The late John Castle, longtime operations manager for the Johnson City Press, loved to help out good causes.
He was coordinator of the Christmas Box project, was a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, was active with Central Baptist Church and was known to give a helping hand in many small, behind-the-scenes ways, to causes and to individuals in need.
Castle, who passed away in March, also was the driving force behind the annual Johnson City Press car wash to raise funds for United Way. In his honor, it’s been named the John Castle Memorial Car Wash.
The event takes place today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the rear loading dock of the Press, facing West Market Street. Suggested donation is $10.
There’s also a hot dog sack lunch being served during the car wash from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The meal includes a grilled hot dog with fixings, chips, a drink and a cookie, at a cost of $5.
The activities will surely bring back memories of Castle for employees doing the washing as well as for his old friends who stop by for lunch or a quick car wash.
“It just won’t be the same without John,” said Bill Cummings, Press advertising sales manager and chairman of the paper’s United Way campaign. “He was just such a giving individual.
“In fact, the Press car wash was John’s brainchild. He coordinated the whole thing, and even in struggling health he still came out and did it.
“He was the backbone of it. He was just a tremendous supporter of the United Way, not only with his money but with his time, and we wanted to hold our United Way campaign in his honor.”
Castle worked at the Press for 37 years, starting in the newspaper’s mailroom and working his way up to operations manager. Always quick to get involved with assisting others, he helped build up the Christmas Box to the point where it distributed more than 1,800 food boxes to families in need last season.
The car wash is the first phase of the Johnson City Press United Way campaign. Cummings said the company strives to have 100 percent giving, where all employees contribute somehow. Proceeds benefit the United Way of Washington County.