Corvette of Choice President Ray (Sting Ray) Bonam (Courtesy photo)

Established in 2005, the car club “Corvette of Choice” (COC) has lived up to its motto, which is  “To be actively involved in the community and help those who are less fortunate than Themselves.”  This non-profit organization delights in being involved and making a positive difference in the community by using their beautiful cars as tools to reach those in need.

COC initially started off with a group of guys who all owned Corvettes. They would routinely wash, shine up, and ride their cars through their communities. Most of the men were from Compton, Watts, South Los Angeles, and other parts of Los Angeles. Duane (Bones) Bonner was one of the founding members.

Corvette of Choice members (Courtesy photo)

As the group traveled through different neighborhoods, they began to see the need to help those who were experiencing hardships and adversities. From that time, the group’s motto of being actively involved in the community and helping those less fortunate was created and swiftly acted upon.

Today, COC has over 120 active members, and they are growing every month. Currently the club – which out grew its previous location, has been meeting monthly at Chevrolet of Carson,  thanks to Sean Evans, general manager of Chevrolet of Carson.

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Crawford, Muhammad and Price Preach Peace in South L.A.

Demonstrating their motto, COC donates book bags to schools, distributes food boxes to needy families on holidays, and hosts Christmas toy giveaways. They also provide transportation to dignitaries and others when there are parades, such as the MLK parades in Compton, Los Angeles, Gardena, and Hawthorne. In addition, they offer their stylish vehicles to students for graduations and proms.

COC Member Commander William Welch (Courtesy photo)

Another partnership that COC has to give back to the community is with the United Peace Ride Foundation. The peace rides began with the vision of Minister Tony Muhammad, Nation of Islam’s Western Region representative, and Pastor Claude Powe, pastor of Called to Destiny Motorcycle Ministry.

Every fourth Sunday, COC, along with car clubs such as the Slice of Life Car Club, The Watts Life Car Club, various motorcycle clubs, and anyone who’s interested in riding for peace, go to a location, usually where someone has been killed, or another crime has occurred. They pray for the families and provide support.

Gang interventionists, from left are James Farmer, (Roc) Eric Metoyer (EJ), and Jaimie Gregory (Courtesy photo)

Interventionists, such as James (Roc) Farmer, Eric (EJ) Metoyer, and Jaime (Rare Breed) Gregory, do the groundwork needed to pave the way for the peace rides, and they determine exactly where the peace rides will take place. LAPD has been instrumental in keeping the peace rides safe for the participants and those in the community, by being present, and ensuring that traffic flows in an organized fashion.

Ministers, such as Pastor Shep Crawford of the Experience Christian Ministries, uplift the neighborhoods and support the families with prayer, authentic words of encouragement, and action.

Ray (Sting Ray) Bonam, COC president, said, “We participate in Peace Rides to help curb violence amongst ourselves, provide support to the families and neighborhoods who’ve experienced violence, and help to reduce the injustices experienced by minorities. We pray with those in our communities, and support those who have lost loved ones due to violence.”

Bonam continued, “Most of our members have gone through some difficult times in their own lives, so they know what it is like to be down or struggling.  Knowing what is like to experience an illness, the death of a loved one, and the challenges that can happen in life, makes it only natural for the members of COC to help those who are going through a hard time.  It is the support of one another here that is really strong,” said Bonam.

Minister Tony Muhammad, Pastor Shep Crawford (Courtesy photo)

COC member, Commander William Welch, said, “This is a family. They have been there for me when my mother passed, when my daughter passed, when my baby brother passed, and when my sister passed. They have been there not only for me, but they’re there for any member of the club.

“If you have any kind of problem, they are always there for you, and there is always somebody in this club that you can talk to,” he added.

COC is comprised of men, women, and couples, and in the case of club member Enga Chatman, even her daughter is part of the club.

Chatman said, “In 2005, I was one of the first females along with my nine-year-old daughter.  I was motivated to join an organization that showed kindness and compassion to its communities.  Now 18 years later, my daughter (Tiffany Palmer) and I ride as a team with COC.”

COC Member Eva Allen said,  “I was never a group-oriented person, but being a member of Corvette of Choice has really made me feel more family-oriented.”

Corvette of Choice is a caring group of Corvette enthusiasts who not only care about their cars, but more importantly, they care deeply about their members and the people in their communities, and they’ve been doing it in a big way for 18 years and show no signs of slowing down.

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