Submitted by Jeannette Sieler, Recreation Supervisor for City of Lacey
For the past fifteen years, the last Saturday of summer was marked by the annual Summer’s End at Lacey Car Show at Huntamer Park, presented by the Lacey Parks & Recreation Department. Back in 2002 Lacey Councilmember Graeme Sackrison, who has remained an active part of the event all fifteen years, and Scott Spence, a city employee at the time and now Lacey City Manager, put out the word that they were looking for a car club to assist in organizing a car show for the city.
The idea was to add the car show to their growing list of community events that included the Lacey in Tune summer concert series, the annual tree lighting ceremony, the holiday bazaar, and the Alternative Fuel Fair. The only club to respond to the call was the Cool Creek Nites. The car show was set to be the end of the car show season, scheduled for the last Saturday of the summer, hence the name.
The Cool Creek Nites Car Club was formed by a group of like-minded car enthusiasts with a goal of helping the community. In 1998 the small club became a non profit organization and put out a call to any car club people that wanted to get a three day show started in Shelton. Strangers with a love of cars and a desire to help came together the first four years and did the show in Shelton.
A three day show proved daunting, so they started doing one day shows at the Olympia Auto Mall. The club raised money for the Shelton Senior Center and Safe Place in Olympia the first few years. In 2002 they decided their efforts needed to be more focused and they landed on a real need in the community, providing defibrillators for volunteer fire departments and first responders that couldn’t afford the $3500 a piece price tags. As the club came forward to assist with the Summer’s End at Lacey Car Show, it gave them the boost they needed to expand their vision.
For the next fifteen years they would provide lifesaving support throughout Thurston County and beyond, using the money raised from the car shows. Their recipients include the fire departments of Bald Hills, Olympia, Little Rock, Yelm, Bucoda in Thurston County; McCleary in Grays Harbor; Glenoma in Lewis County; and Griffin, Boston Harbor, and the Lacey Police Department in 2008. After meeting the needs for defibrillators, the club reached out to the departments again to see what else might be needed. In 2015 they were able to purchase a gurney for the Bald Hills Fire Department, and in 2016 they provided the Tenino Fire Department with bullet proof vests.
After the 2016 Car Show, Cool Creeks Nites Car Club made a hard decision to end their involvement with the city’s car show. With their membership numbers drastically depleted, they decided the time had come. Some of the club members who have stuck with the mission for the past fifteen years include Denise Spillman, Rob & Barb Lathrop, Alan Raphael, Jamie Haider, and Rick and Nancy Mayer. In turn, the City staff reevaluated the Car Show among the many other community events they now do, including the Annual Ethnic Celebration, the 3rd of July Fireworks Spectacular and Freedom Concert, the decision was made to let the show go, knowing there are many other shows now throughout the area offering car fans opportunities to share their passion. Here are just a few to checkout:
Lacey Spring Fun Fair Car Show: Sunday, May 7, at Saint Martins.
Cool Rides Car Show: Saturday, May 20, Huntamer Park presented by River Ridge High School Band Boosters.
Cops, Cars & Kids: Saturday, August 5, at Lacey City Hall, presented by the Lacey Police Department.
The City of Lacey would like to thank the members of the Cool Creek Nites Car Club for all their dedication to the Summer’s End at Lacey Car Show and to the community at large.
Additional thanks goes out to the Lacey South Sound Chamber of Commerce, 94.5 Roxy, the Lacey Sunrise Lions, and event sponsors: Interstate Batteries, Cut Rate Auto Parts, and Capital Heating and Cooling.