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Classic Car Enthusiast

Ray known in Carrollton
for his contributions

The classic car enthusiast
heads the Kentucky Kruizers

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(April 2002) Raymond Ray, more affectionately known as “Ray Ray,” is always trying to help some organization or somebody, said Carrollton-Carroll County Tourism and Convention Commission director Robin Caldwell.
With an ever-present cigarette in hand, Ray, 71, has been a constant figure at Carroll County Chamber of Commerce meetings for the past eight years.
“They won’t let me off of the board,” he joked. But on a serious note, added, “I just like doing for Carroll County.”

Raymond Ray

Though Ray resides in neighboring Gallatin County, Ky., he is totally engrossed with Carroll County and its future. Born in 1931, he grew up on a farm in Carrollton. He left the area after high school to work as a district service representative for the Chrysler Corp. in Cincinnati. He remained there for 32 years.
After retiring, he and wife, Judith, moved to a farm in Warsaw in Gallatin County.
In reference to his love for Carrollton, Ray said, “I grew up there, then went away for 32 years, and then came back. I’d like to see it the way it was.”
His efforts to revitalize the area have not gone unnoticed. Ray said he was knighted a Kentucky Colonel in 1966, and Carrollton Mayor Gene McMurray bestowed upon him the Carroll County Outstanding Leader Award, making him a Goodwill Ambassador.
“For Ray, there is no county line,” said Caldwell. He is able to see solutions to every problem through his wide perspective on life, she said.
Harold Tomlinson, former manager of Gen. Butler State Resort Park, said Ray has “always been someone to count on.” Tomlinson has known Ray for many years and said, “He puts forth a lot of effort and never asks for recognition.”
Tomlinson, who is also a past chamber president, said, “We’re always fortunate to have members like Ray Ray.”
Ray became a member of the chamber through his involvement with the Kentucky Kruizers Car Club. “I was one of its first members,” Ray said of the club that was established in 1993.
His participation was a natural involvement, due to the fact that he had been “in the automotive industry for 32 years, and I always liked old cars,” he said. Ray is now president of the 50-member club.
“I just enjoy it because we do a lot for the community,” he said.
The club meets at 6 p.m. at the Carrollton Wal-Mart on the third Saturday of each month, from April to October.
The club is known for its sponsorship of the Haunted Train Ride each Halloween at Butler Park. Chris Pape is the train conductor at the park and met Ray five years ago through the car club. Pape said Ray goes out of his way to volunteer for the community. “He’s very involved and well organized,” said Pape.
All proceeds raised from the car club’s activities are donated back into Carroll County, said Ray. The club purchases toys, clothes and food for the needy at Christmas and participates in many other local events, such as Relay for Life and the Two Rivers Tobacco Festival at Pointe Park.
“Anything we can do for the betterment of the community, that’s what we’re all about,” Ray said.
Caldwell said that Ray, who has been diagnosed with cancer, is full of energy, possessing a “let’s see what we can do attitude.” Whenever there is a problem, he’s always a part of the solution, she added.
Ray has spearheaded many projects for the chamber, including Carrollton’s Main Street Program, instituted in 1996. Ray’s involvement with the chamber and the community at large is widely felt and appreciated by many.

• The Kentucky Kruizers summer schedule of events includes the Relay for Life, June 7-8 at Gen. Butler State Resort Park; car show July 6 at Gen. Butler; the club’s largest show Sept. 21 at Pointe Park; and the Haunted Train Ride Oct. 25-26 at Gen. Butler. For information about the club, call Ray at (859) 567-4813.

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