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Thunder on the Plains Car Show surpasses fundraising milestone, announces new date

Thunder on the Plains. File photo
Thunder on the Plains. File photo

By JONATHAN ZWEYGARDT
Hays Post

The annual Thunder on the Plains Car Show is celebrating
another successful event earlier this fall, passing a huge fundraising milestone as they prepare
for a major change in their annual event date.

Every year since 2016, the Thunder on the Plains Car Show
committee has not only put on a car show in Hays but also
worked to raise funds that are then donated to local nonprofit groups.

“We’ve grown every year in giving back, and this year, we will have given back over $100,000 to the community,”  Thunder on the Plains secretary and treasurer
Jackie Lang said. “We want people to know that we’re more than just putting on
a car show. We want to give back to the community.”

Lang said they distributed $3,000 in the first
year in 2016, and that grew to $25,000 in 2022. They will surpass $100,000 donated since 2016 this year.

Thunder on the Plains committee member Shelby Doty said each
year their goal has been to raise more money than the year
before.

Thunder on the Plains. File photo
Thunder on the Plains. File photo

Three years ago, they started hosting an auction on the day
of the car show to help raise funds. Lang said they are grateful for all of the
donations that they receive for their auctions.

“We get a lot of things that are donated in kind from our
sponsors,” Lang said. “Doing the live auction has really increased our ability
to raise funds.”

Lang said they have well over 200 sponsors that help support
the car show each year.

“We couldn’t do it if we didn’t have our sponsors,” Lang said. “There’s the sponsors that we can count on every year, just being there
big for us.”

What makes the fundraising efforts even more impressive is
that the committee was made up of just 10 members this year who were able to
put together all of the donations.

This year was also the second year that the group has awarded
scholarships to Ellis County students pursuing a career in the automotive
industry at North Central Kansas Technical College.

Doty said they have awarded five scholarships through the
first two years, and they are excited to present their next rounds of
scholarships in 2024.

Thunder on the Plains presents Custom Creations with a donation of $2,000 to purchase a CNC cutting machine. Pictured from left are Steve Keil, DSNWK director of development; Mike Hertel, Thunder on the Plains vice president; Ron White, Thunder on the Plains president; Shelby Doty, Thunder on the Plains volunteer; Lavonne Geist, DSNWK program coordinator; and Dustin Olsen, wood shop foreman. Photo by Cristina Janney/Hays Post
Thunder on the Plains presents Custom Creations with a donation of $2,000 to purchase a CNC cutting machine. Pictured from left are Steve Keil, DSNWK director of development; Mike Hertel, Thunder on the Plains vice president; Ron White, Thunder on the Plains president; Shelby Doty, Thunder on the Plains volunteer; Lavonne Geist, DSNWK program coordinator; and Dustin Olsen, wood shop foreman. Photo by Cristina Janney/Hays Post

On top of the fundraising milestone, the group is also proud
to announce the annual car show has a new permanent home and date after dealing
with changes each of the last few years.

Beginning in 2024, the Thunder on the Plains Car Show will always
be on the second Saturday in June at Municipal Park. This year the show will be on June 7 and 8.

Lang said because there are so many events hosted in
downtown Hays around Municipal Park in September, it was difficult to guarantee
the same weekend every year.

Both Doty and Lang said they believe the change from the
fall car show to the early summer will be a positive move. They said they have received good
feedback.

“We’ve had really good comments from people,” Lang said. “You’re
always going to compete with other car shows. There’s always going to be
another car show somewhere. We might lose a few people
depending on what show they prefer to go to. We might gain some people
because we’re new to their timelines.”

Thunder on the Plains. File photo
Thunder on the Plains. File photo

In 2023, the car show had the most vehicles preregistered
in the event’s history with more than 130.  There were about 250
cars, pickups, motorcycles and tractors that attended this year’s event.

The committee members will host the Stars and Stripes Breakfast
on Sunday, Jan. 14 at the Hays VFW to kick off their year, and then they will be
working on fundraising for the 2024 event.

Tickets are available through Thunder on the Plains
committee members.



This article was originally published by a hayspost.com . Read the Original article here. .

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