Commentary: The Power of (Car) Community

You know what car people do? 

It’s not all about the cars, the builds, the personalities…cool or uncool. There’s an element that makes car communities do good things for their community.

Why do you see a lot of "rallies" going on throughout the year? Each rally has a philanthropic element that make the event worthwhile to each participant. 

However, philanthropy can be achieved in many other ways. 

Last week I headed to Hudson, Wisconsin in support of a restauranteur and enthusiast named Phil Rode. His Crown Rally Chevrolet Camaro is well known in our car community as a reflection of the good things Rode has done for it. Not to mention, he’s got a great personality. 

Rode owns and operates Agave Kitchen and Agave2GoGo in Hudson. His food is fantastic, and his customers are deeply loyal. He also returns the favor many times over.

On Thursday, August 27, the day after a night of rioting and looting in downtown Minneapolis over the murder and suicide of three men, Rode posted on social media his reaction to the destruction of three of his "top 5 restaurants in Minnesota" during the violence that spread several blocks in Minneapolis. It was sad to see what happened to Seven, Lotus Downtown, and Brit's Pub in the news and social media during the course of the violent evening.

Rode posted that he would help the restaurant workers who have been displaced by the violence that evening. He welcomed his customers to his Agave2GoGo, which in turn he would donate 50% of his gross revenue to the displaced hourly restaurant workers in downtown Minneapolis. 

His reputation alone brought out a lot of the area’s Crown Rally participants and other enthusiasts to his Hudson restaurants. A few dozen of us came from both sides of the St. Croix River to heed his call to help those displaced restaurant workers back in Minneapolis.

When you are in a position to help others, you do so. As a car community, we stood on Rode’s side as he facilitated helping displaced workers over the St. Croix River. 

Think about all of this and understand why someone would facilitate such efforts. Doing something good should never be about the giver doing the good. It should be about the efforts towards helping that cause. It should also be about who you have to help out towards that cause. 

During these troubling times of the continuing pandemic and social justice crises happening in this country, it should never be about the politics or playing the blame game. It should never be about excluding those who have good intentions to work towards a better community. It should be about us and what we can do to make things easier and better during these times. 

Think about this before you troll or impose your idea of the universe upon those who are trying to make it better for everyone.

Photo by Randy Stern

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