Classic cars, trucks and motorcycles may be the main attraction Saturday at the 23rd Annual Southern Cruisers Car Show, but a child with a progressive disease is the main reason for the event.
Proceeds from the annual car show always go to an area resident with major health challenges, and this year, the focus is on helping Jason Michael Carpenter, 7, son of Jason and Christie Carpenter.
He suffers from CMT-IE, also known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a "peripheral nerve disorder that affects his arms and legs, requiring specialized leg braces and walkers to provide mobility," Southern Cruisers spokesman Gary Oglesby said.
The disease is progressive and Jason will likely be eventually confined to a wheelchair, Oglesby said.
"He requires intense physical, occupational and aquatic therapy, and visits specialists in Iowa several times each year," Oglesby said. "Despite all of his daily challenges, he always has a smile on his face."
Last year, the event raised funds for Team Irelynn, focusing on a young girl with Diamond Black Anemia. During the show Saturday, raffle tickets for a four-day oceanfront beach condominium vacation in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, will be sold to raise money for research for the disease.
Registration for participating in the show is from 8 to 11 a.m., at the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fairgrounds, where the event is held. Door prizes will be given from 1 to 3 p.m., and awards will be given at 3 p.m., he said.
A valve cover contest — similar to a soapbox derby — will take place at 2 p.m., Oglesby said. Contestants will remove valve covers from their vehicles, attach wheels and race them. There will be a model car contest for children as well, he said.
Entries will be judged in different classes and vehicles entered will range from restored classics to newer models.
Admission is $3, with children younger than 12, military families with identification, servicemen and handicapped citizens admitted at no charge. Concessions will be available as well.
Southern Cruisers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, contact Oglesby at (912) 682-2683.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.