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Cruisin’ for C.A.R.E. — car show for a cause

By Staff | Mar 2, 2013

The third annual Cruisin’ for C.A.R.E. will feature an eye-catching lineup of automobiles – cars and trucks – to help support local cancer patients.

Hosted by the Ponies in Paradise Mustang Club, the show takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at 21st Century Oncology, at 2270 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers. Proceeds from the annual event benefit 21st Century C.A.R.E.

21st Century C.A.R.E. supports cancer patients, generally in the Fort Myers area, with patient assistance, educational programs and research funding.

“It’s a good opportunity to give back to the foundation and raise some money,” Phil Salata, with 21st Century Oncology, said Friday.

“All the money raised will go to help cancer patients,” he said.

Michael Consoli, president of the Ponies in Paradise, explained that he and others took part in last year’s fund-raiser under a different club. When the Ponies in Paradise formed, they decided to participate again in the cause.

“It’s just a great show,” he said. “Whatever we can do to help.”

Visitors will find a mix of member vehicles at the show.

“You’ll see anything from ’66s, all the way up to 2013s,” Consoli said.

He noted that the club works with other car groups, including muscle cars and Corvettes, and those organizations are planning to attend, as well.

“We should have a pretty good turnout out there,” Consoli said.

Admission is free for visitors, and the cost is $15 to enter a vehicle.

“It is open to all vehicles,” Salata said.

As of Friday, about 30 vehicles had pre-registered.

“Most of them just wait until the day of the show and then come,” he said.

The first 100 vehicle to register will receive a free dash plaque.

About 60 vehicles have participated in each of the previous two shows.

“It gets a little better each year,” Salata said. “This year, we’re shooting for 80 or 90 (vehicles), maybe 100.”

Visitor attendance has come in at a couple hundred.

“We have a deejay. He plays oldies music,” he said. “We have food vendors – hotdogs, barbecue, cotton candy.”

Awards will be handed out for first, second and third in 15 different categories. The awards will also be given for stock and modified in each.

“We have different categories that you enter in and it’s basically by the year of your car,” Salata said. “We also have a speciality category – kit cars.”

A panel of judges will decide on the winners.

“They look at things like the paint, the engine, the interior and then the overall fit and finish of the car, and they award points on those,” he said.

Winners who place will receive trophies.

“We also have a best of show trophy for the overall best car,” Salata said, adding that there will also be a best mustang award for the first time.

There will be raffle tickets available for purchase for prizes, and a 50/50 drawing with the jackpot split between the winner and the foundation.

The event sponsors include Galloway Mazda, LeeSar, Electronic Registry System, Terry Wynter Auto Service and West Coast Mobile Orthopedics.