The weather was cold but the warms hearts kept everybody feeling toasty inside. On Saturday 25th, 2014 a car show was held to benefit Eli Williams a 9 year boy from Athens, AL who is fighting brain cancer. The parking lot of Lindsay Lane Baptist Church was almost full of Mustangs from the surrounding clubs (Athens, Huntsville, Shoals, Nashville, and Birmingham) as well as many other cars and trucks from all over North Alabama and Southern Tennessee.
The local celebrities were out in full force, Dan Williams former Athens Mayor and Alabama House of Representative/5th District, Bill Holtzclaw-State Senator/2nd District, ZTV’s Jamie and Gloria Cooper, Mustang Club of America (MCA)-President Steve Prewitt, and other MCA National Board Members were all there........even WAFF Channel 48 weatherman Brad Travis brought his Black Saleen Mustang, but the real Star of the show was young Eli. The crowds rushed over to catch a glimpse and grab a photo of him as he got out of the 2014 Shelby GT500 Mustang he arrived in (on loan from McClary Ford). It was a special moment that all in attendance had waited for all week.
The car show started off as just a small private event just for Eli to view a few of the Mustangs from the Limestone Co. Mustang Club at his neighborhood club house. Word quickly spread and the event was moved to his school (Athens Bible School), but when more folks begin to hear about why we were doing this and who Eli was, the event blossomed into a full blown car show open to all local cars and trucks. A Face book event page was quickly created and thru word of mouth and the power of social media, the once small gathering became one of the largest car shows that Athens has seen in a while. It’s estimated that close to 400 cars were in attendance and they all braved the chilly day outside just to show a little kindness and love to Eli and his family.
The outpouring of support for Eli, his family, and St. Jude’s (Gifts/donations totaling over $7000) was a perfect picture of just how caring our local car community is. They traveled long distances and car club/car brand loyalties were set aside for one great cause. It makes me proud to be a part of such a caring community.
The donations were almost too many to count but I must recognize Ben Tate at Tate’s Services for the use of four port-a-john’s, pizza from Pizza Hut, BBQ from Lawler’s, sandwiches from Chick-Fil-A, water from Publix and Sports-Med-Huntsville, and chips/goodies from Halsey’s and Frito-Lay. A special thanks to Lindsay Lane Baptist Church for allowing us to use the large parking lot needed to hold this event. WHNT Channel 19 also covered the event with a great news story telling of how it all came together and those involved, including Lawrence Taylor-Duncan and Lisa Bass who were two key players in making this a special day for the Williams family happen.
The most special moment of the day came as Eli gave a speech that he had prepared just to say thanks to everyone who made this event an awesome day for him. All I can say is I’m glad I was wearing sunglasses so everyone did not see my tears! I couldn’t help but think how maybe this event and all the cool cars he got to see would bring a smile to his face on some of his tough days during treatments or weeks of feeling tired after long days of travel back and forth to St. Jude’s.
Eli is a very special kid and I’m proud to call him my friend!!
For contributions visit: http://www.gofundme.com/6da7z4
Thanks, Joseph Scott