Youth hopes Cruise for Critters will catch on

Garrett Barry
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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.

Organizations: The Prince of Wales Collegiate, Ride for Dad, Canadian Tire

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Cabot Tower

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Recent comments

  • wayne
    August 24, 2013 - 12:19

    Hey Tony Get off your behind and do something good for someone instead of criticizing others. Cameron, his mom and I do more volunteering for numerous causes in one day than you probably have done in a lifetime,, just saying sincerely Wayne

    August 24, 2013 - 11:26

    Hey TONY,, Please get off your arse and make a contribution to society instead of criticizing those who like to help people.. Cameron, his mom and I do more for causes in one day then you have probably done in your lifetime,, Sincerely yours Wayne

  • jmar
    August 24, 2013 - 10:12

    To the man named Tony who the felt the need to say Cameron Martin is only organizing a cruise in support of the SPCA just so he can get a picture in the paper: If you can judge a 17 year old based on the fact that he has been in the newspaper twice in one year, once for SAVING A MAN'S LIFE and the other for organizing a fundraiser for the SPCA, I would love to know what amazingly good deeds you have done in your life to be able to accuse Cameron Martin of only wanting his picture in the paper. Do you think a 16 year old would ask to be put in a situation where a man's life is at stake? And do you think that when he came up with the idea for the Cruise for Critters he knew that the Telegram would want to do a story about it? Dude, get your facts straight. Obviously this 17 year old is more mature than you. Not enough people do good in this world. Keep it up Cameron. I have sent a previous response to this but it wasn't posted, I assume because the Telegram thought it was insulting. Well then I don't see why they printed your remarks, because they too, are insulting to "these people" you claim to know. Cameron and "those people" don't need social status, they are fine where they are.

  • timmy
    August 23, 2013 - 19:52

    u should not say that i know this guy he is true and honest how about u get off ur computer and do something half as good as what he is doing tony

  • Tony
    August 23, 2013 - 13:21

    Knowing these people this is some sort of ploy to gain some sort of social status show off and to get their pictures in the paper and on the news.

    • cameron
      August 23, 2013 - 18:52

      No my buddy they came to me, I told them what i was doing and thanks for the vote of confidence there my friend! it's for all the animals that need help,

    • Jmar
      August 23, 2013 - 19:04

      You have no idea about Cameron, his family, or the things they do to help people. This is supposed to be a positive experience. This from someone who can't even show his face. What have you ever done to help somebody??? No need for negative people or comments. Or is it just jealousy on your part because you do nothing.

    • Jenn
      August 24, 2013 - 11:14

      This is for you, Tony: I am not sure why you are greeting a nice story, (and a bit of good news in a world filled with bad) with negativity, but I believe that it is unfair and misplaced. Yes, Cameron (who is my brother) was in the paper previously, as he was involved in saving the life of an elderly man who took a fall during the winter. He has received recognition and an award for his actions, as the gentleman in question is alive today because of what took place on that day. (Not exactly a ploy for fortune and fame on Cameron's part.) Since that time, I am proud to say that Cameron has become more interested in what he can do as an individual to make the world a better place. He loves both cars and animals, and at age 17, he did the work himself to put together a fundraiser which he hopes will become a yearly event. Do you know the work involved with this? Many people his age would not have the gumption to do this. There are EASIER WAYS TO GET IN THE PAPER. Instead, he is choosing to spend considerable time and effort doing something good. (Considering the myriad of crappy reasons a 17-year-old can be in the paper, that's not half-bad!) The other thing I want to do Tony is to ask you a question. My question is so what? So what, Tony? If someone uses themselves or their image to do something positive, what is the worst thing that will happen? I like that my brother isn't afraid to put himself out there. At the end of the day, it's all going toward the SPCA. Is that really something to complain about? Maybe if you do something nice, you can get in the paper too.