Classic Corvettes. Vintage pickups. Tricked-out Hondas. These are just a few of the "rides" expected to cruise into the Inaugural SEMA CARES Car Show taking place inside the newly remodeled Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California, on Saturday, August 1, 2009. In all, more than 200 vehicles representing every facet of the car culture - from hot rods and musclecars to exotics and sport compacts - will come together to help children in need.
"We hope this enthusiast Car Show will become the showcase event of the summer and grow each year so that we can raise more money for two deserving children's charities," said Mike Spagnola, chairman of the SEMA Cruisin Old Town car show, and president of Street Scene Equipment based in Costa Mesa, California. While SEMA is a trade association and the world-famous SEMA Show is a trade event that is not open to the general public, the SEMA CARES Car Show is a unique event that is open to all enthusiasts.
"Our emphasis is to support Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp," Spagnola said, explaining that proceeds from the Car Show will benefit the two groups. Founded in 1959, Childhelp provides services to abused and neglected children, while the Victory Junction Gang Camp provides life-changing camping experiences to disabled and chronically ill children.
"We're asking all enthusiasts and the public to join us in our efforts," continued Spagnola. "It will be a great event with an amazing collection of cars and trucks that really exemplify everything SEMA is about - design, passion and performance."
Trophies will be awarded for Best Engine, Best Interior, Best in Show and People's Choice. The winner of the People's Choice Award will have an opportunity to attend the trade-only SEMA Show in November, with free hotel accommodations in Las Vegas.
For many in attendance, it will be an opportunity to enjoy the recently renovated state-of-the-art Pasadena Convention Center. Organizers say that the Car Show, located within walking distance of Old Town Pasadena and dozens of popular shops and restaurants, will be a great option for Southern California residents looking for something fun to do.
The day will also include the 2nd Annual SEMA CARES Pinewood Drag Races which last year helped raise more than $40,000 for these two children's charities. Presented by eBay Motors, the pinewood race will feature more than 250 cars in three classes (stock, modified and unlimited). Participants will be able to sponsor a child's car, thereby serving as team owner and racing it under the child's name.
Cost to enter a vehicle into the Car Show is $75 per vehicle, and cost to attend is $5 for adults, with kids 10 and under free. Registration fees for the pinewood races range from $125 to $200, depending on the vehicle class. Money raised from all activities benefit Childhelp and the Victory Junction Gang Camp.
Vehicle applications are available online at www.sema.org/carshow; tickets to attend the Car Show will be available at the door on the day of the event. Registration for the Pinewood Drag Races is available at www.sema.org/derby.
Both the Car Show and the Pinewood Derby are part of the SEMA Leadership Days, which includes the association's Annual Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser held that evening. The event pays tribute to the 2009 Hall of Fame inductees and honors newly elected and outgoing members of the SEMA Board of Directors. Complete details about the gala are available at www.sema.org/gala.