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Monday, July 29, 2019

Driven To Give Back

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1968 Mustang could be yours for just $50

John Treadway has three children and five  grandchildren. All are enjoying a happy, healthy life.

Dad and Grandfather know he is blessed.

"Every time I see something on the news about a child that's been mistreated — all these crazy things we hear — it almost makes you want to cry," Treadaway said. "These kids that are mistreated need to be helped somehow. Life is really not what they're experiencing. I just don't like to see the children mistreated at all."

So, the owner of Treadaway's Napa Auto Supply in Shreveport is doing something about it. Treadaway is donating to CHRISTUS Foundation Shreveport-Bossier a fully restored 1968 Ford Mustang. On Sept. 5, the Foundation will raffle off the Mustang, with all of the proceeds equally shared among three programs which benefit children: Cara Center, Gingerbread House and Holy Angels.

Tickets for your chance to win the Mustang are $50 each, and can be purchased online by going to www. christusfoundationshreveportbossier.org, clicking "Give," then "1968 Ford Mustang."

"We're giving (children) hope," said Amy Hems, president and executive director of CHRISTUS Foundation Shreveport-Bossier. "We're giving them the opportunity to have a fulfilled life, and to have the gift of life and the gift of childhood. We think that's so important, and these dollars are making that life possible."

Treadaway did not go out and buy a restored car to donate. He and four others — Jimmie McGee, Tim Causey, Ron Hecht and Cary Camp — were the core group which found a rusted, dilapidated Mustang, and did the majority of the work — work which began in December 2017.

McGee, a retired commercial airline pilot, has restored more than 10 cars. However, this restoration — because of the Mustang's condition — was the most difficult.

"There were ant mounds built up in all the brakes and wheels," McGee said. "There was a tree growing out the back of the hood."

Let's be clear This was not a rebuild. It was, as Hems describes, a "fully-upgraded restoration." Treadaway said the only thing used from the original Mustang was the frame. Everything else — doors, windows, fenders —was tossed.

"I knew I was going to give this away to somebody, and I wanted to be sure that when we gave this thing away, somebody could jump in it and drive to California if they wanted. From the very beginning, the instructions were that not one bolt off the old automobile was to be used to rebuild this thing, and we adhered to that all the way through," Treadway said.

Not only was this a time-consuming project — some 18 months — it was a costly project.

"I budgeted $25,000," Treadaway said. "We exceeded that number."

"It actually would not have been worth restoring if we would not have had free labor," McGee said. "It would have cost way more than the car would have ever been worth."

But considering where the money from the raffle is going, this is one time when going over budget was approved.

"The city's been good to me all these years," said Treadaway, who has been in business 46 years. "I decided I was going to do this and foot the bill in its entirety. Whatever tickets we sold, all the money would go to those kids, with nobody to be reimbursed."

"It didn't really seem like work so much because we knew it was going to go fora good cause," McGee said.

About the three recipients:

• The Cara Center provides medical assessments and counseling annually to more than 500 children when abuse — either physical or sexual — or neglect, is suspected.

• The Gingerbread House provides services for child victims of sexual abuse, severe physical abuse, and child sex trafficking. Those services include forensic interviews, investigations, and prevention education —all free of charge.

• Holy Angels' mission is to provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities a path to self-fulfillment through education, empowerment, spirituality, independence and work.

"The real winners are all of the children and families and individuals with disabilities who are being served by these programs," Heron said.



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