HISTORY OF THE MAPLE VALLEY STREET RATS
The Maple Valley Street Rats Club was originally founded in 1985 in Maple Valley, WA. This car club had two primary goals. The first goal was to promote preservation, enjoyment, restoration, and modification of all pre - 1975 vehicles, without make or model preference. The year of the preservation of vehicles was changed to 1976 or older in 2012. The second goal was to generate scholarships for post high school automotive technology programs to deserving students.
The current Maple Valley Street Rats is a spin-off from the original Tahoma High School Street Rats, also of Maple Valley, WA. The Tahoma High School auto shop instructor, Chuck Bernadoni, and his students established the Tahoma High School Street Rats in 1985. The name "Street Rats" came from street rods plus the nickname of the big block Chevrolet engine. A student member from Tahoma High School used the colors scarlet and black to design the original Street Rat logo. The original goal of the high school club was to develop interest in hot rods and muscle cars. As the club grew, its goal shifted to providing community services such as food drives, Easter egg hunts, Christmas toy drives, and eventually much more.
The idea for the Maple Valley Street Rats started as an effort to generate financial scholarships to deserving students going to automotive schools following high school. The club evolved from the original high school organization to the community organization it is today in 1998 with seven original members, who were local automotive business persons. The Maple Valley Street Rats Club has hosted the following scholarship fundraisers:
- The Friday night Cruise-in at Covington, WA
- The Maple Valley Days Car Show at Lake Wilderness Park in Maple Valley, WA
- The Mt. Si Festival car show held in North Bend, WA
- The West Seattle Junction Association car show in West Seattle, WA.
- The South Park Hot Rod and Classic Cars
From 1999 to 2012, the Maple Valley Street Rats has expanded the list of high schools for students being awarded scholarships. The high schools are as follows:
· Tahoma High School
· Mt. Si High School
· Auburn High School
Maple Valley Street Rats has awarded more than $30,000 to students so that they may attend a variety of post high school automotive schools including:
- Universal Technical Institute
- Wyoming Technical College
- Renton Technical College
- Green River Community College
In 2008 The Maple Valley Street Rats developed a program to promote camaraderie between car clubs showing support at other club’s car shows, helping other club’s with their shows and supporting businesses with show and shines.
The Maple Valley Street Rats received a trophy for Hot Rod Club of the Year at the Washington State Hot Rod Hall of Fame for the 2010 year.