Taking a shine to fundraising: Salvation Army plans car show July 24

The nonprofit Columbus Salvation Army aims to steer its bottom line toward a healthier road with a fundraising car show, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 24 in the parking lot of Sandy Hook United Methodist Church, 1610 Taylor Road, in Columbus.

Call this a case of putting the pedal to the kettle.

The event, its third such foray since 2019, is meant to help make up the $12,847 shortfall in the ministry and social service outreach’s annual Red Kettle Campaign from the past Christmas season, according to Capt. Amy Tompkins. The gathering is meant to be part of the Salvation Army’s Christmas in July project.

"In the summer, when it’s really hot, car shows go along with that pretty well," said Nancy Johnson, the organization’s administrative assistant for social services.

The funds will go specifically toward the organization’s Angel Tree program, which includes purchasing Christmas gifts for young people through age 15. The ministry and its supporters purchased items for a record 800 youth in December. It also has begun a similar program for older area residents that are lonely without nearby family.

Currently, the Salvation Army also is funding the cost of sending 27 youngsters to summer camp in Bedford.

Its last car show was in 2019 — unknowingly scheduled on a day that two other, better-known car shows were unfolding — and generated $900. Twenty-five trophies will be awarded in a variety of categories. Entry fee is $15 per car in advance or $20 the day of the show.

The event will include door prizes ranging from a paddleboard and hoverboard to a football signed by some members of the Indianapolis Colts. Food such as burgers, brats and ice cream also will be available for purchase at the show.

Local disc jockey Jeff Kelley, a veteran at helping the Moose Lodge organize car shows, has come on board to help the Salvation Army. Kelley sees his effort, including free deejay services, as a way of repaying the ministry for how it helped his family during a time of severe need several years ago.

"The Salvation Army helps so very many people in so many ways," Kelley said. "And I happen to be one of them. A lot of times, you never really realize what resources are out there until you have a need. When they say they do a lot of good, they really mean it.

"I’m very committed to them," Kelley said. "I hope this year comes back with a vengeance for them."

Kelley is working with John Staples Custom Pipes & Mufflers to also provide the trophies for the event.

Salvation Army leaders say they are grateful to the church for providing a shady and cool location for the show. 

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People can enter a vehicle in the Salvation Army’s car show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 24 at Sandy Hook United Methodist Church parking lot, 1610 Taylor Road in Columbus, by calling the ministry’s office at 812-372-7118 and requesting an entry form.