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Old 08-16-2013, 03:52 AM   #1
With envy
It's a Synergy thing..
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My Little Moment of Perfect Camaro Clarity - Wally's Meet

Last weekend I hosted a Camaro meet at a Wally's Drive-In, in Buckley, Washington. It was a follow-up to an impromptu Camaro "meet and eat" I had put together last Summer at the same location. Originally an informal gathering; just a few people who had seen my posting on C5, some existing friends and some new people that would become my friends. About 25 cars in all. But there was one anomaly that stood out from that original gathering: Of the 25 Camaros that came, 8 were Synergy Green Metallic. (Mine included.) We took photographs that became a big hit on the internet.

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So when I decided I wanted to repeat the event this year, not surprisingly, I wanted to try and make it bigger. Not only did I want to shoot for a bigger turnout, but I also wanted to assemble the "Synergy Squadron" again. And of course I wanted to make that bigger too.

Now the whole idea of getting a large number of statistically rare colored Camaros together seemed like a lot of fun. But aside from making for a cool photograph, it also seemed kind of trivial on the scheme of things. I felt like I needed more of a reason. A purpose. Then I hit on an idea. I realized people did all kinds of silly, fun things, all the time to raise money for charity; like dress up as pirates, or wear Moroccan headgear while driving around in ridiculously tiny cars. Why couldn't we get green Camaros together to raise money for a good cause?

My next step was to find that cause. I didn't have to go far. With Army, Navy, and Air Force installations all located in this area of the Puget Sound, many of our local Camaro brethren are currently serving, have served, or have family serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. We also have a large Army medical facility, Madigan Army Hospital located here. And adjacent to that hospital, there is a Fisher House.

Fisher House is described as a "home away from home" for families of military personnel who are undergoing treatment at any of a number of military medical installations around the world. It allows the families to be close to their loved ones when they are needed most, without having to worry about how they are going to pay for lodging at a time when they might be least able to afford it, or when they really have much more important things to worry about.

With such strong connections to the military, and the strong sense of community that local Camaro owners often exhibit, I knew this was a perfect match. With the date chosen, all the arrangements made for the venue, and contact made with Fisher House Foundation, I figured I was all set. I was slightly mistaken.

I had no experience in charitable fundraising. Luckily for me, I had friends, and my wife to make up for what I lacked. As the day of the event drew ever nearer, they jumped into action, and began soliciting donations from local businesses for a raffle. Items began to roll in. My wife (Dragonlady) even sidetracked the Fbodfather himself at a local car show to see if he could help. As soon as she had finished explaining what we were doing, the Blackberry appeared so fast in his hand, it's as if it came from nowhere. We received an email offering assistance from Chevrolet, before the weekend was out!
I was a little nervous when the day arrived, gloomy and overcast after a whole week of sunshine. But the Camaros came, and the clouds broke. We finished the day with a best count of 67 Camaros. The raffle went very well, exceeding our donation goal. And the original 8 SGMs from last year returned, along with 5 new ones for a total of 13 Synergy Green Metallic Camaros!

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Yet with all the big things that went right that day, there was one small thing that happened, that for me outshined everything else.

A couple days before the meet, my wife contacted an old co-worker friend she had not seen in some time on an unrelated matter. In the course of catching up with what had been going on since she had last spoke to him, she discovered he had not been doing so well.

For some unknown reason, he had begun to lose weight at an alarming rate. Medical tests had revealed nothing, and doctors were at a complete loss to explain what was happening to him. The weight loss had progressed to a point that he was beginning to lose muscle tissue, and without any options to offer him, a doctor had advised that he might want to get his affairs in order.

He mentioned to my wife that his six year old son was really into Camaros, and that he would like it if his son could see our Camaro up close. Dragonlady told him she could do one better, all he had to do is show up at our gathering on Saturday, and she would have a real Bumblebee there for him to see.

On Saturday morning, our friend (Jayhawk500) and his wife had just arrived. They had driven all the way up from the coast of Oregon to join us. While there are a few yellow Camaro owners that act a little annoyed with the whole "Bumblebee" thing, and the fascination that children have with it, Jayhawk500 has embraced it. He installed an audio system that plays sound clips from Transformers, and can activate it with a key fob remote. When the car is parked, and children go flocking to it, he will fish the remote from his pocket and presss the button. The reaction of the kids is priceless!

Knowing this, Dragonlady brought her friend and his son right over as soon as they arrived. I was lucky enough to be there to catch some pictures. They truly speak for themselves.

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I had a moment to speak with the father a while later. I couldn't help but inquire about his condition. I was hoping for some glimmer of hope beyond what my wife had told me. Perhaps some direction that the doctors had yet to explore that might lead to some good news. But it was almost the same as what my wife had relayed to me. I admitted that I couldn't even imagine what he was going through. He said it was especially hard on the little one. I looked down and noticed his son frowning and beginning to squirm at his side, and realized he understood more than I had given him credit for. I quickly changed the subject.

Later in the day was the drawing for the raffle. One of the donated items in the raffle was a small RC Camaro, yellow and black, just like Bumblebee. I would find out later that my wife's friend had bought a number of raffle tickets, and placed them in the cup for the RC car, in a bid to win it for his son. His ticket was not drawn. It was won by one of our Camaro friends who goes by Mya May.

Now I don't know how much Mya May knew about how hard he had tried to win the car, but I do know that she had no idea of the uncertainty that was hanging over their lives. Knowing these people as I do, what she did next did not really surprise me, but it made me feel pretty good about the people I choose to hang around with. She walked over to the little boy and handed him the car. Somebody that knew what was happening managed to grab my arm and get me to shoot these pictures as it unfolded. The faces say it all.

