Southfield residents gathered for the fourth annual Blessing of the Vettes May 4 in the parking lot of the Southfield Public Library.

Southfield residents gathered for the fourth annual Blessing of the Vettes May 4 in the parking lot of the Southfield Public Library.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Road Masters Vette Club kicks off ‘blessed’ season

By: Kathryn Pentiuk | Southfield Sun | Published May 8, 2024


SOUTHFIELD — Last Saturday morning, rows of Corvettes in nearly every color of the rainbow lined up in the north parking lot of the Southfield Public Library for the fourth annual Blessing of the Vettes.

Ron “Ice” Johnson, the founder and vice president of the Road Masters Vette Club, explained that the idea to host a blessing for the Corvette drivers came when he and his wife were in Kentucky and witnessed a blessing of the bikes and motorcycles.

“I got to thinking that’d be something interesting. Why not have that for the Corvette? So I came back again and did a little bit of research and found out that the blessing of the bikes originated in Baldwin, Michigan — I think it was in ’71 or ’72 — with four motorcycles and eight riders, and from there it mushroomed now to a nationwide event. And they expect approximately between 8,000 to 10,000 participants each year in Michigan alone. So it’s really caught on,” Johnson said.

The premise of the event is that clergy members bless the drivers and vehicles for safe travels during the operating season.

“At the same time, it gives members of our diverse community the opportunity to come out and ‘ooh and ah’ as the beautiful cars that are assembled there for that event, and we have vendors, and so on,” he said.

The Road Masters Vette Club is a nonprofit group of Corvette drivers who are also passionate about giving back and helping the community thrive.

“One of our members said, ‘The Corvettes are just the hook.’ We’re more than the Corvettes. That’s just the eye candy that gets people’s attention. It’s the spirituality of the owners is what counts,” Johnson said. “We’re very spiritual. Most of us have some type of spiritual commitment.”

Johnson added that of the eight members of the club, most have connections to law enforcement, either as a previous career or volunteering, as well as being active in their church communities and within the city. Johnson plays an active role at his church, John Wesley A.M.E. Zion Church, and is also a member of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Task Force and serves as a member of the Southfield Domestic Violence Group.

The group was founded in 2018 by Johnson, Rick “Mr. Rick” Williams and Donald Jinx. The nonprofit partnered with the city of Southfield around four years ago after the death of George Floyd garnered national attention. The group reached out to the Southfield Police Department to notify them that they’d be holding a prayer vigil at the parking lot outside the former Northland Mall.

“We notified Chief (Elvin) Barren’s office that we were going to have a prayer vigil and it was not going to be a protest. We invited him to participate. So much was going on that we didn’t want them to hear that there was a group of people there and think there was a protest to arrive and be greeted with hostility,” Johnson said. He added that Mayor Ken Siver and Barren attended the event, which led to a partnership between the Road Masters Vette Club and the city of Southfield.

The Road Masters Vette Club’s annual events include Blessing of the Vettes, the proceeds for which go toward helping the Southfield Domestic Violence Group, and the “Joe Clifford Strut and Shine,” which honors a deceased club member and raises funds for the Kidney Foundation of Michigan and scholarship fund.

“We can’t thank you enough for the relationship with the Road Masters,” stated Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee at the Blessing of the Vettes. “They always show up for every event. I mean, they support public safety here in the city of Southfield. I had no idea when I was having a conversation with Ron about four years ago about him getting involved in the community what he really meant. So I really appreciate the relationship you have with the Fire Department, Police Department and so forth, and with the city.”

For more information on the Road Masters Vette Club, visit