Early Christmas for Mustang fans

Various West Shore connections for Island Mustang club

Santa Claus (Dave LeGrand) braved the warm weather to hand out candy canes and route maps to participants in the Vancouver Island Mustang Association’s annual Toy Run.

Christmas came early for a throng of car enthusiasts gathered at a University of Victoria parking lot recently.

The 30th annual Vancouver Island Mustang Association Toy Run brought out more than 100 collector car owners to help raise toy and cash donations for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Fund.

“The sun was shining. The last two years it was rain, so we were happy,” said organizer Carol LeGrand, who owns a few vintage Mustangs of her own.

Santa stopped by with a few candy canes before drivers took a one-hour cruise up to the Christmas tree farm on East Saanich Road, then back down to Beaver Lake Park for a barbecue with Salvation Army officials.

“We handed them a cheque for $1,200 as well as a ton of toys,” LeGrand said.

The club has raised about $50,000 and thousands of toys in the past three decades for the Salvation Army. Members also donated to Jeneece Place in View Royal as well as Victoria Hospice this year.

“We’re open to any Ford enthusiast,” LeGrand said.

It’s about socializing and raising money for a good cause at the same time, she added.

In the summer months, club members gather each Friday at KMS Tools and Equipment in Colwood, where the business helps raise donations for various charities.

“They’re a good supporter of the community, they supply everything,” LeGrand said. “We share that space with the (Western Speedway-based) South Island Straightliners Racing Association.”

To learn more about the Vancouver Island Mustang Association, visit vima.mysite.com or call 250-881-1423.

“We’ve got teenagers right up to 70 year olds,” LeGrand said. “We’d love to have more people join us.”

editor@goldstreamgazette.com