The Panhandle Council of Car Clubs raised over $60,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation when they hosted their 29th annual Make-A-Wish Car Show at the Amarillo Civic Center, held on March 2-3. The PCCC hopes to have an exact figure of funds gathered by the end of this month.
Make-A-Wish has been granting the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions since 1980. The foundation estimates that it grants a child’s wish in the United States every 38 minutes.
Show chairman Barry Henson said he looks forward to the Make-A-Wish Car Show not only because it is the beginning of the year for the club’s event season, but because they are able to raise money for a charity that really deserves it.
“It’s exciting for everyone involved,” Henson said. “When the doors open on Saturday and there’s a line of people waiting to get in, it’s extremely gratifying. The camaraderie is really nice and we’re surprised every year at how much money we’re able to raise.”
Henson has been coordinating the Make-A-Wish Car Show for 28 of the 29 years the PCCC has hosted the event.
“[Make-A-Wish] is closest to my heart,” Henson said. “When you get to see these kids – these kids are just amazing. They still smile even given what they’re going through.”
Joe Kryzan, co-chairman of the show, said Make-A-Wish tries to bring a child to the event each year, and it is heart touching to know they can bring joy to a child in need.
“It makes you feel good,” Kryzan said, “They face so much and have to deal with so much that they shouldn’t have to. They go through so much more than we even realize.”
Kryzan said he enjoys the show because not only does he get to enjoy his hobby while raising money to help children in need, but it benefits the parents of the children as well.
“I know parents who have had children that have been helped by Make-A-Wish,” Kryzan said. “It really benefits the parents so much to see a smile on that little one’s face.”
Tracy Montoya, assistant to the chairman, has been assisting in coordinating the car show for 13 years, and said it is a nice feeling at the end of the event to know the PCCC was able to do something worthwhile that will help children and their families.
“It’s a ton of fun and it’s a great cause,” Montoya said. “It’s good to be involved and use the cars to raise money for a great cause like Make-A-Wish.”
Montoya said preparation for the event is nonstop, and the PCCC begins planning for the next year’s show almost immediately after the current one has ended.
The PCCC expects next year’s Make-A-Wish Car Show to be a very big and special one, as they will be celebrating their 30th year of hosting the event.