COPPERAS COVE — In one corner stood a 1929 Chevy, a ’70 Mustang, and a ’48 GMC pickup. On the other side, a ’39 Ford, ’71 Camaro, a ’72 Nova and a ’64 Impala glistened. But this wasn’t any ordinary car show.
The Copperas Cove Moose Lodge 2029 hosted the event Saturday to raise money for the needy kids they help nurture, and for local charities such as the Killeen Food Care Center, the Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen and My Brother’s House Food Pantry in Cove.
Even though the ad-hoc event was put together in a month, 60 people and 20 cars showed up, said Alex “Smitty” Smith, a moose member, and builder and owner of a ’66 Impala on display. “One lucky person will also win a trophy for the best car as voted by guests. So we raise funds and car owners win, too.”
Established in 1880, the club transformed into what it is today in 1939. The lodge takes in at-risk youth from broken homes and raises them on its headquarters campus — Moose Heart in Illinois, said Joe Streiff, the deputy supreme governor out of Austin.
“We select kids locally, too, and send them to school at our 1,000-acre campus just 40 miles west of Chicago,” Streiff said. “If they graduate high school with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, we send them to college.
“The whole point of the car show is to raise awareness about the lodge and its community service.”
Moose Lodge also has another facility called Moose Haven in Florida, which takes care of the elderly, said Streiff, a 26-year member of the organization.
“A moose takes care of its own in the wild by building barriers,” Smith said, “and that’s what we do here. We bring in youth and take care of our elderly. We protect kids out there who need providing for.”
There are 1,800 lodges across the U.S., including locations in Killeen, Harker Heights and San Antonio. The Cove location is on 3 acres and has 180 members. There is a separate women’s division called Women of the Moose.
“I got involved because of a friend with a car,” Smith said. “I’ve been here for five years now and this is like my second family. We bring our kids to meetings and it’s a great place for families.”