A Truck Crew Parks Holiday Cheer in Maywood

Unknown Street TruckzMembers of Unknown Street Truckz pose with donated toys inside Mariella’s Banquet Hall. Photo by Antonio Sanchez. Below, Antonio Posada, Ramon Posada and Antonio Sanchez in the parking lot f Mariella’s. Photos by Michael Romain.

DSC_1719Monday, December 22, 2014 || By Michael Romain

If group of collaborators have their way, yesterday’s holiday toy drive may be the start of more car fun in town

MAYWOOD || Cousins Antonio and Ramon Posada stood slightly shivering in the parking lot of Mariella’s Banquet Hall, 124 S. Fifth Avenue. The lot was packed full with Ford and Chevy trucks, virtually all of them customized to the hilt, plastic decals promoting “Unknown Street Truckz” affixed to the windows.

Unknown, a truck enthusiast’s equivalent to a motorcycle club, was founded by the Posada cousins in Roselle, Illinois. They started with about seven members and now boast about 40 members from places such as Cicero, Stone Park, Melrose Park and Maywood.

The men bill themselves as “Chicagos #1 Truck Crew,” according to the group’s Facebook page, which boasts over 1,000 likes. Recently, the group corralled more than 60 trucks into a swaggering processional down Lower Wacker Drive in Chicago—one of Unknown’s many cruise nights.

But they were here in the parking lot yesterday to do more than flaunt their tricked out vehicles; they were conducting a toy drive called “Toys 4 Tots,” which is part of their mission to do good while having fun. The Posadas said they were drawn to Maywood because Mariella’s co-owner, Antonio Sanchez, said that it was a community that could stand to benefit from their largesse.

“These are all hardworking guys who just like customizing their trucks and they wanted to do something to benefit the community,” said Sanchez, who co-hosted the event with the group. He, his family’s banquet hall and Unknown have partnered together to host a range of community events. Sanchez said the relationship is the result of a bond that grew organically.

“We mesh well,” he said, referencing the Posada brothers and their band of enthusiasts. Sanchez, who is a pickup truck owner himself, noted that the toys that were collected yesterday will go to PLCCA and a local church to be distributed to families in need this holiday.

He hopes that other positive events can come from the working relationship. One that has been floated around recently is a car show in Maywood.

“If Forest Park or Elmhurst can do car shows every Sunday, why can’t we do something here?” mused Sanchez, a Maywood native.

“We just need more positive things for the village,” he said. “I’m tired of hearing about Maywood in a bad light.” VFP

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