Those looking to get into the St. Patrick's Day spirit today and support a good cause are encouraged to drop by a Fort Myers car and truck show.
The Southwest Florida Corvette Club Benefit Car and Truck Show will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Victory Layne Chevrolet, at 3980 Fowler St., Fort Myers. Admission is free, and the cost to register a vehicle day of is $25.
Proceeds benefit the Harry Chapin Food Bank and Walk for the Fallen.
"We do it twice a year," Graham Reedy, president of the Southwest Florida Corvette Club, said of the fund-raiser. "We do it in the spring and in the fall."
He explained that today's show will have a St. Patrick's Day theme.
"A lot of people in the club are dressing up," Reedy said.
What: Southwest Florida Corvette Club Benefit Car and Truck Show
When: Saturday, March 17,
from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Victory Layne Chevrolet, 3980 Fowler St., Fort Myers
Why: To raise funds for Harry Chapin Food Bank and Walk for the Fallen
In the fall, the club and dealership do a Halloween-themed show.
"There'll easily be 1,000 people here. It's a pretty big event," said Mark Baldassarre, general sales manager at Victory Layne Chevrolet.
"It's just activity going on all over the place here," he said.
Organizers are expecting 125 to 150 entries.
"All different types, all years, makes, models," Reedy said.
Entrants will get a goodie bag and a plaque.
More than 100 trophies will be handed out in multiple categories, including Best of Show, Best Overall Show, Most Original, Best Modified and more.
"We try to make it fair for everybody," Baldassarre said.
"It's a fun thing," he said. "Usually just about everybody gets a trophy."
There is even a trophy for the best St. Patrick's Day decorated car.
"If you're a car enthusiast or you've ever loved cars, this is a great variety of vehicles to come see," Reedy said. "From old-time cars to new cars."
He added that the event is also a chance to support the community.
"Everything we do, we do for charity. We enjoy our Corvettes, but everything we do goes to charity," Reedy said, adding that the money raised stays in the area.
Walk for the Fallen is a fund-raiser created by Sgt. David Drum, of the Lee County Sheriff's Office. In May, Drum will walk 390 miles from Fort Myers to Tallahassee to help raise funds for Concerns of Police Survivors, or C.O.P.S.
C.O.P.S. is a national non-profit that aids the survivors of officers killed in the line of duty. The charity provides resources to assist in the rebuilding of the lives of the fallen officer's surviving family and affected co-workers.
"It just so happened the timing was perfect for what he was doing," Baldassarre said of Drum and his Walk for the Fallen.
As for the food bank, the decision to pick it was different.
"When times got tough here a few years back, we started thinking about ways we could help families that were around," Baldassarre said. "We've just continued on with that and the public seems to absolutely like that idea."
During today's show, there will be 50 door prizes given away to entrants. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction and a chinese auction.
"We do have a lot of high-end items in the silent auction," Reedy said.
Some items include gift certificates from local business and restaurants, power tools, clothing, model cars and themed baskets of goodies.
"Just all kinds of things that various groups donated," Baldassarre said.
The Fort Myers Drum Corps, and another local band, will perform.
There will also be a children's area with activities and face painting.
"There's a lot for the kids to keep them occupied," Reedy said.
For additional information on the Walk for the Fallen, visit the website at: www.facebook.com/walkforthefallen. To make a monetary donation and help Drum reach his goal, visit: www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/walkforthefallen.