They all love cars. They all love cruisin’. And some just love love. Those “lovers” are the 150 classic car owners who renewed their wedding views at last weekend’s 21st annual Woodward Dream Cruise thanks to Traverse City-based Hagerty insurance.
The company provided participating couples with veils, bowties, cupcakes, sparkling apple cider and a certificate to mark renewing their vows.
“So many special life moments that create lasting memories are connected to cars,” said McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty, an insurance provider for classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. “We wanted to find a way to rekindle those memories for couples who love their cars almost as much as they love each other.”
Gordon and Geri Rinschler of Birmingham were among those who renewed their vows. They were married 47 years ago in the very same 1930 Ford Model A that they drove to renew their vows in today. Dressed in full gown and tux and witnessed by their three children and 17-year old granddaughter, the Rinschlers reaffirmed their love at the Dream Cruise the family attends together every year,
“This will certainly be a Dream Cruise to remember,” the couple said.
This year’s Dream Cruise was also one to remember for the food rescue organization Forgotten Harvest, which held its 13th annual “Cruisin’ to Drive Out Hunger” last Friday, the eve of the Dream Cruise, at Westborn Market in Berkley. That event brought in $180,000 and with 700 people there, it was the largest Dream Cruise attendance ever, says Tim Hudson, Forgotten Harvest chief development officer.
Forgotten Harvest is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Its fleet of 35 trucks is on the road six days a week and travels 500,000 miles a year picking up and delivering food in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties. It is a lifeline of support for 280 emergency food providers … food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and faith-based organizations.
Here’s a little background on the Woodward Dream Cruise.
It started as a fundraiser for a soccer field in Ferndale in 1995. Today it is the world’s largest one-day automotive event. It currently takes place along a 16-mile stretch of Detroit, and more than 50 charities benefit from the sale of official Dream Cruise merchandise and refreshments. Others, such as Forgotten Harvest, hold huge events at the Cruise to raise dollars for their charity.
This year, the Dream Cruise brought together more than 40,000 classic cars and more than a million visitors to Woodward Avenue.
The vow renewal is one of many events Hagerty has held to recognize the important role classic cars play in owners’ lives. It recently hosted a classic car night at a drive-in in the Chicago-area and also supports several youth advocacy programs, including the Youth Judging Program, where kids 8-14 can meet car owners and get a up-close look at show cars around the country. In addition, the Hagerty Driving Experience teaches young drivers to drive a stick … a very important skill if you have a classic car or truck.