Mustang Lovers Unite, Bring Home Big Prize

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Car lovers are a unique breed. They have unparalleled passion for their cars and, in the case of the newly organized Rim Country Mustang Club, an equally abiding devotion to helping others.

Members of the group participated in the 2008 Pioneer Ford Second Annual Mustang Show Jan. 13 in Goodyear and brought home one of the top prizes.

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Doug Blazer, a founding member of RCMC, won the second-place award in the Special Vehicle - convertibles category with his 2005 Ford Roush Mustang.

The show's entry fees and a silent auction to benefit Ryan House, the first freestanding children's palliative care house in Arizona and the Southwest. The first show in 2007 raised $2,600 for the facility, named for Ryan Cottor, 6, who was born with spinal muscular atrophy, the number one genetic killer of children under the age of two. His parents have been working toward creation of the facility since 2004.

Doug Blazer, a founding member of RCMC, won the second-place award in the Special Vehicle -- convertibles category with his 2005 Ford Roush Mustang.

Rim Country residents have an opportunity to see Blazer's vehicle or other classy Mustangs at the First Friday event at Gasoline Alley. Joining the Mustang group at the shop during the monthly event are members of the Rim Country Classic Auto Club and Rim Country Sports Car Club.

Blazer and others started the RCMC in the spring of 2007. The founders had participated in another car group and started RCMC to share their interests in sports car activities. The club is still in its infancy, but it is growing every month, said Keith Orr.

"RCMC's goal and purpose is all about fun. We are all Mustang fanatics. We love our Mustangs, to us, the one and only true American muscle car," Orr said.

The group's members try to participate in as many shows as possible, especially charity events. There are no annual dues or rules for membership.

RCMC takes advantage of the First Friday event at Gasoline Alley to talk club business, be with friends and have fun. Gasoline Alley owner Mike Stuart has made his shop available to RCMC for club meetings.

Orr said Stuart is a sports car enthusiast and "his history with the cars, his achievements and adventures with them are something most of us only have on our wish list."

Orr issued an invitation to anyone who is a fan or has a Mustang to join him and other members of RCMC at Gasoline Alley during First Friday, Feb. 1, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To contact RCMC, visit the group's Web site, www.rimcountrymustangclub.com.

Turning a negative into a positive

When Ryan Cottor's parents, Holly and Jonathan Cottor, were told their young son had spinal muscular atrophy, the number one genetic killer of children under the age of two, they were devastated and searched in vain for care support. Spinal muscular atrophy is a group of inherited diseases that destroy the nerves controlling voluntary muscle movement, which affects crawling, walking, head and neck control and even swallowing.

The Cottors turned their frustration with the lack of support into positive action by founding Ryan House in 2004.

Ryan House will provide a community of support and comfort care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families. It will offer short-term, respite and end-of-life care.

The Cottors' plan for Ryan House to have eight bedrooms, with six rooms for respite and comfort care, while two rooms will be prioritized for end-of-life care.

It will be a place where sick children will be helped to live life to the fullest, even though life may be short.

To learn more visit the Web site ryanhouse.org or call (602) 200-0767.

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