started in Jan­uary 2016 with a cou­ple friends talk­ing around a ta­ble about Jeep ex­pe­ri­ences and want­ing to help oth­ers. I was en­cour­aged, or per­haps “pushed” into tak­ing the next step. I was new to the Jeep­ing en­vi­ron­ment but not to help­ing oth­ers. It be­gan with a Face­book page and six mem­bers with the goals to have fun, meet fel­low Jeepers, and help other or­ga­ni­za­tions or in­di­vid­u­als in need. To­day we have 215 mem­bers from all over with meet­ings once a month where roughly 15-30 mem­bers at­tend.

We had done some small out­ings and fundrais­ers, but needed to in­tro­duce our­selves to more peo­ple. In order to do so, we held our 1st An­nual Top­less Day fundraiser where 82 Jeeps and 121 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated and $1000 was raised for the Tim Horton’s Chil­dren’s Foun­da­tion.

By Septem­ber we re­al­ized we needed to do some fundrais­ing for our­selves if we were to stay suc­cess­ful. We teamed up with a new restau­rant in town, Sammy Kren­shaw’s, as well as the lo­cal food bank, and made it a triple fundraiser. We put on a Show ‘n’ Shine in front of Sammy Kren­shaw’s us­ing their menu for our food ser­vice, col­lected canned goods for the food bank, and en­try fees as well.

It looks as though 2017 will be very busy in­deed. Not only are we plan­ning our own three big events, but also filling up our cal­en­dars with other's events that we will be sup­port­ing. At the time of writ­ing, on April 30th we have a Jeep run for Spe­cial Olympics of On­tario Till­son­burg branch, which has ten mem­bers who qual­i­fied for 2018 Spe­cial Olympics Canada Games next year and there­fore need to raise money. We asked Jeepers and Olympians to ei­ther pay $30 or raise a min­i­mum of $30 in spon­sors to par­tic­i­pate. As an ex­tra in­cen­tive, one of our mem­bers will shave their beard and head if $5000 is raised.

May 21, 2017 will be our 2nd An­nual Top­less Day with pro­ceeds go­ing to the Home­less Veter­ans Foun­da­tion. Fel­low Jeepers are wel­come to come out and par­tic­i­pate. I am an­tic­i­pat­ing an even big­ger crowd this year and have pre-made 200 goody bags. Build­ing up to this big day we started sell­ing veteran’s bracelets at $4 each. At the end of Septem­ber or early Oc­to­ber will be our 2nd an­nual Show ‘n’ Shine in sup­port of the lo­cal food

bank and Sammy’s once again.

Who knows what else 2017 or the rest of the fu­ture holds for Cross Coun­try Jeepers? We are a close-knit fam­ily with two pas­sions in com­mon - Jeeps and help­ing oth­ers. Youth and pets are al­ways wel­come as we try to have ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages. It doesn’t mat­ter if you own a Jeep or not, Jeepers are al­ways will­ing to share, and new mem­bers are al­ways wel­come as we love show­ing them the ropes. The one thing I do know is this dream and pas­sion has be­come a suc­cess and I can only hope it keeps get­ting big­ger and more suc­cess­ful.

If you're ever in the area and look­ing for an op­por­tu­nity to do some wheel­ing and meet new peo­ple, search for us on Face­book.

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