UPPER MERION - A Dog and pony show is all well and good, but what could be better than a dog and car show?
Especially when the collection of world-class General Motors vehicles rolling into the Valley Forge Casino Resort on Sunday will help raise money for Canine Partners for Life?
Think of the 'Dog Days of Summer' Car Show as the indoor warm up act for the second annual 'Caring for Katie' Benefit Car Show on Sept. 14, an outdoor fundraiser for Katie Rohrbacher of Royersford, who suffered a traumatic brain injury from a car accident 10 years ago.
With the nonprofit Canine Partners for Life in the business of training service dogs, home companion dogs, and residential companion dogs to assist individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities, Sunday's show is the perfect ally for September's show, said Randy Hofer of EverCarShow.com, the show's producer.
'The show is indirectly connected to Katie, because we believe Katie will need a service dog down the road,' said Hofer, a Collegeville resident who recalled that the always-smiling Katie immediately won him over with her cheerful optimism when the two first met. 'We're trying to help her charity out with the training of the dogs. 'We're helping Canine Partners and Katie simultaneously. People are going to see some beautiful, one-of-a-kind cars, and it's all helping Canine Partners.'
With free admission, Sunday's show will raise money through the donations spectators make when they cast their votes for the best stock, custom, Corvette, truck, modified car, stock motorcycle and custom motorcycle.
Presenting sponsor Carfagno Chevrolet came on board after Hofer got into a conversation with owner Fred Carfagno when he bought his limited edition Corvette Grand Sport back in January.
'I've known them for years from buying my other Corvettes and they were interested in helping out. With a small show like this you can't raise that much money by entry fees. But the Casino gave us a nice discounted rate for the space and Carfagno pretty much underwrote the rental.'
In recognition of the Plymouth Meeting dealership's generous support, the event became a GM only car show.
Gold 'Dog Days' sponsors Valley Forge Harley Davidson and USA Auto Supply have also provided some backing for the automotive extravaganza that will feature Casino specials, music, food, door prizes, raffles, vendors, an auction and appearances by a few of Canine Partners for Life's furry ambassadors.
Hopefully the second 'Caring for Katie' show will not need to rely on the rain date of Sept. 15.
Though the outdoor portion of the last October's show was canceled due to the intrusion of Hurricane Sandy, organizers managed to raise $4,000 indoors, Hofer recalled.
'We had to disappoint a lot of people when we were forced to cancel it,' he said. 'We could probably have raised $10,000 if not for the storm.'
Hofer's fundraiser marked the first time a green light had been given to a car show at VFCR, which is now getting more and more accustomed to putting vehicles on display.
With the motto 'one-stop online car show,' EveryCarShow.com debuted last year as a national roundup of 'cool cars and cool events for all ages,' with a focus on those raising money for charities.
Hofer's concept of creating a dynamically interactive 'Mercedes of all car show websites' has been burning rubber ever since.
'Over a year and a half ago when we developed EveryCarShow.com the emphasis was to make it better for the end charity,' Hofer said. 'So we took this national project on to make it the best in the country and in a year we reached 100,000 visitors. We have gotten so busy this summer that in eight weeks we had 76,000 visitors. We're now on target for 300,000 visitors this year. And it's all focusing on the best car shows for all the charities involved.'
Follow Gary Puleo on Twitter @Mustangman48.
FYI EveryCarShow.com presents
'Dog Days of Summer' Indoor Car Show
Aug. 18 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Valley Forge Casino Resort
1160 First Avenue King of Prussia
Free admission www.everycarshow.com