On Sept. 30, at the Edgewood Country Club in Churchill, the customary valet parking was not available. On this special night everyone would park their own car. This special request was made by the United Rays Corvette Club of Pittsburgh. These ladies and gents don’t let just anyone drive their Corvettes, especially when they are celebrating 40 years of The United Rays Corvette Club.
United Rays was organized in 1977 by a small group of people who had a passion for Corvettes and community. United Rays president Louis McCauley said at the time the cost of gasoline was 65 cents a gallon and a new Corvette was $8,600. The group used to meet at McDonald’s in the East Hills Shopping Center. The club is the oldest active African American sports car club in Pittsburgh and is an original member of the national United Council of Corvette Clubs (UCCC) and a founding member of the Western Pennsylvania Corvette Clubs Council.
More than 300 enjoyed a great evening with yours truly as emcee and former United Rays member Malik Bankston (Kingsley Association Executive Director) as keynote speaker. Bankston spoke about the brotherhood and the friendship he experienced during the many years that he was in the organization. After 40 years there were a lot of people to recognize. Deceased members were remembered with a moment of silence, former members in attendance were asked to stand and former presidents were acknowledged. The founding members included: Ed Everett, Booker McKinney (deceased), Joseph Banks, Charles Buddy Allie, Joe Davis, Lester Young (deceased), Calvin Doaks, Julian Nutters, Kim Greene, Lonnie Green (deceased), Dave Lincoln (deceased), Karen Bush and Larry Morris (deceased).
Many members have been in the club for over 25 years and these members are considered Legacy Members. On this anniversary evening they were presented with a handsome grey legacy blazer. Legacy members included: Gloria Mitchell, Gus Reed, Joe Davis, Charles Buddy Allie and Milton Oliver. A special thank you recognition was presented to Debbie Hickman, owner of the Verona Road Giant Eagle. For years her Giant Eagle has been the go-to location for United Rays Car Shows. Hickman caught the fever and is now a Corvette owner and United Rays member.
United Rays supports school functions, community events, parades and numerous groups with school supplies, holiday giveaways and car show participation.
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