DUNCANVILLE, Texas — In May 2007, Keith King established a rather unique vision, one that was birthed in the confines of his stunning sports car.
The founder of the Unique Corvette Club of Dallas Fort-Worth, King heads a non-profit organization that has become a fixture throughout Dallas’ Metroplex in recent years.
“We’re just Corvette enthusiasts who want to ride together,” King told MemphiSport during a recent interview at Legends Sports Bar & Grill in Duncanville. “It didn’t take long for us to realize we are a unique group of people.”
An organization that is currently comprised of 62 members, Unique Corvette Club’s mission is geared largely toward partaking in various community service activities. Generally, this group, in which each member owns a Chevy Corvette, has developed a reputation for steadfastly being a viable presence in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, particularly downtrodden communities.
Unique Corvette Club routinely strives to make life fulfilling for others, from feeding the homeless, to making regular hospital and nursing home visits, to awarding scholarships to college-bound students. Just recently, the group gave away school supplies and sponsored its annual toy drive weeks leading Christmas. And, in mid-January, the club once again will participate in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade in South Dallas. In addition, the club customarily participates in a food pantry activity through the North Texas Food Bank.
According to Larry Pena, a member of the club, that Unique Corvette Club has earned the trust and respect of Dallas Fort-Worth residents, such a trend essentially has overshadowed the various preconceived notions many initially had about the organization.
“The biggest misconception is when people see these cars, they think we drive up in these cars to pick up women,” Pena explained. “I can pick up women walking. Our actions speak for themselves. As people observe us, they see we are about giving back to the community.”
Giving back to the less fortunate isn’t all this Corvette-inclined, male organization does regularly. These men also make it a point to establish a camaraderie, of sorts, amongst other.
“It was like I came in from Kuwait,” said longtime club member Nik Gilbert of Athens, Louisiana. “And one of our members recruited me. Once we got everybody together, we started pulling things together. It wasn’t about us. It was about doing things for the community.”
An organization that includes business owners, military veterans, and law enforcement officials, among others, Unique Corvette Club thrives largely off the brotherhood it has erected as a group.
“We pray together, go to church together, and break bread together,” said club member Bengy Warren of Oak Cliff, Texas. “We call it ‘Family Time.’”
As Unique Corvette Club enters its eighth year, King said among the things his members aspire to do is establish rapports with other Corvette clubs across the region. So far, Corvette Club of Dallas Fort-Worth already has partnered with similar clubs in Houston, Shreveport, Louisiana, Tyler, Texas, and Memphis.
The more other organizations become involved in community service, King said, the more people would come to embrace his Corvette-savvy club, one that, given its solid track record, figures to be around for some time.
“Ideally, I’d like to see us continue to grow and touch as many people who are less fortunate,” Warren said. “I think traditionally, we’ve had some opportunities to do some things. But I think personally, some things we haven’t been able to do because we are of the minority. When you look at that car, that’s a dream.”
A dream that was birthed, courtesy of King’s unique vision nearly eight years ago.
For more for information about Unique Corvette Dallas Forth-Worth, call president Keith King at 972-765-6049.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. Based in Dallas, Texas, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, send an email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.