by Elsie Walker
In late August, Chris Schmidt of Roxbury was riding his motorcycle when a car came into his lane and clipped him. Schmidt kept control of the motorcycle, but his foot was severely injured; it had to be amputated. A Roxbury Township employee for five years, as a result of the accident, Schmidt couldn’t work. Schmidt has been working to overcome what’s happened to him. Meanwhile, those who know Schmidt and his family have rallied to help them make up for the wages lost while being unable to work, plus to help with the costs for modifying his home to be wheelchair accessible. Ed Barricella, of Hopatcong, a friend and president of Cops N Rodders of North Jersey shared that some of Schmidt’s fellow Roxbury employees had given him some of their paid vacation time. A go-fund-me page was setup at www.gofundme.com/f/caring-for-the-schmidts. Also, Schmidt was given support by a special community of friends. Schmidt with his wife, Kari, run SC3 Entertainment. Schmidt is well-known for doing the DJ duties at many area car shows and events. In late September, the Cops and Rodders car club held a fundraiser night for Schmidt that brought in $10,000 in donations to the go-fund-me page plus between $500 – $700 more.
Cops N Rodders has been around for 20 years. Originally, its members were from the military, state police, firefighters, etc. and not only liked cars, but most of them had hot rods. That’s how it got its name. Today, the club includes not only those from its original member base, but also regular car enthusiasts. Schmidt has not only been its DJ for six years, but also a member. Although he does not own a classic car, Schmidt has an interest in trucks.
Thursdays are usually the club’s cruise night at Wendy’s-Lowes parking lot in Hackettstown. However, one late September night Schmidt was the thought on everyone’s mind. Barricella noted that an announcement was put on Facebook that the night would be to raise money for Schmidt and invited other car clubs to come. That night about 200 cars were on display and not only members of Cops and Rodders, but those from the North Jersey Street Rodders Association and the Wanderers Car Club were on hand. Hundreds of people, car owners and spectators, came. Barricella called the night, “amazing” and said, “there were people who rode motorcycles who just came out there to support him (Schmidt).”
The Cops and Rodders usually holds a 50/50 for the local organization, “Smiles For Margaret”, which helps parents of children with cancer. However, that night, the director of that organization asked that all proceeds go to Schmidt.
The event included music with DJ Matt from Monteray Entertainment taking on the DJ duties that night.
However, in early October, Schmidt was back to doing his DJ duties. Working from a trailer, one of Schmidt’s first appearances was at the Rodfather car show in Newton. He was warmly welcomed and shared, for those who didn’t know, what happened to him. Wanting to see other people spared from what happened to him when a car suddenly came into his lane, he stressed the message of keeping one’s eyes on the road and not the phone.