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For George Macary, owning a Corvette is more than just having a fast ride. It's about being a part of a group that equally enjoys cars and helping the community.
It's a sentiment that is echoed throughout Club Corvette of Connecticut, an East Haven-based car club of which George has been a member since 2000.
"We participate in car shows and we participate in events, but we have a 'give back to the community' philosophy," explains George, a Branford resident. "We use our Corvettes to help any time we can."
One such way is through Vettes for Vets, during which club members use Corvettes to pick up local veterans and chauffeur them to Memorial Day events on the Town Green. The club also participates in parades, such as the Fourth of July Parade in Madison.
"We do a lot to support the veterans," says George, noting the club has about 45 to 50 members who are veterans. Last year, the club participated in the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day event in Cheshire.
"We did caravans of Corvettes into Cheshire," George says.
The club members also used their Corvettes to escort Wounded Warriors from Sikorsky in Stratford to Milford. "There were 10 cars in front of the bus and 10 cars behind the bus," recalled George.
This Saturday, Nov. 10, the club will participate in a Save-a-Suit event at the Mohegan Sun Casino. The event provides donated suits to veterans.
"We use the Corvettes as an attraction to support community and civic type of events," George says, adding, "And we're always looking for an excuse to drive them."
The club was formed in 1993 with about nine members. It now has more than 300 members and is the largest Corvette club in the Northeast Region, says George.
George has served as vice president of the club for one year, president for two years, and is currently publicity chairman.
George's interest in Corvettes spans many years. In 1988, from his office window, George admired a co-worker's Corvette in the parking lot. That inspired him to purchase his own.
He bought a 1982 silver-beige model, a collector's edition built to commemorate the last year of the Corvette Stingray. He still owns the car and eventually added to his collection with the purchase of a new 2005 black Corvette.
George says the 1982 model "is a fun car to drive." The 2005 model is a more high-performance model that George uses for longer trips.
George says that sometimes he will decide to go for a drive and pick a time limit. When he reaches that time, he will turn around and head home.
"It's a great stress reliever," says George of driving his Corvettes. "I keep the cars insured all year round because I never know when I'll want to take one for a ride."
You can usually find George driving in one of those cars from April to December, but his work with the club runs year-round.
George and the other members will continue to be busy within the community, even as car show weather disappears. On the fourth Sunday of the month between October and March, club members serve meals at the Community Dining Room in Branford. The club also supports the Connecticut State Police's Troop G in Bridgeport with its Stuff a Cruiser event during the Christmas holiday. Club members collect toys and meet at McDermott Chevrolet in East Haven on the first Sunday in December. They fill Corvettes with toys and drive them down to Bridgeport. Last year, they filled 62 Corvettes.
George says the club's largest event is its annual car show, which is held on the first Sunday after the July 4 holiday. For the last few years, net proceeds from the show have been donated to the Connecticut Food Bank in East Haven. Last year, $5,000 was donated to the food bank.
George notes that it takes a lot of club members to coordinate all of these events. "We get a lot of participation and that's what makes it a strong club," he says.
When he's not participating in club activities or driving either of his Corvettes, George spends time working on a third Corvette, a race car, with one of his friends. It's a 1969 model that he hopes will be able to hit the track at some point.