Sunday, December 9th, 2007 was a warm and sunny day, with a crystal blue sky for the annual Mopars/AMC’s In The Park held in Venice, Florida’s Woodmere Park. The sound of high performance engines was in the air, and over 200 vehicles showed up to represent the heritage of Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth, Imperial, DeSoto, AMC, Jeep and even Hudson. Spectators and participants alike were treated to a fine and diverse collection of old American iron, and all enjoyed a free lunch courtesy of Junior’s Auto Trim, Coral Ridge Auto Repair, and Sarasota Loc-N-Key Storage.
The show was dedicated to a very dear friend, Mr. Bob Reese, who unexpectedly passed away at the young age of 53. His family brought Bob’s car to the show, and it was placed in the very center of attention. In addition to that, the Port Charlotte Nary Jr. ROTC color guard was on hand in full dress, and had a flag display to open the show. The color guard started the ceremony from right in front of Bob’s car to pay tribute to our dear friend, and kick off the event in grand style.
The whole show was as much a celebration of the heritage of the American automobile as it was a charity food drive. Anyone who was there could see a 1928 Plymouth, a Chrysler letter car, Road Runner, Imperial, AMC Javelin, Marlin, or a tricked out Dodge truck or Jeep. Mopar Muscle magazine showed up and provided excellent coverage of the show. Dodge Truck World was on hand with over 30 trucks in attendance, and the Southwest Florida AMC’s sponsored a record attendance of AMC/Hudson vehicles totaling 21 in number. Anderson Graphics supplied all the awesome static automotive artwork displays. A record attendance of over 200 total vehicles showed up for a car show party that served to put a lot of food on the Christmas dinner table for a lot of worthy families in need.
It all began 5 years ago when Matt Gause and Bob Covert dreamt of a time when people could enjoy a free car show with free food, and free trophies, and all anyone had to do was bring a canned goods donation for the Southwest Florida December Holiday Food Bank to enter the show. “This 5th year has surpassed all our expectations that we ever had, with over 200 cars all bringing canned goods for the cause”, reported Bob Covert. Matt Gause explained, “The generosity of our sponsors and of the participants in bringing canned goods helped us donate over 5,000 pounds of food to the 2007 Southwest Florida Food Bank”. And that is what it really is about....giving back. CN