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The next day, my wife's friend sent her an email to thank her for the invite. In it was this picture, with this caption:

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It hasnt left his side since she gave it to him, he sets it up so he can fall asleep looking at it

Camaro lore tells that the name was discovered in last minute desperation in an old copy of Heath's French-to-English Dictionary. In case you've ever wondered, and didn't already know, Camaro means "friend". For me, that's just one of a long string of chance happenings in the Camaro story, and my story, that seem more like fate. No word seems more appropriate for this amazing car than friend. I have regarded my Camaro more as a friend than as an object. It was a chance happening that put us in the posession of the Camaro that we have now. That Camaro led us to the multitudes of new friends that we have made along the way. Passionate people whose cars evoke emotion. Many of those friends came together in one place on Saturday- the right place, the right time. And their friendship and generosity provided a happy moment for a boy and his father at a time when they really needed it.

I don't know how this story will end. No one does. But I do know my friends made a happy memory for a little boy, that he can reach out and touch whenever he needs to.

And he has his own new friend that will be watching over him as he falls asleep tonight.

(OP update 8/17/13: Be sure to read this post:
It's written by the boy's father, Tim.

Update 9/4/13: Some promising news:

I highly recommend reading all of the other responses too, some of them are by the people I have mentioned in my account.)
It's a Camaro thing...
Not everybody who drives a Camaro "gets it"...But everybody that "gets it", drives a Camaro! -GG

Last edited by With envy; 09-05-2013 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:58 AM   #2

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Super like!! What an amazing day!! Thank you for sharing!
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:07 AM   #3

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Originally Posted by smarbrit View Post
Super like!! What an amazing day!! Thank you for sharing!
love this story

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Old 08-16-2013, 04:08 AM   #4
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Wow! Looks like a lot of camabros having a great time, nice pics!
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:22 AM   #5
With envy
It's a Synergy thing..
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Camabros. I like that!

You can see more pics here:
It's a Camaro thing...
Not everybody who drives a Camaro "gets it"...But everybody that "gets it", drives a Camaro! -GG

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Old 08-16-2013, 04:23 AM   #6
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Very cool story, the little boy will most likely remember it forever. Thanks for sharing. Best of luck to that family.

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Old 08-16-2013, 04:25 AM   #7
SoCal HT5 COTW 12/16/2013
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Looks awesome especially the pics of the Synergy Green Metallic camaros !!
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:28 AM   #8
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Beautiful story.. Really nice to read something like this instead of so many other "hard" threads... Beautiful!
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Old 08-16-2013, 04:49 AM   #9
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Man, the basement here is real dusty. Good job.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:33 AM   #10

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Great work, the Fisher house is an amazing charity to support. You've got a real talent for organization. You've realized life isn't just about you, but helping others. Excellent drive on and peace on ya brother
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:57 AM   #11
Eh, that'll happen
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Awesome story man! Its nice to see there is still a glimpse of humanity out there. Kudos to you for all your hard work organizing and best wishes to the boy and his family. Hope all ends well!
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:16 AM   #12

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Old 08-16-2013, 06:30 AM   #13

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Beautiful story!! Thanks for sharing, but I hate you for bringing a tear to my eyes.

One of the best threads shared here in awhile...

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Old 08-16-2013, 06:38 AM   #14
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It's great to read about selfless acts of generosity and kindness every now and then to restore faith in humanity and what we are actually capable of.

Amazing story and great job for everyone involved doing something for that kid and his family. He will never forget it.
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:06 AM   #15
ZLT!!! COTW (8/5/13)
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So nice read this positive stories to start the day! Awesome!!!
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Old 08-16-2013, 07:48 AM   #16
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Great story, great pics, great cause, great way to make a little boy have a happy day............................................... ...............I only wish I could have been there to see it. Thanks for sharing it with us.

These Camaros are Amazing in the way they affect us and those around us. Thanks Chevrolet for bringing our "friends" (our wonderful Camaros) into our lives.

Tran, I nominate this thread for front page cover story!
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:09 AM   #17
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great story. if that doesnt bring a tear to your eye and a lump in your throat nothing would.

also great to see so many SGM 's together.

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Old 08-16-2013, 08:20 AM   #18

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Wow! Great story and thank you for sharing your experiences. Those "friends" have been in my life for over 30 years and new memories happen every day in mine new friend, Buzz.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:03 PM   #19

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It was a great meetup for an excellent cause. Thanks for putting it all together.

I hope things take a turn for the better for your friend and his family.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:10 PM   #20
Not a dude.
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Even more honored to have been a part of this. Where's the Kleenex???
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:11 PM   #21
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I was there. Met your friend and is dog, but had no idea. Eyes are leaking. Well done.

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Old 08-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #22

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Wow that is awesome! Great story and great pics.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:35 PM   #23

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Very cool story.

Reminds me of a long story that's going to get shortened.
Went to a test and tune at local drag strip. After a few runs a guy comes up and says "it's my sons 17th bday, what would it take to get you to take him down the track." My response was "nothing, get in." I let him keep the time slip of course.

Point is kids love Camaros. Mine is black so they don't call it Bee, but definitely just need to embrace it if you have one.
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Old 08-16-2013, 12:41 PM   #24
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" i will not cry"
"i will not cry"
"i will not cry"

great story!

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Old 08-16-2013, 12:44 PM   #25
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Yes, great story. Thanks for sharing.
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