PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- A car club in Port Orchard has been a staple in the community since the 1950s. With 65 members and a waiting list, the Saints Car Club is about more than just cars.
“I joined the club two years before I had a drivers license in the 1950s," charter member Roger Jensen said. “I kind of do the jobs nobody else wants to do...”
Jensen was there when the Port Orchard police chief started the club back in the 1950s to keep the drag racers and car cruisers off the streets. What has kept the club going all these years is the camaraderie.
“We learned to work on vehicles, we learned to help others. We started doing that right from the start.”
Bill Hubble has been a member of the Saints for three years.
“I have friends in the club, and they asked me to join, and I thought it was a privilege ... We all have the same interest: cars, and helping the community.”
The community aspect is the priority for the Saints.
“There’s a lot of people that fall on hard times and we want to give back, that’s what we are all about.”
Jensen says it was personal.
"When I saw people in line needing food that I knew, it really hit home.”
So as their namesake suggests, the Saints stepped up to be more than just a car club.
Larry VanBoeyen is the former president of the club. He says they have donated more than $60,000 back to the Port Orchard community through food bank donations and scholarships.
“I mean it’s been real good to the car club. It’s been real good to the people with interest in street rods and special interest vehicles. There’s no reason for us not to support ‘em.”
Their biggest fundraiser is the club’s Annual CRUZ, which takes place each year on the second Sunday in August.
“We run anywhere from 500 to 600 cars.”
Hubble says it is rewarding.
“It’s just a great feeling to put on such a nice show for the people.”
The club says 10,000-12,000 people come to the show each year. It offers a space for car enthusiasts to come out and see some of the most beautiful rides in western Washington.
“It’s just been a gathering of people with common interests."