Jacked-up cars, bouncing suspensions and loud music come to mind when contemporary car clubs are mentioned. But some Killeen-area car clubs are determined to change that image.
“Most people think car clubs in Killeen are bad. We want them to have a better opinion (of us). We really want to give back to youth,” said Germaine James, president of the local chapter of Flawlezz Ryderz car club, which recently held a car show at the Copperas Cove Armed Forces YMCA Member Appreciation Day.
“The car club contacted us about supporting our membership appreciation festival and our back-to-school event,” said Doreen Vasseur, YMCA Family Center Director. “Everyone was excited to see all of the customized cars.”
The car show raised money to buy school supplies and backpacks for the back-to-school event. The club has scheduled other events to support the community.
“Organizations are surprised when we call them offering to serve,” said Wyteishia Duvley, the club’s public relations officer. “They never hear of a car club wanting to help the community. They only think of car clubs as being loud. If more people see us in a positive light rather than negative, the image will change.”
Ty Lander, club vice president, said the club battles a negative stigma because people see car clubs as reckless and gang-connected.
Lander said club members have recruited friends and neighbors to help. The club plans to do some cleanup work at a Ronald McDonald House later this month, has submitted paperwork to adopt a highway, planned a “trunk-or-treat” event for Halloween, will make Thanksgiving baskets and take part in Toys for Tots for families during the holidays and lead a Christian car show in November.
13th Ghosts Lifestyle Club
A commitment to community service is also a requirement for membership in the 13th Ghosts Lifestyle Club, another local car club.
“We don’t want anyone in our club who doesn’t want to help the community,” CEO Corey Ingram said. “We don’t care about the kind of car you drive. It’s about what kind of person you are. We want to know the owner, not the car.”
The club was named after the movie, “Thir13een Ghosts,” where the 13th ghost, The Broken Heart, was willing to sacrifice his life for his family.
The 13th Ghosts formed in 2010. It has since contributed hundreds of hours to the community, by donating Thanksgiving baskets to the Salvation Army and Christmas presents for hospitalized children, hosting two annual back-to-school supply events and organizing other service projects.