Jonesboro Auto Show raises money for sight/hearing impaired

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The University Heights Lions Club spent Friday gearing up for one of their biggest fundraising events of the year, the Jonesboro Auto Show.

Preparations were still underway to transform the Arkansas State University Convocation Center into a car enthusiast's dream. From old cars to new cars, hot rods and some very rare cars, the 23rd Annual Auto Show is a sight to see.

Car owners spent the day Friday polishing the final touches for this weekend's show.

It wasn't just Region 8 residents taking part in the event though. People from Tennessee, Missouri and even Texas were in town to display their rides.

One participant had a very special ride to show off.

"It's a very rare car, and was owned by a very well known NASCAR driver," Tommy Stracener said.

The car was Region 8's very own Mark Martin. Stracener said Martin called him and offered to sell him the vehicle, a deal he couldn't pass up. The little red Corvette is the 5th of 200 carbon fiber Corvettes ever made.

"To ride in this is such a thrill," laughed Stracener.

The Jonesboro Auto Show isn't all about showing off though. The University Heights Lions Club puts on the event to raise money for the hearing and seeing impaired.

"This is what it's all about. we're out here as lions trying to raise money to help those less fortunate individuals," Registration Chairman Vernon Drake said.

Drake told Region 8 News that between registration and entry fees and the sponsorships they receive, the show is a real money maker.

"All total about 15 thousand dollars a year and we've been doing it for 23 years," Drake said.

That money goes to the Mid-South Lions Sight and Hearing Service in Memphis and World Services for the Blind in Little Rock. The organization also gives money to various Region 8 projects.

Tommy Stracener said it's nice being able to bring in the 'vette and show it off, but it's even better knowing he's helping out those in need.

"It's just something I enjoy doing. When I was younger I wasn't able to afford it but now I can so I do it," Stracener said.

The Auto Show will take place Saturday, March 31 from 10 am to 8 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm. Entry fee is $8 at the door, but children 12 and under get in free.

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