Jack Stewart Explains Why

February 2013
USA ARMED FORCES DAYJack Stewart
CLASSIC CAR SHOW AND TOYS FOR TOTS DRIVE

Dear Car Owners and Sponsors;

I have been working on the Cooper Regional History Museum Car Show on Armed Forces Day for over a month.  As I travel around the local cities asking Car owners to bring their outstanding creations to Upland for our show and for businesses to consider putting their cards in our advertising materials, questions arise: “Why does your show cost so much?” “Where does the money go?” “Why should I bring my car to your event when I can enter other shows for free?”

When I am talking directly to potential supporters, I can answer most of their questions.  In dealing with them by mail or on the internet, it’s different matter.  I am not adequately explaining the facts that bring twenty-five members of The Cooper Museum and The Classic Impressions Car Club to spend hundreds of volunteer hours creating this unique event.

Before I continue, a bit of history about our museum seems appropriate.  Several years ago the City of Upland gave the Museum ownership of The Chaffey Cultural Center on 18th Street.  We had managed it for forty years on city property as a Museum and Cultural Center.  Within months of taking ownership, San Bernadino County sent us a $12,000/year property tax bill.  They decided the cultural center was a business, not a non-profit organization due to the weddings and funerals we had in the 1910 old St. Mark’s church.

This tax bill was a huge financial blow to a small organization that makes operating expenses by selling items at The Cable Air Show, Teas in our courtyard, membership dues and Tours of unusual homes.  The $12,000 tax bill has forced us into the red almost every month.  We are no longer able to fund our Children’s Programs.

Alas, the idea of a very special Car Show emerged, one that would be fun and benefit others.  A Marine Colonel is on The Cooper Museum board and shared that the Toys for Tots event often can only give one toy to each child at Christmas.  He also reminded us that our troops are dying and loosing limbs every day.  Some come home with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.

In addition to a classic car show, we decided to convert our Courtyard into a “USO Canteen” with free coffee and donuts along with big band, jazz and western music.  We will be contacting all Veterans organizations in our area, Loma Linda Hospital and also bringing Vets from all wars as a “Thank you” for keeping us free and protected from terrorism.

We are planning to return The Chaffey Cultural Center to the City of Upland, thus cancelling our huge tax liability.  We will then be able to continue Children’s Programs at the Cooper with storytellers, Indian folklore, local history of Upland, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga and other cities along with music and games.

The Marines told us that the toy they give a child may be the only one received at Christmas.  It is not that the family would not want to give their children more, but sometimes the choice is food, medicine or a toy.  Your car and/or business sponsorship will allow more kids to receive Toys, Vets to experience our heartfelt “Thank you” for their sacrifices and children to attend summer programs they will always remember.  If you are unable to take part in this special event, stop by the Museum and leave a toy.  Make a kid happy.  We’re collecting all year for Toys for Tots.

Thank you.  Your participation will help us make many dreams come true.

Sincerely,

Jack H. Stewart
Publicity, Trophies,Prizes and Liason to car owners and businesses
Contact information: 1477 Francis Ave., Upland, CA 91786
(909) 732-1337
jack@coopermuseum.org

About the Author