August 19, 2016

Raymond Schools Car Show - By Elizabeth Richards

Though the weather was uncertain early in the day, and there were two competing events nearby, the 7th annual Raymond Schools Car Show drew approximately 80 cars to the Jordan Small School on Sunday, August 14th

The event, a fundraiser for the Raymond PTO Scholarship, began almost on a whim seven years ago. Founder and organizer Serena Knight owns a 1980 AMC Eagle with her mother, and was attending car shows. She remarked once that she found it interesting that Raymond didn’t have a car show, and another car enthusiast insisted the town was too small. 

“Challenge accepted,” said Knight, and for seven years has shown that the town can indeed support a show.

In order to get sponsors, she needed an organization to back her, Knight said. She approached the PTO, and together they decided that the proceeds would benefit a college scholarship to be awarded to a Raymond eighth grader each year.

This year brought some new struggles, including competing shows in Naples and Lisbon. Typically, Knight said, car show founders in the area try to meet early in the season to discuss dates and avoid scheduling for the same date. But the Naples organizers weren’t aware of this, she said, and the Lisbon show was one that had been postponed due to inclement weather on its original date.

Other challenges included a new work schedule for Knight, which made soliciting sponsors and organizing details trickier, and the possibility of rain, which delayed the arrival of many cars, Knight said.

Still, the outcome was okay, Knight said, with about 80 cars in total. Though it’s a little small for a car show, Knight said with the competing shows nearby, it was a good turnout. Robert Sanborn, who earned a second place with his 2014 Chevy Silverado, said he’s been attending the show since the first year. “I think it was a great little show,” he said. Taking second was fine with him, he added. “It’s not about you, it’s about the charity. If you win something, great,” he said.

Knight is the sole organizer of the event, but this year she had some help from the school with advertising and asking for volunteers and donations. On the day of the show, the Yankee Cruisers Car Club helps each year with car parking and organizational details, Knight said. And she has some ongoing sponsors she can count on, including Lee’s Family Trailer, Moody’s Collision Center, The Fisherman’s Catch, Mad Mike’s Detailing, Pepsi and the Good Life Market. “I wouldn’t be able to function if I didn’t know they would be here for me every year,” Knight said.
Knight said she is uncertain as to whether the show will continue another year, due to her schedule challenges and the amount of effort it takes to solicit sponsors and donations and organize the show.
Sanborn said the show will be missed if it doesn’t happen again.

In addition to the cars, the show featured concessions, music, raffle prizes and a 50/50 and some family fun. The event drew a couple dozen spectators, which is fairly typical for a show, Knight said, adding that it’s difficult to draw spectators to a car show. 

First place winners at the show were: Cheryl Page, Camaro; Steve Flynn,  Corvette; Stan Page, 4×4 and Nick Philpot, Tuners. The best of show went to Howie, Slater, and Marge with a 1964 Pontiac GTO in the muscle class.

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