Cass Road Baptist to host 3rd annual car show on July 21Written by Brian Bohnert | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cass Road Baptist Church will host its Third Annual Route 66 Classic Car Show & Community Festival on July 21.
The event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature live entertainment, a silent auction, door prizes, local nonprofit organizations and, of course, classic cars. Admission is free.
This year’s festival marks the third year the church’s Christian Activities Board has presented the event. Jill Sheets, Route 66 committee chairperson, is in her second year running the festival; she said her main goal is to make the event fun for families throughout the entire community.
“We didn’t want this to be a religious thing,” Sheets said. “We wanted it to be a nice, fun thing for the community to take part in.”
To make the event as family friendly as possible, Sheets said there will be live entertainment, as well as interactive games operated by church volunteers.
“The Toledo Zoo’s Edzoocation is coming out and they’re bringing some rare bones and some live animals,” Sheets said. “We’re also going to have plenty of hand-made, carnival-style games for kids, complete with prizes.”
Anyone who wins a game will receive tickets, which can be redeemed for prizes inside the church’s designated “Redemption Center,” Sheets said.
Much like the 2011 event, this year’s festival will feature live entertainment from El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico and the Chinese Association of Greater Toledo Tai Chi Kun Fu Fan Dancers. Muddonna of the Toledo Mud Hens will also make an appearance. Last year, she was joined by her Fifth Third Field Companion, Muddy; this time, she’ll be accompanied by the mascot for the Toledo Walleye, Spike.
UltraSound Special Events, a local entertainment service, will provide large inflatables for both adults and children to enjoy. The Maumee Fire Department will also be there with one of its fire trucks, Sheets said.
This will be the second year for the festival’s silent auction. Perhaps the event’s most popular attraction, the silent auction will feature donations from both local and national companies. Some of the participating companies include Panera Bread, Marco’s Pizza, Imagination Station, Hickory Farms, Southwyck Bowling Lanes, Ghostly Manor and Rave Motion Pictures, among others. There will even be items signed by various celebrities, Sheets said.
All money received from the auction goes toward covering the cost of the event.
Accompanying the entertainment will be many local nonprofit organizations. The Toledo-Area Humane Society will have dog “Meet & Greets” and Crafters for Kitties will sell crafts to support Paws & Whiskers. The Toledo Northwest Ohio Food bank will collect canned food items, and Recycle It USA will collect old household electronics such as televisions smaller than 30 inches.
In addition, the church will collect old cell phones, ink and toner cartridges, as well as jeans and tennis shoes for Eco Erek, a local child dedicated to recycling.
All nonprofit vendors and live entertainers will be inside the church’s multipurpose room.
Although the entertainment, games and prizes are a huge draw for local crowds, Sheets said it is the classic cars that keep the people coming throughout the day with various generations of hot rods and muscle cars, Sheets said.
“In the second year, we had the entire yard packed with cars,” she said. “It must’ve been more than 50, but I’d even venture to say as many as 70 or more. There were so many really cool cars there all lined up and over the course of the day, we easily had 400 people or more.”
Cass Road Baptist will accept free applications for car and motorcycle registrations up to the event, and the vehicle with the most votes will receive a “People’s Choice” trophy, Sheets said.
This year’s festival took roughly three months of planning, both finding sponsors and booking entertainment. While Cass Road Baptist does have dedicated volunteers helping with this year’s event, Sheets said she has had a lot of help from her son, Josh Widanka.
“Josh is really the idea man,” she said. “He’s on student government at Owens Community College and last year he asked [Owens] if we could use their snow cone maker and popcorn popper and they said yes. That gave it kind of a carnival-style feel.”
Food and drinks will be sold inside the church for a “nominal” fee, also going toward covering the event’s costs. To help ease the spending, Kroger provided the church with $105 worth of gift cards and the Taco Bell on Conant Street will supply all cups and napkins, Sheets said.
Sheets and Widanka were not in charge of the first Route 66 event, and they attribute the event’s poor turnout to lack of advertising and sponsorships. The first festival relied on the congregation for help, Sheets said.
“Our church is an older crowd with fixed incomes like the rest of us; and, they’ve been generous with their donations any other time,” Sheets said. “But because of their generosity, we didn’t want to have to ask of them again.”
Serving as the church’s liaison to outside organizations, Widanka said finding dedicated sponsors was not only important for the event, it was a way to take financial stress away from their congregation.
“We didn’t want to make it so the congregation had to dig deeper,” Widanka said. “That’s why it was really important to find sponsors. … It’s really surprising who will help your cause.”
All organizations participating in the silent auction and door prizes are offering special packages, such as $5 to $10 gift cards or free passes to specific services.
To register a car or motorcycle for the show, or for a complete list of participating organizations in the festival, visit www.cassroadbaptistchurch.org.