Bastrop Area Cruisers
BASTROP AREA CRUISERS MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the BASTROP AREA CRUISERS, a non-profit organization, is to provide activities and forums for area car enthusiasts to share and exhibit antique, classic, late model and special interest vehicles for the benefit and enjoyment of its members and the general public. The club also supports various charities through contribution of club funds and member’s efforts to benefit organizations such as veteran’s charities, local charities, and automobile-related scholarship activities.
Bastrop Area Cruisers History
1999 - 2019
The Bastrop Area Cruisers are celebrating the 20th anniversary of our car club in 2019. The club was started in 1999 by 26 Bastrop area residents who loved cars and enjoyed the fellowship of others with the same interest. The general purpose of the Club was to be a non-profit organization to preserve, maintain and enjoy antique, classic and special interest vehicles 20 years old and older for the benefit of its members as well as the public. Also, the club intended to raise funds for local organizations as a non-profit. We now welcome members with any age, make or model of vehicles but we still have held on to the goals of a love of cars, the car hobby and fellowship. We also continue as a non-profit to raise funds for many local organizations with a concentration on support of Veterans and education for young people with an interest of servicing motorized vehicles. We are proud of the fact that we earned recognition in our community recently by being named the 2017 Bastrop Non Profit of the Year as voted on by the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce Board selection team!
BAC now has also grown to over 160 members. Members not only have antiques, classics, muscle cars, traditional street rods, trucks and rat rods but also have late model high performance cars such as Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros, and Challengers as well as other sport and luxury cars. Most of our members and spouses/partners are very active in club activities.
The first annual car show started in early fall of 2000 and was held at Loblolly Pines, now Lake Bastrop Lodge. In 2005, the Downtown Business Alliance (DBA), approached the club to bring the BAC car show to downtown. The club was in agreement with the request and from 2005 - 2010 the BAC worked in partnership with the DBA on the Bastrop Veterans Weekend Car Show. From 2011 to 2014, BAC show was held in River Bend Park in Smithville and the name was changed to Cruisers on the Colorado Car Show. In 2014, the BAC was again asked to administer the Bastrop Veterans Weekend Downtown Car Show in cooperation with the DBA once again. Starting in 2015, the Bastrop Area Cruisers have been the sole host coordinator of the entire Bastrop Veterans Weekend Car Show. This year’s 2019 show, the 14th annual, is slated for November 8th and 9th, in downtown Bastrop. In 2017 & 2018 we had over 430 & 350 visitors bring their collector vehicles to Bastrop with the result being the largest and most successful Veterans events ever in its history with thousands of spectators as well.
As last year, this year’s events will include an expanded Friday night Cruise in including both discounts and music venues at downtown restaurants and other retailers. On Saturday, the very moving and special Veteran’s Day procession and ceremony honoring our military will be held in addition to DJ music, the judged car show by class with 28 classes & awards, silent auction and raffle. The Veterans Tribute Ceremony including a historic plane flyover is key component of the Saturday festivities. Proceeds from the event primarily go to many local and Central Texas Veteran’s organizations, BHS Auto Tech Scholarships & equipment and other local causes such as the Bastrop Food Pantry, ITS HUH Ministry Homeless Shelter and Soup Kitchen etc. Further down is a list of many recent donation recipient organizations.
This BAC Veterans event would not be possible without the great support through sponsorships and merchandise donations from well over 100 local Bastrop area and downtown businesses, which also further enables the generous donations made after the event. It is truly a community supported event!
In 2016 the Bastrop Main Street Program stepped up in addition to already super support by other Bastrop City Departments such as the Police, Public Works, City Manager under our Mayor to assist the volunteer organizers as an official partner of the event, providing logistical, in kind and staff support. In 2019 City staff and the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce continues to support the event through this partnership. Since 2017, the newly formed Visit Bastrop.com destination marketing group also will be promoting the Veterans car show event through statewide media publications, radio, digital and other social media marketing avenues.
The event annual draws thousands of visitors to downtown Bastrop and continues to be a boost to our local economy. Nearly 35% of the car show entries are from 100 miles or more from Bastrop. The City of Bastrop and the Bastrop Area Cruisers is looking forward to our continued partnership on what has become one of the major events for Bastrop each year, which shows off our great city and community to all visitors.
In 2014 and again in 2015, the Bastrop Area Cruisers were also chosen by Mecum Auctions to provide driver services for their annual Classic Car Auction in Austin, TX. Mecum paid the club for this service and the proceeds were donated to various veterans and local charities again listed below. Based on facility size restrictions Mecum has not returned to Austin but we both value the positive relationship formed and they continually support the car show with donation materials.
Veteran’s charities are very important to the Cruisers and for the last several years most of the proceeds from our raffle have gone strictly to Operation Finally Home, an organization headquartered in New Braunfels, TX that builds new homes for highly disabled veterans and their families. The intention of OFH is to build a home in the Bastrop area. See their website for more info, www.operationfinallyhome.org. Over the last few years just over 75% of proceeds from our annual car shows also go to support both local and Central Texas veterans support organizations with the remaining going other local organizations such as the Bastrop Food Pantry, Homeless Shelter and BISD Auto program and scholarships. The list below is just a sample of the organizations/charities we have supported over the last few years.
American Red Cross
American Sign Language World
Bastrop Animal Shelter
Bastrop Children’s Advocacy Center
Bastrop Family Crisis Center
Bastrop Food Pantry
Bastrop Pine Santa
Bastrop NROTC, Bastrop HS, Bastrop, TX
Bastrop Red White and Blue Banquet & Board Hospitality/Service
Bastrop Food Pantry
Bastrop American Legion
Bastrop High School Auto Tech Program, Bastrop ISD, Bastrop, TX
Commemorative Air Force, San Marcos, TX
Elgin NROTC, Elgin HS, Elgin TX
Fire Cap - Fire Prevention through Education
Fisher House Foundation, San Antonio, TX and Ft. Hood, TX
Heart of the Pines VFD, Bastrop, TX
Honor Choir - Bastrop, TX
Honor Flight, Austin TX
Honor Guard, Bastrop, TX
ITS HUH, In the Streets, Hands Up High Ministry, Bastrop, TX
Lost Pines Leathernecks, Bastrop, TX
Operation Finally Home, New Braunfels, TX, Homes for Disabled Veterans
Patriot Paws, Rockwall, TX
Project Graduation, BISD, Bastrop, TX
Soldiers Angels, San Antonio, TX
The Bugle Boy - La Grange, TX
Veterans Memorial - Smithville, TX
Wilderness Ridge Fire Victims
Military Warriors Support
In addition to supporting the charities listed above, each year the Cruisers provide scholarships to local High School Seniors wanting to pursue higher education in the automotive field. Along with the scholarships the Cruisers also support the Bastrop High School Auto Technology Center (Auto Shop) in acquiring the equipment and tools needed for national (ASE) accreditation in the areas of Maintenance and Light Repair.
The Cruisers are not just about fundraisers. We enjoy our monthly meetings at the Hampton Inn in Bastrop the second Wed of each month and also club socials at local area restaurants on the fourth Wednesdays of the month and conduct “breakfast garage tours” at member’s homes several times each year. We also attend other local car shows and participate in Road Tours and Rod Runs where we enjoy the natural beauty of Texas highways. We assist local businesses with their special events and also facilities such as nursing homes with displays of our collector and special interest cars and trucks. Many of these businesses are sponsors for our annual Veterans car show.
Our members are committed to helping the community, helping each other, and also have established many friends through the BAC club activities. If you are interested in learning more about our club with the possibility of joining us, go to the “Join Us” page on our website.