Car, motorcycle shows support sailors, Marines
By KIRK BOXLEITNER
Marysville Globe Reporter
July 22, 2011 · Updated 7:51 AM
SMOKEY POINT — Automobile and motorcycle enthusiasts didn’t let the weekend downpour stop them from supporting the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
Sound Harley-Davidson drew an estimated 14 entrants for its July 16 bike show and 26 entrants for its July 17 car show, both of which raised funds for NMCRS.
As of July 17, NMCRS Everett Director Andy Leech reported that more than $400 had been collected at the bike show and predicted that the car show would yield even more donations for an estimated total of between $1,000 and $1,200 for NMCRS for both days.
Marysville’s Randy McDonald, head road captain for the Puget Sound Chapter of the Harley Owners Group, estimated that as many as 40 of his fellow Puget Sound HOG Chapter members showed up to Sound Harley on July 16, in spite of the day’s heavy rain.
“We were actually going to help out with the graffiti paint-out in Marysville this morning, but that got cancelled,” McDonald said. “I didn’t buy my bike to have it just sit in the garage,” he laughed.
Both the bike and the car shows were judged by the event attendees, and McDonald explained his own criteria for judging that Saturday’s six bike categories.
“There’s some really unique customizations here,” McDonald said. “I look for how well it all goes together, and for the ones with chrome work, how well they did that job.”
McDonald was denied his dream of serving in the Navy when he was unable to pass his physical during the Vietnam conflict, but he’s glad to see his grandson, Marysville-Pilchuck High School sophomore Nick Mallow, in the Naval Junior ROTC, and he deemed NMCRS “my favorite charity.”
A number of non-bikers felt compelled to swing by and pitch in on behalf of NMCRS at Sound Harley, including more than half a dozen Columbia College human services students and close to 40 veterans from the Everett Vet Center. Marysville’s Nathan Sutton, who handles outreach for the Everett Vet Center, explained that his organization likewise supports service members, in their case through veterans counseling their fellow veterans. Part of their outreach involves attending community events such as the bike and car shows, to help them re-acclimate to civilian life.
“It changed my life,” said Sutton, who deployed to Iraq three times while still in the Navy.
Marysville’s Phil Tribuzio and Smokey Point’s Arthur Ebert are both Navy veterans who have been riding for years — Tribuzio since the end of his four year-stint in the Navy in 1966, and Ebert halfway through his 20-year hitch in the service, from which he retired in 2005 — and both men spoke of the camaraderie among both motorcycle riders and service members.
“It’s cool to ride down the highway and see another rider wave hi back at you,” Ebert said. “You’ll see people driving cars giving each other fingers, but never waves,” he laughed. “It’s good to help Navy Relief help active duty and retired service members in their times of need. Right now, there’s a lot of need.”
Smokey Point’s David Edwards expressed his pleasure at being able to help those in need. By his own account, he’s worked to atone for a number of misspent years in his life, but he also believes that cleaning up has given him a second chance to live out the dreams of his youth. To that end, when he turned 50, he finally bought a car that he could convert into a drag racer, which he’s entered in about eight races a year in the five years since then.
“It’s pure all-American horsepower, with no gimmicks,” Edwards said of the 1972 Pontiac Ventura that he showed off at the July 17 car show. “I got myself straightened out, so God was able to return to me the days that the locusts devoured. This car is my bucket list,” he laughed.
Contact Marysville Globe Reporter Kirk Boxleitner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-659-1300 Ext. 5052.