ROCHELLE – The Foundation for Focus House and Community Programming of Rochelle was forced to cancel its annual car show and parade this year, but it is moving forward with its plan to host the car show virtually.
The car show this year is free to enter and is open to any type of classic old vehicle, whether it be a car, pickup truck or motorcycle. Participants are asked to send in one photo of their vehicle to Jhardin@oglecounty.org.
Contact information such as an address and phone number, as well as the make and model of the vehicle, should also be included in the email. The deadline to send in a vehicle photo was Sept. 10 and there is no limit to the amount of people who can participate.
“We had to cancel the outdoor car show and parade out of concern for the community, but we are very excited to try this out,” Foundation for Focus House President Dave Tess said. “I have been dealing with old cars since my brother got me my first one when I was 16 years old and I have never seen anything like this done.”
Once all photos have been received, they will be compiled into one photo album and uploaded onto Facebook. Voting will begin on Sept. 14, with individuals either clicking the like or heart icon on their favorite vehicle in the album. The one that receives the most attention will be chosen as the winner.
Depending on the number of vehicles in the show, either one or two trophies will be given out to the winner or winners. The car show is an annual event that has been taking place for over 20 years in the community.
While the main goal of the show is usually to help raise funds for the Foundation for Focus House, that is not the case this year. The purpose of this year’s show is to help bring awareness to the many sponsors that have supported the foundation over the years.
“It is not about raising money this time, what we are trying to do is give back to our sponsors,” Tess said. “We are going to rotate through all of the sponsors that have been so good to us over the last 12 years and make sure they are getting continuous shoutouts on our Facebook page with this car show. We know that all businesses are struggling during this time and this is our way to give back and say thank you.”
This year’s sponsors include Rochelle Community Hospital, T-Byrd Lanes, Jeff Perry, Berger Law and Ralfie and Lulu’s. All of these businesses and organizations were signed up to be sponsors for the car show before it got modified to be virtual show.
When the outdoor show was cancelled and the businesses were asked if they wanted a refund, each told the foundation to keep the money as a donation. The foundation and car show rely on fundraisers and donations from both sponsors and the community to function and the foundation would like to thank everybody that has supported them.
“The biggest thing to make sure our community and sponsors know is how much we appreciate their support,” said Jeni Hardin, executive director for Foundation for Focus House. “Especially during these times, when all of our fundraising events have gotten cancelled our community has stepped up and amazed us with its generosity. We cannot thank them enough.”