EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WYTV) – For the past 10 years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been donated to 11 different food pantries across Columbiana County by members of the Cruisin’ Crew.
All of the money is raised through their car shows.
But now, if no one steps up, the Cruisin’ Crew could be no more — and each of these food pantries will lose a major community benefactor.
“Each year we set a goal, and this year we set it at $30,000,” said Gene Johnson, Cruisin’ Crew organizer. “And we’ll keep doing this up until Oct. 15 here in Columbiana and Mahoning county.”
Members of the Cruisin’ Crew know cars. But even better than that, they know how to give back to their community.
“They basically come out and donate a buck or two bucks,” Johnson said. “We’ve raised this money by one and two dollar donations throughout the whole year.”
The Crew is actually on tap to exceed their $30,000 goal by $5,000-$10,000.
“When it’s all said and done, all the money is donated through the Salem Community Foundation,” Johnson said. “And then we have them cut checks to the Second Harvest Food Bank in Mahoning County and then it’s donated to each pantry.”
Over the last 10 years, the food pantries that benefit from this generous donation are: Beloit, Columbiana, East Liverpool, East Palestine, Leetonia, Lisbon, New Waterford, Salem, Salineville and Winona.
But the members are getting older and they want someone to take it over. However, so far, no one has volunteered.
If no one does, this will be the last year for their cruises.
“We’re trying to get someone to step up,” Johnson said. “But the younger generation, they just don’t want to do it.”
Johnson just hopes someone does before it all comes to a close.
“We would just like to thank all the people who have donated to us throughout the years,” he said. “The car guys and stuff like that. And like I said, this will be our last year.”
For more on the Cruisin’ Crew and to contact them, check out their website here.
The Oct. 15 show is called “Cruise to Winery Oktoberfest” and will take place at Mastropietro Winery Inc. in Berlin Center.