Cars for a cause

Los Padrinos holds its 11th annual car show

Lowriders, hot rods and rat rods lined the streets of downtown San Juan Bautista Saturday, June 30, for the 11th annual car show with the Los Padrinos Car and Truck Club.

The club’s president, Ralph Duarte, who took over after his father Pete Duarte passed away two years ago, said they had many entries this year and drew perhaps 3,000 attendees from all over the region.

“We had 120 entries this year,” said Duarte. “It went from low riders, hot rods, rat rods. We take in any car. We make the classes the day of the show, and we try to make it so everyone has a class that brings car out.”

The event included vendors selling purses, hats, shirts and auto detailing, as well as a taco truck and a fish-and-chips booth.

Duarte says the club wants people to patronize local businesses, and he’s grateful for its local sponsors.

“Dona Esthers and Daisy’s are some of our main sponsors and have been helping us out since this beginning, maybe 11 years,” he said. “We actually got a sponsor that we are in discussion with and will be talking with the city about expanding the event.”

Proceeds from the event benefit Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the VFW of San Juan Bautista, as well as other smaller charities.

Duarte said Los Padrinos, which received its nonprofit status four years ago, works throughout the year making contributions to the community, such as feeding the homeless and participating in other community events, including Gilroy’s Tamale Festival, which takes place Oct. 7.

As the car club’s relationship with the community evolves, Duarte is excited to help realize his father’s dream.

“Hopefully, it will be even better,” Duarte said.

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