By Peter Zuniga, Correspondent
On Saturday, Sept. 15, Ground Effects Truckin, a local truck club, hosted another one of their Car and Truck Meet events in the parking lot of the Belton Christian Youth Center, beside Confederate Park. Starting at 6 p.m., car and truck owners from around Bell County gradually showed up to meet other owners, show off their vehicles and socialize with the community.
Armando Guzman, President of Ground Effects Truckin, has shaped the club to be family oriented and community driven. “Growing up, I used to see a lot of car shows and just things of that sort around here,” Guzman said. “As time went on, it faded out.” He says that the club is purposed to “give the car scene a little bit more life” in the Belton area.
Mike Tucker, a resident of Killeen, who arrived at the meet with a 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, said, “This is actually a nice turnout for the size that Belton is. There’s some pretty dope cars out here actually.” Tucker goes to car and truck meet ups regularly, between Austin and Houston.
From low-riding trucks to sports cars, there was a wide variety of vehicles that showed up. Each driver was able to quickly engage in conversation with the other owners, almost as soon as they had arrived and parked their vehicle. The entire truck club was also present, and each of the members brought their families with them, something that Guzman encourages.
“I’ve always told my guys, that being one of the main things, ‘Don’t ever feel like you can’t bring your kids, or your wife, or your significant other,” Guzman said. He also mentioned his previous involvement with clubs in Florida where this type of behavior was discouraged. “…I take my daughter and my wife with me everywhere. To me, that comes first.” Born and raised in Belton, Guzman plans to maintain this family atmosphere in the club. “In general, all of these guys that I have in my club, they’re my friends, but I look at all of them like my brothers,” he said.
Ground Effects Truckin also recently organized a school supplies drive at Arusha’s Coffee in downtown. They had also done a toy-drive with Arusha’s Coffee in December. [About the school supplies drive] “We collected quite a few school supplies,” Guzman said. “We were donated money, and with that money, I went to Walmart and I bought a whole box full of backpacks and more extra school supplies, anything that I had seen that wasn’t brought in…As a kid, I benefited from stuff like that as well, so I felt the need the give back.”
For those interested in attending the next meet, Ground Effects Truckin has a Facebook page where all of their events are promoted.