Redwood Credit Union Auto Services Celebrates Chop’s Teen Club’s Sweet 16 Birthday by Donating a New Van

On Wednesday, October 18, Chop’s Teen Club will open its doors to the community to celebrate the club’s 16th birthday and the impact it has made for Santa Rosa youth over the past 16 years.

In 1995, Charles “Chop” DeMeo left the bulk of his estate to the Sonoma County Community Foundation to create a safe and productive place for teens in the Santa Rosa community. After a series of public meeting and teen surveys, the plans for a teen club took shape and Chop’s Teen Club opened its doors for the first time in the fall of 2001.

The party will begin at 4:30 and community members will be able to take tours lead by members as well as join in the fun in the gym and art studio. At 5:30, guests will be invited to hear a few words from community leaders and ice cream cake will be served by Coldstone Creamery, a partner of Chop’s Work-Ready program.

Like most 16 year olds, one of the items at the top of Chop’s birthday list was a new car. Lorez Bailey, Chop’s Executive Director said, “transporting members outside of the club has always been an issue for us. When RCU Auto Services surprised us with the opportunity to pick out a mini-van from their Santa Rosa Avenue car lot, we were absolutely thrilled!”

“Chop’s offers so many positive after-school programs where teens can develop valuable skills, and we’ve been a longtime supporter… so when we asked about their greatest need, Chop’s told us providing transportation was their goal, to add even more value to their educational programs,” said Brett Martinez, President and CEO of Redwood Credit Union. “We saw an opportunity to help in a meaningful way, and RCU Auto Services was able to donate a van to allow Chop’s to expand their programs for teens in our community.”

Bailey continued, “Having a van opens up amazing possibilities for what we can offer our members. We’ve already scheduled our first field trips for our Work Ready Program and Girls Leadership Group. This is such a tremendous asset for us and we’re incredibly grateful”.

Chop’s Sweet 16 is a free event, open to the community. RSVP’s are requested by emailing If you would like to purchase a birthday gift for Chop’s, a suggested list is available by visiting

About Chop’s Teen Club: Located near Railroad Square, Chop’s Teen Club provides a safe, fun and productive place where teens engage, connect and discover their true potential. Chop’s Teen Club knows that youth are the future of Sonoma County and is dedicated to providing them with the time, opportunities and mentorship to enable them to become successful and contributing members of our community.