TWCC presented a $500 check to Education for Tomorrow Alliance at Market Street last week from donations collected at TWCC Cars & Coffee for a Cause. The rest of the money donated was collected from the parking meters - 2nd quarter 2014. Thank you to everyone who participates in this once a month Sunday morning event. We appreciate your support and generosity.
WPS has been part of TWCC since it's inception in 2001, and has helped raise and donate over $100,000 to local non-profit organizations in Montgomery County. Thank you to all of our customers and enthusiasts who have generously donated and participated in these events over the years, and who continue to support our mission in "Using Our Cars to Give Back to the Community".
Dana Pritchard, president of The Woodlands Car Club, also co-owns Woodlands Performance & Suspension with Sean Rizk. The couple shares a passion for cars and for helping out local charities. Photo: Lindsay Peyton / HC
THE WOODLANDS, Texas - Tuesday, June 12 (Houston Chronicle). The first Sunday of each month, the main drag of the Market Street shopping center is transformed into a showroom for hot rods, sports cars and classic rides.
The Woodlands Car Club gathers at 9 a.m. for a morning dedicated to showing off unique vehicles. A total of 44 parking spaces are reserved for members, but the group also encourages area enthusiasts to join. All types of cars and all ages of guests are invited.
Besides admiring sleek lines and souped-up engines, members are raising funds for nonprofit groups. The club's monthly Cars & Coffee for a Cause collects coins for Market Street's "Change for Charities" program.
The causes change each year, but the car club's dedication remains steady. At the end of the day, members believe trophies are nothing compared to helping out the community.
President Dana Pritchard said the club's commitment to fundraising for worthy causes sets it apart. "There's no club like this," she said. "The main goal is for us to use our cars to give back."
Pritchard was first invited to join the car club by her father Bruce Carter, a car enthusiast, in 2001. She attended her first meeting with Sean Rizk. They both became dedicated members, and Pritchard soon made her way into the driver's seat of The Woodlands Car Club.
"My responsibilities grew as my passion grew," she said. "I wanted to drive the club in a charity way. I had to step up, because I knew there was more we could do."
Along the way, Pritchard and Rizk started their own business, Woodlands Performance & Suspension, a one-stop automotive shop for customization and modifications.
Rizk worked in the automotive industry for 10 years before deciding to venture out on his own. He also loved cars since childhood. "My dad took me to Indy 500 races, and I just grew up around race cars," he said. At work, Rizk saw how people related to their cars. "It's like building a custom home - you tailor it to who you are. The same goes for cars," he said. "It's an expression of style."
"People often identify themselves with what they drive," he added. "For older cars, it's nostalgia. People get into cars at a young age, and they want to have the car they had when they were 16," he said. For the newer cars, Rizk said it is more about adrenaline. "It's about horsepower and aesthetics," he said. "It starts with the engine power and evolves into the sound of the car."
In their new business, they saw first-hand how much people loved their vehicles and how customers gathered around cars. Pritchard, with a background in marketing, applied her observations to the car club.
"We started our business with nothing, and now we have a great customer base," she said. "As our partnership and our business grew, we were in a take charge position. I thought we had to do the right thing."
Her goal was to turn the car club around and focus on how to use the marketability of a car show to raise money for charities. Since 2001, the group has raised more than $70,000 for local nonprofit organizations. The club also hosts an annual Evening Fall Car Show. Each November, on a Saturday night, members invite the community to check out the cars, listen to live music and raise funds for the Woodforest Charitable Foundation.
Pritchard said the event provides residents in The Woodlands an option for a night-out to raise money that will not break the bank. "It brings people who can't write a $500 check for a black tie affair, who can't afford to play in a golf tournament or who don't have the time to train for a Fun Run," she said. "What about the people who work day in and out to provide for their families? They still want to give. This is their chance."
Pritchard said the Car Club is trying to do as much possible with limited resources financially and with volunteers. She is still sometimes shocked that a club with 50 members has raised so much. I just cry when I count the money," she said. "People are so generous. I wonder if they understand the magnitude of what they're doing." Pritchard said every little bit helps.
"In the big scheme of things, we're really small," she said. "We're small voices but we want to put a spotlight on what we can do to contribute to our community."
Pictured is Dana Pritchard, president of The Woodlands Car Club, (far left) standing with car enthusiasts along with Tony Gullo, Sr. (second to the left) who hosted the private tour in celebration of the car club’s 10th anniversary.
THE WOODLANDS, Texas - The Woodlands Car Club celebrated its 10 year anniversary with a private classic car tour at Tony Gullo’s car museum in Magnolia. The private event was an invitation- only tour of Gullo’s more than 250 classic cars in a sprawling facility complete with mock gas station, 50s diner, Christmas village and muscle cars outfitted with car hops and window trays.
The Woodlands Car Club was founded in March 2001 by a local group of car enthusiasts to create friendships, fellowship, foster relationships with local business and community, create awareness for and give back to local non-profit organizations in Montgomery County. The organization is comprised of a small group of enthusiastic and committed volunteers to serve the community in a variety of ways.
The purpose behind The Woodlands Car Club is to provide gatherings to show off our special vehicles within the car club to our local community, share information about needful nonprofit organizations in Montgomery County, and to give back monetarily as well. For the 10 year anniversary get together TWCC requested a donation for the Gullo Christmas for Kids Foundation.
"We were so grateful to be given the opportunity to view Mr. Gullo’s vast car collection," Dana Pritchard said, president of The Woodlands Car Club. "Our guests made donations to enter the museum and we were able to donate $500 to the Gullo Foundation. We know this Foundation is so very special to them and we wanted to acknowledge that."
During its 10 year history, TWCC has donated more than $60,000 to Montgomery County charitable organizations and continue to ‘use our cars to give back to the community’ according to Pritchard. One such event is TWCC Cars & Coffee for a Cause held at Market Street the first Sunday of each month from 9-11 a.m.
"We host various car club events as well as a steady feature at Market Street the first Sunday of every month," Pritchard said. "The money we raise here goes to the Market Street Change for Charity program that benefits our local community."
The four Change for Charity recipients for 2011 are: The Woodlands Children’s Museum, Panther Creek Inspirational Ranch, Bridgewood Farms and Special Life Network.
"The Woodlands Car Club does so much good in our community and we are glad to be part of their success," Jenny Taylor said, marketing director for Market Street. "We know when they succeed nonprofit agencies in our community thrive. Giving back is what it is all about."
TWCC welcomes all types of vehicles from domestics to imports, classics, hot rods, exotics, and more. They encourage diversity and feel it is important to use our special vehicles at local events for such great causes.
TWCC Cars & Coffee for a Cause, December 2014. 4th Quarter recipient: Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation. Thank you to all who came out as well as brought toys for the toy drive.
The Woodforest Charitable Foundation in conjunction with Dana Pritchard, The Woodlands Car Club, donated to the Montgomery County Women’s Center along with several other nonprofit agencies. David Gottlieb and Kim Marling of the WCF made the donation to the Women’s Center as well as to New Danville, Montgomery County Youth Services and Habitat for Humanity. Cathie Gillum, MCWC board president, accepted the donation on behalf of the Women’s Center.