we can continue in the years to follow,” he said in his newsletter message.

“The amount of community work and charitable donations by our club to the Fairbanks community is something we should all be proud of,” said Rick Larrick, the club’s newsletter editor, in his newsletter column.

Planning the new year begins at a special meeting in February.

The Vernon L. Nash Antique Auto Club is a longtime local club for people who love old cars. The group is affiliated with the Antique Automobile Club of America, the country’s oldest and largest automobile historical society. A classic vehicle, by the way, is anything 25 years or older. The more than 200 members had a busy year of events and activities.

For more information on the Vernon L. Nash Antique Auto Club, go to www.fairbanksaaca.org.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMKris.