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4th Annual 9/11 Memorial Car Show • September 15, 2007

story and captions by John Michael

On Saturday, September 15, 2007, the 4th Annual 9/11 Memorial Car Show was held at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. This show has turned into an annual event, and was developed 4 years ago as a way to honor those who gave their lives in service to our country during the tragic events of September 11th. The show is also held to pay tribute to those who responded to the events of 9/11, and also to remember those who have given their lives to the life threatening situations in our own communities. The 9/11 show is a benefit sponsored by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and all the proceeds go to the Orange County Law Enforcement & Firefighters’ Memorial Fund, as well as the Children’s Safety Village.

The rain held off for this event, although the high humidity and large dark clouds threatened throughout the day. One advantage to registering early for this show is the first 100 pre-registered vehicles have their choice of being under the roof for the show. It’s not often you can do a show with this benefit, and it is great on really hot, sunny days or if the rain should fall, you’re covered. The show vehicles started arriving early in the morning, and in addition to the 24 different law enforcement and fire fighting agencies that were represented, about 189 show vehicles registered for the event. Dash plaques, T-Shirts and goody bags were presented upon registration, along with information about the show.

Around 10:00am the opening ceremonies were held, with the presenting of the colors, the playing of Our National Anthem, and a bell ringing ceremony for anyone that wanted to recognize a fallen hero. The individual could come forward, mention the person’s name and ring the bell in their honor. After the show was underway, in addition to viewing the quality show and service vehicles, there was still plenty to see and do, as the number of vendors has grown each year for the show, and this year’s event had the biggest turnout. Food choices were plentiful as Chik-Fil-A was on hand with their tasty menu items, and the Orange County Fire Department fired up the grille, and cooked hot dogs and hamburgers throughout the day.

A silent auction was held, and some of the items up for bid included Craftsman tools, a drill press, hydraulic jack and an adjustable torque screwdriver. Passes to attractions like Sea World, the Kennedy Space Center, and Disney Park Hoppers were also up for bid. Food items on the auction block included a Starbucks basket of goodies, and a Darden Lobster Feast for four. The Orange County Fire & Rescue also provided a gift basket, a gift certificate for a toaster, and two sets of Whelen white strobe lights and controls were also auctioned off. A 50/50 drawing was also held, with $360 going to the winner, and a runner-up drawing was held, with the second winner receiving a gift basket from Darden Restaurants valued at $200. After all of this, the awards were given out, and the Best Of Show went to a 1955 Chevrolet belonging to Sam Katanich of Winter Springs, Florida.

The 9/11 Memorial Show is an annual event, and is held at the Central Florida Fairgrounds off Highway 50 (Colonial Drive) in Orlando. The event is free to spectators, and is a great way to pay tribute to those who lost their lives while doing their duty. This show also gives you the chance to thank those men and women who put their lives on the line to serve our community. Many thanks go out to those who serve us, as well as to the Planning Committee, directed by Chief Jim Hollomon of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, to the many sponsors, and to Smoky Bones Restaurants, who provided food to the 100-plus volunteers who helped to make this event possible. If you would like to attend next year’s event, look for the listing in the Coming Attractions section of Mike Kelly’s Cruise News. CN