Raider Robert Gallery has turned his fascination with vintage cars into a huge contribution to the families of fallen Oakland police officers.
When Raiders offensive lineman Robert Gallery threw a "low rider car cruise" benefit last weekend to benefit the families of four Oakland police officers shot on duty this past March, he expected he might be able to raise as much as $5,000 for the cause.
But when the last vintage car bounced over the finish line, Gallery's benefit had raised more like $20,000.
"It was an amazing turnout," Gallery's wife Becca told Raiders.com. "We laugh because the only real problem was running out of our registration packets, which was a great problem to have. It was a great turnout. We couldn’t be happier."
Organizers estimate that more than 300 cars paid the $30 registration fee to roll in Gallery's benefit cruise, which started in the parking lot of a defunct Mervyn’s in Dublin and ended at the super-funked Los Vaqueros Grill in Livermore. Registration was open to all automobiles minted before 1970, and Robert Gallery banged it in his 1954 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.
The Raiders organization, as well as the 49ers, Giants, A's and Warriors, kicked down tickets, autographed jerseys, and other memorabilia for a silent auction that ended up pulling in the big money. Gallery took a picture with anyone that asked, and JaMarcus Russell and coach Tom Cable joined more than a dozen other Raiders in representing the team in person.
The money raised went to a trust fund for the fallen officers' families. Donations are still being accepted via that link.
"It was a great way to get the community involved," Gallery tweeted after the event, "Those people protect us." He also told the team's web site that the event did so well he'd like to make it an annual thing.
So make sure your car's suspension is appropriately modified.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer with that "Take a little trip, take a little trip, take a little trip with me" song stuck in his head.