How the show got started and what it is today.
In June of 1990, Dr. Richard Ulrich approached Dawn Franks, the Executive Director of the East Texas Crisis Center, with a proposal for a new fundraising event. The inaugural Classic Car Show took place the following spring on March 9th and 10th at the Oil Palace in Tyler. The net proceeds from this first show amounted to $4,850. Additionally, the agency purchased a sports car at dealer’s cost and raffled it off during the show, raising $15,348. Together, these efforts generated a combined revenue of $20,198, which was dedicated to supporting victims of family violence and sexual assault.
Craig Chesley and Ronny Anderson were among the charter members of the original committee that organized and hosted the event in 1991. Over the years, the East Texas Auto & Cycle Show Committee has grown to include 12 members, most of whom have served on the committee for more than a decade. The current members are Craig, Ronny, Danny Alexander, Collin Anderson, Robert Dodd, Jerry Gorman, Janie Harrelson, Jimmy Hayes, Jimmie Horton, Robert Owens, Wayne Rauh, Matt Renick, and Curtis Warren.
The revenue from the show experienced steady growth each year, reaching $20,000 in 1998. At that point, the committee proposed another car raffle venture. The Mustangs of East Texas located a dilapidated 1965 Mustang, which was subsequently restored to “show quality.” The original car cost $2,600, but the raffle ticket sales generated $19,000. When combined with the show revenue, the efforts of the committee resulted in a total contribution of $60,000 to the East Texas Crisis Center in the year 2000.
In 2004, the show achieved another significant milestone when David Irwin, General Manager & Managing Partner of Tyler Ford, generously donated a 1965 Mustang. This marked the beginning of eight consecutive years during which Tyler Ford donated a raffle car. For the 2010 show, a Black Shelby Hertz was donated, generating $100,000 for the agency through $10 raffle ticket sales. Unfortunately, David Irwin passed away in October 2018. The East Texas Crisis Center extends its gratitude to him and Tyler Ford for their compassion and generosity over more than a decade of supporting the agency’s mission.
The Auto & Cycle Show Committee works tirelessly throughout the year to plan each show. They strive to create a brand-new experience each year, featuring vehicle entries that have never been seen before and recruiting special interest vehicles that showcase an annual special series collection.
The 2020 Raffle Vehicle stands out as distinct from all previous raffle cars. Sponsored by the East Texas Crisis Center and Patterson Dodge of Tyler, the new 2019 Dodge RAM Classic 1500 Quad Cab Truck was raffled off on February 16th, 2020. Each raffle ticket was priced at $10, and all sales proceeds went directly to funding programs and services for victims and survivors of family violence and sexual assault.
In addition to the aforementioned information, it is worth highlighting the remarkable achievements of the annual raffle cars in recent years. The 2021 Raffle Car, a meticulously restored 1965 Ford Mustang, made a significant impact by raising an impressive sum of $111,090 in support of the East Texas Crisis Center’s mission. Building upon this success, the following year’s raffle featured a magnificent 1967 Ford Mustang, which captured the imagination of participants and generated an extraordinary $180,333 in funds. Continuing this legacy of excellence, the 2023 Raffle Car, yet another remarkable 1965 Ford Mustang, garnered substantial enthusiasm and contributed a generous amount of $128,600. These outstanding outcomes serve as a testament to the unwavering commitment and generosity of the community in supporting the East Texas Crisis Center’s vital work in aiding victims and survivors of family violence and sexual assault.
What began as humble beginnings in 1991, with the first show and car raffle raising $20,000, has now grown into a combined effort that generates annual net proceeds of $150,000 to $200,000 for the East Texas Crisis Center.
Through their unwavering dedication and hard work, the men and women who serve on the East Texas Auto & Cycle Show Committee are profoundly committed to supporting women and children who are forced to flee their homes in order to escape violence and abuse.
To learn more about ETCC, visit our website: ETCC.org