How the show got started and what it is today.
In June of 1990 the Executive Director of the East Texas Crisis Center, Dawn Franks, was contacted by Dr. Richard Ulrich, asking the agency to be the recipient of a new fundraising event. The first Classic Car Show was held the following Spring on March 9th and 10th at the Oil Palace in Tyler. Net proceeds from this first show was $4,850. In addition to the show a sports car was purchased by the agency at dealer’s cost and raffled off during the show. The car raffle raised $15,348 giving a combined revenue of $20,198 to help support victims of family violence and sexual assault.
Craig Chesley and Ronny Anderson were charter members of the original committee that planned and hosted the 1991 event. Today the East Texas Auto & Cycle Show Committee is comprised of 12 members, most who have served on the committee for more than a decade. Joining Craig and Ronny are Danny Alexander, Alex Price, Sue Lawler, Jimmie Horton, Jimmy and Charlotte Hayes, Robert Owens, Tom Tyler, and Janie Harrelson.
The revenue from the show grew steadily each year and generated $20,000 in 1998. The committee then proposed another car raffle venture. Members of the Mustangs of East Texas located an old dilapidated 1965 Mustang and restored it to “show quality”. The cost of the car in it’s original condition was $2,600 which generated $19,000 in raffle ticket sales. The combined effort with the show revenue generated a total of $60,000 for the East Texas Crisis Center in year 2000.
Another major milestone presented itself in 2004 when David Irwin, General Manager & Managing Partner of Tyler Ford, stepped up with a donation of a 1965 Mustang. Tyler Ford has since donated a raffle car for eight consecutive years. A 2007 Black Shelby Hertz was donated for the 2010 show which generated $100,000 for the agency in $10 raffle ticket sales.
Tyler Ford has donated a new 2011 Mustang for the 2011 East Texas Auto & Cycle Show to be held at Harvey Convention Center February 18-20, 2011. The Auto & Cycle Show Committee works throughout the year planning each show. Each year committee members work to create a whole new show with vehicle entries that have never been seen and recruit special interest vehicles featuring an annual special series collection.
From humble beginnings in 1991 when the first show and car raffle raised $20,000 the show and car raffle now raises $150,000 to $170,000 in net proceeds for the East Texas Crisis Center each year.
Through hard work and dedication the men and women who serve on the East Texas Auto & Cycle Show Committee are deeply committed to the support of women and children who are forced out of their own homes to escape violence and abuse.