Car of the Month - Jan 11
2nd Annual Cruise for the Fallen
On Sunday, December 5th, over 70 Mustangs, one Pantera, one Camaro, and many other makes, each sporting a black ribbon, arrived at the Steele Street Forza Coffee Shop in Lakewood, Washington. Named the 2nd annual Cruise for the Fallen, this cruise-in was held to memorialize all law enforcement officers that had been killed in the line of duty. The Forza shop was chosen as the end point due to its having been the site where four Lakewood officers were gunned down on November 29, 2009. May you all rest in peace.
Several hundred dollars were collected - so much so that Forza's counter donation jar was stuffed to the brim and overflowing. I placed the Cruise's larger donation jar next to theirs; I hope that by now, both are full. The Officer's Memorial is four flagpoles and an elegant plaque depicting the four officers, surrounded by flowers and memoriams, and stands on the corner...but construction was, as of yet, incomplete. Forza was about $5000 short of being able to complete the memorial; the donations went directly towards that goal.
When the day started, I was prepared to battle with traffic, long lines of cars that didn't know each other or exactly where they were going (otherwise known as "herding cats"), inter-make rivalries, bad-taste shows of horsepower, and sour attitudes towards law enforcement. There was none. What I found was an unbelievable amount of caring, comradeship, and community involvement that I was proud to be a part of. Many thanks to all who participated!!
After everyone had their coffee, many cruised on to the Triple XXX Toys for Tots Drive to give some more. My friends, my husband Ernie, and I decided to see if the Lakewood Police Department would accept the 30-something donated teddy bears. When we arrived at LPD, the officers we encountered were exceedingly gracious, but could not take the bears as they had received SO many donations, they didn't have room! So the following week, I took the bears to the Snohomish County Women & Children's Shelter Thrift Shop in Everett, where they were to be on the shelves of their annual "Christmas House". At this special event, kids & moms, who were trying to rebuild their lives after going through domestic violence, can select toys directly off the shelves of the store - for free. My hope is that those bears will help comfort someone trying to make it through some pretty dark hours.
I believe the day's overall attitude was best described by a saying on one of the barista's aprons that read: "My heroes don't wear capes. They wear Kevlar."