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|Ferrari Fun in Cannon Beach|
CANNON BEACH -- See one shiny, red Ferrari and everyone turns.
See more than a dozen red Ferraris, and everyone stops and gawks.
Gawking is good: It just raised almost $4,000 for the Cannon Beach Library.
Visitors to Cannon Beach swarmed Ferraris wherever they went this past weekend, from hotel parking lots, to the Hemlock St. shopping district.
But when this town closed a street just for owners to park their sports cars, locals and visitors ooh-ed and aah-ed like kids in a candy store.
“It’s our first outing of the year,” said one of the club organizers, Eric Hawley, 58, a retired Microsoft editor. “And when we have a spring opener, we go to the coast.”
“We” is the Ferrari Club of America, northwest region. There are 230 members, from retirees to software start-up geniuses.
Members are in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. And they all drive sports cars in the $200,000-range.
Hawley drove his 2008 Alfa Romeo to Cannon Beach. He was joined by Ferraris from the ‘60s to ‘90s, with a sweet, blue Jaguar tucked in between.
Twenty-one Ferraris -- in gold, silver, and green too -- came for the weekend, as part of an annual fund-raiser for charity.
The 25-year-old club has been meeting in Cannon Beach for a decade, raising money for non-profits from the fire department to HRAP (Haystack Rock Awareness Program).
“It’s a very popular event -- it draws a huge crowd every year,” said Tom Morris, owner of the Fireside Restaurant since 1976.
He’s a local organizer of the fund-raiser, but belongs to another car club with his ’96 Viper.
“They always come for spring unveiling,” the annual event that shows new artwork at more than a dozen galleries in Cannon Beach, Morris said. “It’s great, because Ferraris are art. People get very enthused about it.”
Sports car owners offer rides for a small donation, so showed the cars for free to the public Saturday, then drove donors along the coast for quick jaunts Sunday. At about $15 each, those rides raised $3,900.
It’s the second year that the Ferrari Club has helped the non-profit library, which runs solely on donations.
“It’s like money from heaven,” said Jean Furchner, president of the Cannon Beach Library Club. “They’re an amazing club. They’re extremely generous people.”
The club raised about $5,000 last year too, allowing the library to buy more books and pay some operating expenses. Cannon Beach Library is run solely by volunteers, and has one paid staff person, manager Peter Farrell.
“I live on Shaw Island in Washington and we have a private library too, so I know how important it is for their budget,” said Hawley. “What’s better than helping people buy books?”
Hawley said the car club has regular summer outings to wineries, the Oregon Coast and Bend’s beer region, all drawn by “a passion for the cars.
“It’s completely irrational to buy one of these,” he said, waving his hand at the red Ferraris. “If you thought about it, you wouldn’t buy one. It’s all about emotion.”
Cannon Beach merchants are thrilled that the Ferrari Club tours the Oregon Coast each spring, Morris said.
“The impact to the town is substantial,” he explained. “The club spends a lot of money, from hotels -- they probably had 27 rooms this weekend -- to eating out and shopping. They shop a lot! Merchants always thank me after the Ferrari Club has been here.”
Furchner, who missed a ride this year, said, “it’s great fun. What’s not to like about going for a ride in a shiny, red Ferrari?”
Especially when the view is as spectacular as the north Oregon coast.
Photo credit: Hadi Dadashian