Classic car enthusiasts turned out in droves Sunday for the Chuck’s Auto Supply Ltd. Show and Shine and, what is being billed as the kickoff to a Vancouver Island group’s Wildfire Recovery Cruise.
The group, VI Cruises, short for Vancouver Island Cruises, is led by Parksville’s Vic and Lori Camire. In 2017, they were on a cruise of the Cariboo, staying in Williams Lake, when the devastating wildfires of 2017 broke out in July.
“We were on our way to Dawson Creek and had been staying in Williams Lake,” Lori said. “By the time we left the next morning the fire had started in Williams Lake, and we were in Quesnel, then stayed the night in Prince George and by that time they’d started evacuating everyone.”
Lori works for Alberni-Clayoquot Community Futures, and said she understands the devastating economic and personal affects the wildfires had in the region, and hopes to help out in any way she can.
Feeling compelled to return to the Cariboo, planning for the cruise, from July 8-15 stretching from Ashcroft to Quesnel, got underway.
She connected with Williams Lake Community Future’s Karen Eden to make the kickoff possible.
“Our plan is twofold,” she said. “We recognize working at Community Futures if you were to do five weeks without revenues we would have probably gone bankrupt so we feel that pain for small business owners,” Lori said.
“Our goal this time is, we’ve talked to car people from all over the province and into Alberta, motorcycle people, so we’ll highlight this week because it’s the anniversary week and if you can be here for it, great.
“If you can’t and you do have a couple of days in the summer where you can come to the Cariboo, spend a night, buy a meal, just do it, because we’re all British Columbians and we’re all in it together.”
During their stop in Williams Lake, Vic and Lori merged with Chuck’s Auto Supply Ltd. for their annual Show and Shine on Mackenzie Avenue.
Lori said VI Cruises has done many cruises throughout the province, but has never organized a recovery cruise.
“We encourage everyone, regardless of what they drive, to gather their friends and plan a cruise of their own to support the people and businesses in the Cariboo.”
Sunday’s Wildfire Recovery Cruise gathering and Chuck’s Auto Supply Ltd.’s Show and Shine go until 2 p.m.