Drifters Car Club gives back to the community

The president of the Drifters Car Club, Ernesto Paleo, displays his classic 1950 Chevy 4-Door Deluxe at a recent car event.

IMPERIAL VALLEY — While most people use cars solely for transportation, a local non-profit organization known as the Drifters Car Club celebrates a hobby that not only supports their passion for autos, but gives back to the community in several ways.

The Drifters Car Club was founded in 2000 with only five members, and over the years has grown to 30 members.

The Drifters Car Club has incorporated a motto into their name that stands for: Dedication to Rally Interest and Fostering enthusiasm of Traditional classic cars and Embracing the evolution of automotive Revolution through fellowship and Support, or DRIFTERS.

This non-profit is open to anyone who wants to join and have a passion for cars and the nostalgia and values of classic vehicles.

“The main objective of our club is to not only embrace the passion we all feel for classic and modern cars, but to also have fundraisers for charities to help give back to the community for their support and interest in our car club,” said Ernesto Paleo, president of the car club.

The various charities and organizations Drifters Car Club supports are the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots and a local toy run that provides Christmas gifts for less fortunate children around the Imperial Valley.

With the reputation and influence of Drifters Car Club growing, the next charity the group is working on is a scholarship program that will be awarded to those who share a same passion for cars.

“Currently the club is working on a scholarship program to help those who want to seek an education in the mechanic industry, to help someone with a common passion for cars achieve their goals of finding a career that suits their lifestyle,” said Paleo.

In addition to the work done to help residents of the Imperial Valley, the Drifters Car Club also hosts different events throughout the year for the community. Their annual Trunk-o-Treat event is held in the month of October and consists of meeting at the Food-4-Less parking lot on Halloween night where the club passes out candy to trick or treaters in a safe environment.

The Drifters Car Club meets on the first Wednesday of each month for a cruise around the city of El Centro that is open to anyone who would like to join, as well as meeting every Wednesday at the Food-4-Less parking lot to show their beautiful cars to the public.

“We like to meet every Wednesday to display our cars to those interested in checking out the beauty of the classic and modern style cars,” said Paleo. “We also would like people to know they are welcome to join us for dinner to engage in fun, food, and good conversation about the history and cars we have in our club.”