The Great Gainesville Car Show raises over $3,000 for Noah’s Endeavor
Car enthusiasts took over about four city blocks in downtown Gainesville on Saturday for the big Gainesville Auto Show.
About 100 cars and motorcycles paid $20 and $10, respectively, to show off their rides between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Fort White resident Pat Langmeyer paid to show off his classic 1970 GMC truck. He took a rag and dragged it over the door frame, keeping the car pristine. The bright blue paint of the truck reflected the rays of the sun.
The truck represents a seven-year feat of mechanical work between Langmeyer and his son, Justin. He has been around cars all his life and has been exhibiting them for 30 years. He prefers to drive the classic models.
“Not everyone has one,” he said.
Noah’s Endeavour, a non-profit organization that provides sports for children with disabilities, organized the car show to raise funds for their activities. The group organizes activities such as soccer, basketball and baseball where all children have the opportunity to play. They raised over $3,000 for their Saturday events.
Will Voelker and his wife, Shelly, are directors of Noah’s Endeavour. The organization began around 2000 as a Boys and Girls Club baseball program for children without disabilities and children with disabilities to play together. When the original founder moved on, Will and Shelly took over. Originally named Endeavor Adapted and Inclusive Recreation, the program was renamed Noah’s Endeavor in 2009 after the death of the Voelkers’ son.
Finding activities Noah could participate in was difficult, Shelly said. He was often sidelined or not allowed to participate. With Noah’s Endeavour, children of all skill levels are welcome to play.
Piyush Agade, a PhD student at the University of Florida, has volunteered with Noah’s Endeavor since 2018 as part of the UF Kickboxing Club. He recently volunteered for one of their sporting events in February. The kids are having fun, he says.
“It’s very gratifying,” he said.
Ana Jaramillo is also a student at UF. As part of the marketing program, she took on the task of promoting and helping fund the auto show event for a business development project. She and other marketing students raised over $1,000 to host the show.
Jaramillo said hosting the auto show every year requires a lot of logistical coordination and sees the Voelkers as “go-getters.”
“I was honored to represent them,” she said.
UF’s marketing department helped Gainesville’s first major auto show take place about five years ago. As part of the marketing program, some students have agreed to work with Noah’s Endeavor to help promote and organize the event.
“They really worked hard to help me get it up and running,” Will said.
The Voelkers are car people. Will has owned a 1951 Chevy pickup truck, a 1969 Chevelle, and a 1974 Ford Bronco. He also dabbled in motorcycles, owning a 1969 Harley-Davidson FLH Full Dresser and a 1956 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car.
Beyond that, Noah was also a car guy. Shelly thinks he would have had a great time at the car show. She works as the Family and Education Specialist for the Florida-Virgin Islands Deafblind Collaborative at UF, but considers Noah’s Endeavor her fun job.
“If I see kids who are normally on the sidelines having fun, that’s what I like,” she said.