PLAINS TWP. — A second annual “Give Kids the World” car show brought car enthusiasts to the grounds of the Holiday Inn-East Mountain here Saturday for a chance to raise money for a good cause while taking in beautiful cars.
David and Janet Oplinger, Sweet Valley, who entered their blue 1966 Plymouth Barracuda which they owned for about four years, were especially happy to be participating in an event that benefits children.
“We pick and choose what car show we go to,” said David Oplinger. “We very much like to help children and veterans.”
Give Kids the World, a nonprofit in central Florida where children with critical illnesses and their families are treated to a weeklong free vacation, certainly fits the bill for the Oplingers.
Bri Kern, representing the Holiday Inn, said the event and others like it are geared to raising $10,000 – the amount necessary to fund vacations for two families.
In addition to the car show, Kern said the Holiday Inn sponsors other fundraisers to help the cause.
“We do soft pretzel and candy sales at the hotel,” she said. “And we have bowling and rolling skating nights.”
The Oplingers also saw Saturday’s car show as an opportunity to interact with the community.
“All children are welcome to sit in the front seat of our car,” said Janet Oplinger. “But we’re especially blessed when a special needs child gets to sit in it and we help in any way we can.”
Charles Dancheck, Edwardsville, brought his black 1957 Thunderbird, eager to share the story behind the purchase of the vehicle.
“I bought it used in 1969 from Gus Genetti,” he said. “From the beginning, it was a show car.”
And although Dancheck has never used the car as a primary vehicle, he enjoys taking it for a spin on a sunny day with its top down.
Last week, though, as he was on the way to visit a friend, with the top down, it unexpectedly started to rain.
“You have to get out of the car to put the top back,” he said. “It’s manual.”
Dancheck, who plans to participate in similar shows throughout the summer, said he finds them relaxing and enjoys getting to know people.
Jeff Genther, Dickson City, brought his 2005 Mitsubishi Eclipse, but kept an eye out for new ideas from other car owners.
“You never know when you’re going to get a new idea,” he said. “Last year we took our headlights apart and re-did them because of something we saw at a show.”