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College club raises funds for Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Hospital

College is about more than just the classes, and at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, students are encouraged to get involved in activities and organizations beyond the classroom that take their education to the next level.

The SkillsUSA Automotive Club at Rowan-Cabarrus is one example of that. This year, for instance, the club held a car show at CMC-NorthEast Stadium, home of the Kannapolis Intimidators baseball team. The car show raised $1,100, which the club then donated to the Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast in Concord.

“On behalf of NorthEast Foundation, I want to thank you and the Automotive Club members again for your generous donation. … We are so lucky to have community members give back to our hospital,” said Mollie Clark, hospital philanthropy coordinator for NorthEast Foundation.

Students David Smith and Derek Albertson led the endeavor and spent many hours making it a success. Smith suggested the hospital as the recipient of the funds, not knowing that his son would have to spend time there later that year.

“I am grateful for the care and treatment that his son received while he was a patient,” Smith said.

The club presented the $1,100 check to the NorthEast Foundation earlier this fall.

“I appreciate the hard work and effort it takes to put a car show together,” said Marian Walters, director of development for the foundation, in her thank you note to the club.

While at the hospital, the club members went on a personal tour of the entire facility.  The young children’s play area, in particular, was very impressive with all of the activities available for young patients to do while escaping from their illness, if only for a little while. While there, the club dropped off a box of hot wheel and matchbox cars that was donated by one of the college’s retired machining instructors, John Trexler.

“Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Hospital is a top notch facility and deserves all of the donations and support that the local community can provide to help children and their families get the best care and provide for a means of the family to be able to relax for a few minutes during a stressful time,” said Carl Smith, automotive instructor for Rowan-Cabarrus and advisor to the SkillsUSA group.

“The students have learned a lot about raising funds, planning events and making an impact on their community. That’s what our extracurricular activities at Rowan-Cabarrus are all about,” continued Smith. “We want them to learn things through experiences that they wouldn’t be able to really learn inside the classroom.”

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