Kool April Nites carries on after president's passing

People come from all across the country for Redding's annual classic car festival Kool April Nites.

It starts this weekend with various show and shines in Shasta County, but for the board members and volunteers of the well-known event, this year is a little different.

Former president Doug Carney passed away last year, leaving behind a legacy of successful Kool April Nites.

This year, board members are getting through without him by remembering his mantra "it is what it is".

"We've run into a lot of bumps and bruises in the Kool April Nites board process in trying to figure out how everything goes without his presence," said Doug's daughter and board member Rebecca Carney. "So, we've used that mantra as a way to move forward. There's certain things you cannot control, but you can choose how you respond."

Rebecca chose to keep her father's legacy going by stepping up from her role as volunteer to joining the board as secretary.

Doug may be gone, but board members said his ideas are still lingering through the planning process.

"I think that's a big portion of it," Rebecca said. "Is feeling so much of his absence but also so much of him present in the process."

Current President Debra Fox said they can still hear his voice in the planning.

"It's actually kind of exciting because he laid out the plan," Fox said. "We know where he was going and you can hear his voice and you know where he wanted to go with this organization."

Where he wanted to go was to make $1 million to give back to kids in the community, a goal they hope to reach this year.

"You know, the one thing my dad was most proud of was the near $1 million that Kool April Nites had given back to the community and that's the big project," Rebecca said. "That's what we are doing this for."

Fox said the show will go on and she thinks it will be a good one, with Doug there in spirit.

"We wanted to make sure that with the comments we were getting that 'there's no way you can go on without Doug Carney' we wanted to make sure that we did carry on, for him," Fox said. "It is what it is and we are going to have a wonderful show this year."

The show lasts from April 21-29.

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