Some organizations are completely vital to the development and maintenance of their communities and The Hawaiian Gardens Youth Athletic League is one of those organizations. For years, The Hawaiian Gardens Youth Athletic League has provided a safe haven for the youth of Hawaiian Gardens and the nearby city of Lakewood, California. The League works with young people from these communities by providing them with the tools for a successful life and empowers them to learn how to use those tools in a positive manner. Under the safety of the league’s confines, the area youth interact with positive role models which include law enforcement officers. They receive life guidance, tutoring, and the chance to participate in afterschool and self-esteem building activities.
Recognizing the Youth Athletic League’s importance to the community, the Imperials Car Club chose 2011 to team up for the 11th year with the City of Hawaiian Gardens to produce their summer benefit car show and concert. The proceeds from this 11th annual summer benefit car show were donated to the Hawaiian Gardens Youth Athletic League, in order to help them receive the resources that they need to continue serving the community.
This year’s show fell on the third Saturday in July, and was held on the grounds of Ferguson Elementary School in Hawaiian Gardens. These were both different scheduling changes from last year’s event, but they had no effect on the numerous entries. In typical fashion, the morning hours saw entrants lining up in front of the school, eager to park their ride in time to clean it one more time before the show began. The sketchy weather proved to be a non-factor as the sun rose and parted the clouds, leaving everybody on hand with perfect conditions for an amazing car show!
Attendance was heavy, thanks to clubs like Ultimate Riders, Our Style, High Class, Techniques, Traffic, Santana, Majestics, Impalas and Reality, who were all in support with some of their best rides on hand for the show. Rafael from Our Style Car Club brought out his September 2011 Lowrider Magazine featured ‘68 Impala “Dirty Money Green” to the show. Willie Olea had his ‘56 Chevy “Olea 56,” the August 2011 cover car at the show as well, and it looked as spectacular as ever under the Southern California sun. The Balandran Family brought Gabby’s redone Lowrider Bike called “Boy’s Envy/Deadly Rose,” as well as Rhonda’s “Purple Crush” Suburban, along with a very cool Schwinn bike with a side hack attached! The Stylistics showed up with quite a few nice rides from their respective chapters, and the Imperials rounded out the stellar lineup with a number of the club’s cars on display, including the late Jesse Valadez’ legendary “Gypsy Rose” Impala.
The family atmosphere of the event was undeniable, thanks to the presence of a live band and the Cholo DJ, who worked his typical magic on the crowd with not only with his music, but his trivia questions as well. A portion of the school grounds were designated for the show’s vendors, and they made die-cast collectables, t-shirts, and hats available to the attending public. Food and drinks were plentiful on the day, and the Imperials made sure the pozole and tamales were even served for the early arrivals!
While the event was fantastic from a fan’s point of view, it was even more successful as for the 11th year in a row; money was raised for The Hawaiian Gardens Youth Athletic League. The city of Hawaiian Gardens and the Imperials once again produced a well organized and thought out car show that will undoubtedly make a return for its 12th year next year. This year’s show was dedicated to the memory of Imperials Car Club members Jesse Valadez and Eddie Aranda Jr., Ride in Peace gentlemen, with continued respect from all of us here at Lowrider Magazine.