ST. GEORGE – The annual Car Guys Care Toys for Tots event was a smashing success this year, with more than 100 cars on display and thousands of dollars raised for a good cause.
Anyone with a car, truck or motorcycle was invited to bring their vehicle to show off at the event Saturday, which was held at Ricardo’s Restaurant, 1110 S. Bluff Street in St. George.
“It was fantastic, 112 cars,” Shane “Mustang” Dastrup, coordinator for Car Guys Care, said. The group was able to collect just shy of $3,600.
“It was just a great turnout, we had great weather,” he said.
So many vehicles turned out for the event that it spilled over into a neighboring gas station and another cooperating business, Dastrup said.
Between 700-800 toys were collected in addition to the cash donations, Dastrup said.
Every dollar donated translates into about $4 worth of toys, because of the buying power the U.S. Marine Corps has with Wal-Mart and Toys R Us.
“It’s just incredible how they pull this together, the amount of toys they bring in, the monetary donations,” Rick Massey, Southern Utah Toys for Tots coordinator, said.
“Just the upbeat – the attitude these guys have, and their dedication to what they’re doing and to helping support us.”
“We use that money to go out and buy those toys that we don’t get donated,” Massey said.
Car Guys Care is an incredible organization, Massey said, by not only bringing together classic cars for people to see and admire but also by helping the community and helping the children.
This is Massey’s 10th year coordinating the Toys for Tots campaign and the effort is well worth it, he said.
“Every child deserves a Christmas,” Massey said. “The culminating point is when you go out to a home, you go in, you take the toys in. The parents, the kids, the tears, the joy, the happiness – that right there says it all. That’s what we’re about.”
Last year, the group raised about $3,200 in cash in addition to 600 toys, Dastrup said.
“It’s near and dear to my heart. This is why we started Car Guys Care—to get all the car guys in the Southern Utah area together,” Dastrup said.
“Car Guys Care is not a club, it’s a group,” he said, “and we do it just to help out the Southern Utah Community.”
The Toys for Tots car show was sponsored by several groups including Southern Utah Mustang Owners Association, Desert Rodders of Southern Utah, Rods & Rebels Hot Rod Club, Color Country Corvettes, Southern Utah All-Gens Camaro Club and Kiwanis Club of St. George.
The Toys for Tots program was officially adopted by the Marine Corps in 1948, and more than 452 million toys have been distributed to more than 209 million needy children.
Anyone who wants to help with the Toys for Tots campaign can donate via the secure web site.
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