Big hearts propel Tim and Brenda’s Cruise for the Cure

June 18, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Mark Pavilons
Tim Schmidt likes being the centre of attention.
But it’s all for a good cause.
He’s a passionate straight-shooter with a big heart who’s living life to its fullest.
Since he’s in a position to give back, he does, in spades.
Schmidt is gearing up for the 4th annual Tim and Brenda’s Cruise for the Cure car show and fundraiser which raises money and awareness for Prostate Cancer Canada and the Alzheimer Society of Ontario.
Upwards of 2,000 vehicles and 10,000 visitors will descend on the King Township estate for the July 20 event, making it one of the biggest outdoor shows in the country.
In the first three years, the show has raised more than $230,000 for charity, and Schmidt hopes to top $175,000 this year.
With a star-studded lineup of special guests and musical entertainment, this show promises to be the best yet.
On deck will be Danny “The Count” Koker and Kevin Mack from the hit TV show Counting Cars. Meet The Count himself and get an autograph.
Schmidt said he decided  to add Alzheimer’s to the recipients this year because his late father suffered from the disease. As well, many of his “car buddies” are at the age when they may be susceptible to prostate cancer, so he’s stressing the need for men to look after their own health.
Schimdt’s love of automobiles began as a kid. Like most boys, he took the money he earned working for his father and began collecting Hot Wheels diecast cars. He’s lost count of the amount he’s picked up over the years, but in Tim’s showroom and museum, shelves are lined with literally thousands of them. Still today, any chance he gets to visit the toy section of a store, Tim will be scanning the shelves for the newest releases.
Visitors to the car show will also get the chance to stroll through Tim’s workshop, home to his collection of automobiles, motorcycles, art and automotive collectibles. It’s the ultimate man cave.
Part of the fundraiser involves the auction of a rare 1994 Gibson J-55. It is #18 of only 100 made. Nick Sinopoli, of the Carpet Frogs and long-time friend of Tim’s, has been collecting signatures from legendary rock musicians. Alice Cooper, Steve Cropper, Burton Cummings, Richie Sambora, Danny “The Count” Koker, Stoney Curtis, John Zito, Paul Disbibio, Barry Barnes, The Trews Orianthi Panagaris, Neil Chapman,  are just some of the over 30 names on this guitar. For more information or to bid on this piece of rock history, go to
Schmidt, who comes across as a classic rocker, loves all music. One of first things young men did with their first cars is install a tape deck or stereo to enjoy the tunes. Schmidt’s love of music goes hand in hand with his love of automobiles.
“A car is a piece of art,” he says with a smile. It also reflects the owner’s personality.
In Tim’s case, well, you have to see his own collection to get a feel for his flamboyant nature. His Plymouth Prowler is neon green and his pride and joy, his Nissan GTR, currently sports a two-tone metallic blue and stainless steel skin.
Even Tim’s eye glass frames are often airbrushed in the latest colours.
While he loves all makes and models of automobiles, he owns two GTRs and it was love at first sight. He spotted one on the highway and couldn’t tell what it was until he got closer. After some research he picked one up. The car is all-wheel-drive and comes stock with a 545-hp twin turbo V6. Tim’s is not stock. He’s also in the process of converting a Jeep to an off-road ride.
If he can electrify others, especially the younger generation, he’s succeeded. He wants others to share in his passion for cars and charity work. It’s all about love and sharing one’s passion.
“I’m fortunate enough that I can give back,” he said. “It’s something I want to do.”
For the car show, Tim may be out of pocket as much as $20,000, but he does it out of the goodness of his heart. Tim has worked for many years at the ABC Group of Companies, one of the world’s leading automotive systems and components manufacturers.
He got his values and respect for others from his parents, his role models. His mother Helga, CAO of the ABC Group of Companies, supports Tim’s passion.
He hopes to keep the car show fundraisers going for another five years or so, until he hits 60. He also hopes to hit the $1 million mark raised for charity.
His car show is a lot like him in many ways. The atmosphere is simply “overwhelming” and is starting to be known far and wide as the preferred Canadian destination.
Tim is a firm believer in the concept that “you can’t take it with you.”
So following his passion, and giving back to society, will continue to drive him.
And he’ll continue to be the centre of attention. But it’s all for a good cause.



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