The proceeds from Harrison Lodge #114 Free and Accepted Masons' 2009 annual car show were presented to Hamilton County Special Education programs during a dinner at the lodge on Saturday.
The car show began in 2002. It came to the lodge’s attention that a Down's Syndrome special education class needed a dishwasher. Their old one was broken and the Hamilton County Education department did not have funds to replace it.
A dishwasher is an important part of a program that helps teaches special education students tasks that enable them to function independently at home, so when Ronnie Blaylock, a member of the lodge, brought it to the lodge's attention, they felt that it was important that they help them out.
The lodge took up a collection and purchased a lite commercial dishwasher. Mr. Blaylock had his plumbing company install it. After that, the annual car show was born and Mr. Blaylock was instrumental in getting it started. It became a passion for him, and when he passed away in 2005, it was named the Eston Ronnie Blaylock Cars for Kids Car and Motor Cycle Show.
Held every year on Memorial Day weekend, the lodge donates 100 percent of the profits to seven Hamilton County special education classes of all types. This money is used to provide the classes with a variety of materials that they otherwise would not be able to purchase within their current budgets.
The car show had approximately 75 cars and motorcycles with approximately 275-300 people visiting. Admission is free and they rely solely on trophy sponsors, donations, registration fees and food sales to raise money.
The next car show will be May 20, 2010 and the lodge is getting ready.
To find out more about the history of the lodge, the car show and support of the community visit www.harrisonlodge114.org.