Samantha Barone, Lexi Romeril, Kendall Perkins, Katie Hale and Amanda Lasky all stood on the sidewalk at the edge of U.S. 41 and Ehren Cutoff, waving signs and urging drivers to pull into the parking lot across the street to get their cars washed.
They were asking for a $5 donation per car wash, and judging from the energy the volunteers were exerting, motorists got their money’s worth.
The car wash crew was busy on the afternoon of Oct. 27 as drivers streaming by the busy intersection decided to pull in to have their cars soaped and sprayed.
The car wash was done to raise money for Mini Bulls, a traveling fast-pitch softball team, as well as to support the Susan B. Komen “For the Cure” breast cancer foundation.
Players weren’t the only ones getting wet and sudsy. Parents pitched in, too, along with some siblings.
The event was just one of many that Rene Van Hout and her husband, Wes, expect to occur at the corner lot as groups seeks to raise money for various causes. The couple owns LOL Transport & Moving, and they recently announced they would make the lot available to community groups to have car washes. They would also supply water, hoses and nozzles to help make each one a success.
The Mini Bulls seized the opportunity.
Rene Van Hout said the idea is to give back to the community. It’s one way the couple can express its gratitude for being able to secure the site for their business.
“I wanted to share the blessing of this prime location,” she said.
The lot is available to any group that’s raising money for a nonprofit group, such as a church, a band, an athletic organization, or a charitable cause, Van Hout said. They do not have to be designated by the government as a nonprofit group, but cannot personally profit from the venture.
Rebecca Lasky, who was on hand to support her daughter’s softball team, praised the moving company for its generosity.
“I think it’s an amazing donation to the community,” said Lasky, who lives in FishHawk Ranch near Brandon.
Lasky was holding a sign at one spot at the edge of U.S. 41, while her daughter was among the group of kids holding signs near the intersection of Ehren Cutoff and U.S. 41.
Lasky said the team is a great thing for the kids.
“They’re like sisters,” she said, adding her 14-year-old daughter is devoted to the game. “My daughter eats, breathes and sleeps softball.”
Lesley Harris, whose daughter Keeana also plays, applauded the moving company for helping organizations that need to raise money.
“I think that it is phenomenal,” the Wesley Chapel woman said. “It’s a prime spot.”
McKenzie Nix, a 12-year-old player from Lakeland, was busy at the fundraiser. At one point, she climbed into the bed of a pickup truck to clean off the back window of the passenger cab. At others, she was washing or drying off cars.
Dean Hale, who coaches the team, was busy, too, hosing off soapy vehicles. His wife, Mercedes, was busy scrubbing them.
Besides raising money for the softball team, the fundraiser had another benefit, Coach Hale said. Raising money to battle cancer helps make the girls more aware of the world outside of softball.
The team, which practices at Krusen Field in Zephyrhills, draws its players from Land O’ Lakes, Lutz, New Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills, Valrico, Brandon, FishHawk Ranch and Lakeland.
Any group interested in requesting the use of the parking lot for a fundraiser should call (813) 996-3775 and book the date. The lot is available on Saturdays and Sundays.
“As long as they’re raising money for a nonprofit group,” Van Hout said.
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