PRAIRIEVILLE, LA (WAFB) - The Grumpy Old Men Car Club in Prairieville had it’s beginning as a couple of friends meeting for breakfast every Saturday morning.
“Actually, five people that set up the car club,” founder Lyle Cappel explains. “We started out as a breakfast club. We’d go to Franks and eat breakfast every Saturday morning.”
Now they are a full-fledged organization that meets every third Thursday of the month at The Galvez Seafood Restaurant in Prairieville. And what’s behind the name?
Laughing, Lyle said, “We have a reputation of being grumpy, so it was Grumpy Old Men. We have a few younger generation. And we’re trying to get some more younger people in now.”
But the members quickly decided they wanted to be much more of a community-minded group than just a car club. They wanted to have a mission; a purpose.
So it was decided they would use money raised at events, and part of their monthly dues, to help veterans in need.
“We have a lot of veterans and everybody wanted to do something for a veteran,” Lyle said when asked about the unanimous vote to support a veteran.
So at their first monthly meeting of 2019, they invited a veteran, a wounded warrior if you will, to attend their meeting. He was a friend of one of the Grumpy Old Men.
“One of the guy’s that’s in the club knows him,” Lyle said as he explained who their nominee was. “Our member’s sons and the veteran’s son played football together or something like that.
Their nominee was a gentleman named Michael Spencer, a veteran who had served in the Gulf War in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The club had three-hundred dollars they were going to award this wounded warrior. Then WAFB’s three-hundred from Hand It On made six. And two individual club members donated one-hundred dollars each for a total cash gift of eight-hundred dollars to be awarded to Michael Spencer.
So on the night of the January, 2019 club meeting, WAFB was invited. Once the meeting was called to order, Lyle began the presentation.
“It is with our deepest thanks for your service, your courage, your devotion, to serve our country,” Lyle began, addressing the group but facing the guest of honor.
“Fighting for our freedom is not an easy task and we want you to know that we greatly appreciate it. As a representative of the GOM club, which is us. And WAFB Channel 9 Hand It On, we have a gift that we want to give you. So on behalf of the GOM and the Grumpy Old Men and Channel 9 and a couple of others that put in money too, please accept this envelope with our thanks.”
Michael was overcome with emotion as he counted out eight, crisp, one-hundred dollar bills.
Lyle said Michael was stunned.
“He has a son in the military now, too. So it was a very emotional for him to be honored, And, he had no idea of what he was getting or how much,” Lyle said. “All we told him was we got a gift for you.”
Which pales in comparison to the gift Michael Spencer, and many others, have given us. The gift of freedom.
To nominate someone, or an organization, for Hand It On, send an e-mail to HandItOn@wafb.com. And make sure to include your contact information, especially your phone number.