Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Cars For Kiwanis

Annual Show Supports Programs for Children

File Photo

File Photo

If you build it, they will come. That statement seems to hold true for many things, including the annual Marco Island Car Show. Built on a dream, the show was once thought to be just that; perhaps just a daydream, notion or silly thought. However, the annual show, always held the Sunday before President’s Day, has grown to be a signature event and successful fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club of Marco Island.

The Car Show began as the brainchild of Marco Island resident and Kiwanian John DeRosa. DeRosa recalls the show’s humble beginnings, saying, “Back in 2004, Kiwanis was looking for new fundraisers to help with various programs. I always enjoyed cars, both old and new and mentioned a car show as a fundraiser. Honestly, it was not well received, but I decided to try it anyway. Well, we wound up with 100 cars and about 1,500 spectators. It really was a great first show!”

The show has now grown to over 200 cars and more than 4,000 spectators. Held in the parking lot of NCH Healthcare at 40 S. Heathwood Drive, Marco Island, the event raises funds that go directly to the Kiwanis Club for use and distribution for such programs as Toys For Kids, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and other projects. The event has served as a building block for the good of our community by serving those who build our future – our children.

DeRosa acknowledges that the people of our community have made the event as successful as it is. “We have had some great sponsors over the years,” he said. “NAPA, Condee and Pepsi Cola have been with us from the beginning. We charge a $5 entry fee for spectators and have kept that price from day one. DJ Steve Reynolds has been with us right from the start, playing golden oldies, making announcements, and adding so much to the show. A special thank you goes out to the NCH Healthcare System who have let us use their parking lot since the very first show. Last, but not least, a big THANK YOU to all the show car owners who have displayed their vehicles.”

One change was made for this year in the interest of helping others. DeRosa said “We always allowed the show cars free entry until this year. A decision was made this year to charge a $20 entry fee for the show cars. This money will go directly to the Marco Island Academy to help them recover from Hurricane Irma.” Cars are registered the day of the event on a first come- first served basis.

In keeping with Marco Island’s love of food and fun, the show will include organizations such as the Italian American Club selling their homemade cakes and pastries, the Police and Fire Foundations selling hats and shirts while recruiting new members, and many “chefs” from the Kiwanis Club cooking hot dogs, hamburgers, chili and sausage and peppers served with a cold soft drink.

Please come and join in the fun on February 18 from 9 AM to 3 PM at 40 S. Heathwood Drive. For more information about the show, please call 239- 272-0816. To learn more about the Kiwanis Club of Marco Island, please visit kiwanisclubofmarcoisland.org.

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