It all began with the original six. Unlike the original six that immediately comes to mind — you know, those six teams who started a little organization we’ve come to love as the National Hockey League — this group of six individuals had smaller, but equally enjoyable, pursuits in mind.
“They just wanted to show off their cars and meet other car people,” says Lynn Moore, president of the Barrie Thunder Classics Car Club, explaining the club’s founding fathers’ purpose for starting the group.
Over the next 15 years that group of six men grew tenfold to 60 full-fledged members. And that growth helped changed the club’s scope and purpose.
Although showing off and appreciating classic vehicles is still a primary focus of the Barrie Thunder, they’ve also become an intricate part of Barrie’s social fabric.
“Six years ago we changed the application so it included both the husbands and wives,” Moore explains. “We wanted to be more of a social club. That’s how I started, and it just went from there.”
Every three years they vote on which charities they will support. Currently they donate to the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Services, which help people recover from surgery and strokes, and the Barrie Food Bank.
“The members are happy to help out,” says Moore, who’s been a part of the club for eight years, and president for four. “We have a charity committee that comes up with ways we can raise funds for the different charities.”
She says the committee is key, especially as they’ve had to stop their 50/50 draws that went to support the charity of their choice. “It’s changed where there’s now so many rules and regulations to hold the draw, and we don’t want to get fined or get the City of Barrie in any trouble,” Moore explains. “So we’re now raising money through other means.”
But that hasn’t put a damper on the club. In September they held a food drive and collected over 175 pounds of items for the food bank. And they’ve increasingly become involved with local retirement homes.
“We did an event recently at Roberta Place,” Moore says. “We had almost 30 cars there. The residents absolutely loved seeing the cars. We usually do two or three of these a year.”
When they’re not spending their time giving back to the community, the members of Barrie Thunder are meeting at Heritage Park on Wednesday nights to enjoy the scenery and their gorgeous vehicles.
“We started meeting at Heritage Park two years ago and it’s been fantastic,” Moore says. “It’s so beautiful out there; we usually sit out until past dusk. An average night would see about 120 to 140 cars, and of course there are lots of people walking in the park who stop and take a look.” The weekly meetings are a small taste of the club’s annual car show, which happens every July.
“Everything we’ve been a part of has just been phenomenal.”
For more information on the Barrie Thunder Classics Car Club visit www.barriethunderclassics.com.
Written by Travis Persaud