LIMA — As it turned out, fate was on the side of the committee that organizes the annual Westgate Charity Car Show.
Normally held in the Westgate parking lot along North Cable Road, the lot was sold to developers, forcing the car show to move to the Lima Auto Mall less than a mile north. The new spot provided much needed space.
“It worked out great,” said committee chairman Andy Maravola. “They sold the lot and we needed a place. Thankfully, they provided this place, and we needed the room.”
Hitting just 300 cars for last year’s show, this year’s car show hit 300 before noon and was at 350 by 1 p.m. Entries were accepted until 2 p.m. The show featured cars, trucks and motorcycles of every kind from the early 1900s to right off the show floor. Maravola said the variety of cars in the event help make it successful.
“Along with the classics, we have a lot of other vehicles that people do not usually see at car shows,” Maravola said.
Maravola added that the number and variety of the awards also help to garner a big turnout.
“We have 110 awards,” Maravola said. “We have a lot of specialty choices and awards for unusual cars. “That draws a lot of good cars to the event.
In the eighth year of the event, Maravola said they are hoping to begin a new tradition at the new location.
“We have room for 500 cars here, so it will be hard for us to outgrow this spot,” Maravola said. “The feedback has been great, and everyone has said they are having a great time. We reach out to a lot of places and the local news media really helps us promote the event. We could not do it without their help.”
Maravola said it takes about six months each year to put the event together, and he said he had a staff of about 30 volunteers that helped out. The charity car show raises money for Allen County Children’s Services and the Veterans Food Pantry. Other money is also divided to other local charities depending on how much is raised.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter @LanceMihm.