Summer 2009 Forward to a Friend

Subaru Owner Community Reaches Out

Photos: Ken Cravillion PhotographyGroup shot

DRIVE MAGAZINE OFTEN RECEIVES STORIES ABOUT SUBARU OWNERS BANDING TOGETHER FOR A CAUSE. THEY GENEROUSLY GIVE TIME, MONEY, AND SUPPORT WHERE NEEDED. HERE IS ONE EXAMPLE.

Earlier in 2009, Legacy GT owners’ Web site forum member Matt Baucom posted a troubling message. He shared that he was battling Burkitt’s lymphoma, a rare form of cancer.

The news quickly spread and sparked an idea: Members of Subaru owners’ groups regularly organize car meets in which Subaru enthusiasts band together and show off their vehicles. “This time, instead of Matt attending a meet, we’d take the meet to him,” organizer Bogdan Catalin said.

A cruise was planned to begin in Baucom’s hometown of Port Washington, Wisconsin, and wind through the twisting roads of the Kettle Moraine forest. Catalin’s post announcing the event ballooned into a full-scale show of support. Concerned forum members began donating money toward Matt’s medical expenses. Soon, other forums joined in, including NASIOC.com and SubaruForester.org.

According to organizer and participant Brad Pittenger, “It turned into the biggest cruise we’ve ever had in this area and resulted in a good amount of donations.”

Baucom was astonished: “I was blown away and literally moved to tears when I found out that the guys were organizing this cruise. I was truly humbled by all of the support.”

For Catalin, the best part of the day was witnessing the solidarity and camaraderie between groups of near strangers. “People across the country took interest in his hardships and sent letters of support and donations to help him fight this awful disease,” Catalin said.

Baucom added. “I cannot say enough about the uplifting spirit of the Subaru community. I will be a fan, friend, enthusiast, and owner for life.”