A Club for American Car Enthusiasts
Judy Holt, CAMS President at (501) 681-5881 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual CAMS event at VA hospital has record attendance
Story by Tim Irby
Photos by Dan Slingbaum
The 13th annual CAMS Car Club of Sherwood sponsored “Dad’s Ole Car Ain’t What It Used To Be” at the North Little Rock Veterans Hospital was held on November 3, 2013. The weather god was once again looking down on us and provided a beautiful fall Sunday afternoon. The entire main parking lot was full east to west by 1:00pm and, by this writers count, the event drew a record 147 hotrod, muscle cars or other classic vehicles. At least 30 of the vehicles were veteran owned.
Michael Dobbs, Chief of Voluntary Services for the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, estimated the spectators, staff and patients near 1,000, making it by far the most successful event yet for CAMS. To quote Dobbs, “One Veteran, unable to speak, began jumping around in his wheel chair with one of the largest smiles I have ever seen. The nurse pushing him, also exhibited a huge smile as Judy Holt, president of CAMS placed a ball hat on his head saying. “That’s what it’s all about, that smile! And that’s why we continue to do this every year.”
The VA Police did a great job with traffic control and blocking off the area closest to the entry of hospital, for ease of Veteran access to the cars. The nursing staff on the units did a phenomenal job getting numerous Veterans out to look at the cars.
Ed Knowton, a VA volunteer and veteran, took photos of patients with their favorite car and will provide free pictures to over 45 Veterans.
Everything was free, which included hot dogs and cookies from Golden Corral Restaurant, Kroger donated drinks and CAMS provided buns and condiments.
DJ Mike Lewellen continues to be a major partner in this project. Mike played music all day and his speaker system is so strong everyone could hear the music and announcements from anywhere on the parking lot.
While not a car show, CAMS gave out a couple of plaques to liven up the event. A Peoples Choice award went to Troy and Willa Sanders of Maumelle, Arkansas. Their 2006 Corvette was tricked out like nothing you’ve ever seen before. And the Participants Choice award was given to Lee Crouch who brought his 2-tone green and white ’68 Ford F100.
Thanks goes out to the VA’s medical media for taking event photos, EMS providing tables and chairs, VA police providing traffic control and the staff of Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System escorting Veterans out to enjoy the cars. Special thanks to Susan Bradley, recreational therapist and her volunteer husband for their help in making the event enjoyable for many Veterans from the dementia unit!
The North Little Rock VA hospital primarily serves veterans requiring long-term hospitalization. Some are there for only a few months. Some never leave and their bed area becomes a permanent home filled with books, pictures and other memorabilia. Participating in this event is a one worthwhile experience. We hope to see even more vehicles in 2014.