Cameron Martin, shown here with his mother’s Dodge Challenger, is hoping a lot of people turn up to Saturday’s Cruise for Critters ride. — Submitted photo
Special to The Telegram
Seventeen-year-old Cameron Martin is hoping for a big turnout to his Cruise for Critters ride on Saturday morning.
The Prince of Wales Collegiate student is crossing his fingers that a hundred cars and motorcycles will join his new charity event and ride from Cabot Tower to Cape Spear in support of the SPCA.
Cameron said the idea for the ride came to him after reading a story about Sona, a cat that was shot by a pellet gun on the west coast of Newfoundland in July.
"I felt so bad for this animal, and I said well, I know that there's cases where people neglect and abuse animals here. I want to raise awareness and money for the SPCA, and I want to help prevent that."
Cameron said he chose to organize a car show because of his longtime love for classic cars and automobiles. He also says that the automotive community in Newfoundland is very welcoming.
"Ever since I can remember I've always been out at the Clarenville Dragway and I've always been out around vehicles,” he explained. “This is probably the right group of people to go to, because of how friendly they are. And just the support you get out of it.”
Cameron’s mother, Janet Martin, agreed.
“They’re just a great bunch of people,” she said. “There are shows that support an awful lot of different charities that are run by people who own cars, classic cars and hot rods and bikes.”
While the 17-year-old is no stranger to helping out — he made headlines for helping rescue a 71-year-old man's life last November when he and his friend heard the man calling for help from an outside stairwell — he said that this is his biggest undertaking yet.
"I've always liked helping as much as I can, and I’ve always liked to be a part of something big or be a part of something that I had a good vibe about,” he said. “And for me, this is and probably will be it.”
Janet Martin says she wasn’t surprised when Cameron told her about the idea. She said that charity work has been common in the family.
“I volunteer a lot myself, so he’s learned it through growing up in the house where we volunteer and do things. So he knows not everybody has it easy, and sometimes people need help,” she says. “He’s a good kid.”
“A lot of (17)-year-old boys aren’t doing that sort of thing, and if he wants to do something that’s going to help out an organization I’ll be behind him 100 per cent.”
Although he’s trying to keep his expectations for Saturday realistic, Cameron said he is hopeful that his event will become one of the largest in town.
“Hopefully this is going to turnout to be a big, big event. I mean, the Ride for Dad is a huge event. And that started off as a first annual sometime.”
There's something about animals that really gets to a person, Cameron said.
“You could be the biggest, toughest guy ever, but when you see (these ads about animal abuse) you just wanna tell the guy or the girl who’s doing this off, and you want to take those animals home and care for them,” he said. “When you’re doing this event, you’re going to feel good because you’re helping animals that need a second chance.”
Car registration for the event begins at 8 a.m Saturday morning at Canadian Tire and Home Depot on Kelsey Drive in St. John’s. An alternate date of Sept. 2 has been chosen if the ride gets rained out.