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Solano County residents show off their rides to support local students – Vacaville Reporter

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Car show attendee Art Gonzalez poses with his modified 1951 Plymouth Concord at the Ball Metal Car and Motorcycle Show and School Supply Drive in Fairfield on Sept. 10, 2022. Gonzalez said the car was built in Fairfield, and he had the top removed to turn it into a roadster-style vehicle. (Photo by Zachary Cimaglio, The Reporter)

An attendee of the Ball Metal Car and Motorcycle Show and School Supply Drive in Fairfield rides up to his spot at in the parking lot to enter into the show on Sept. 10, 2022. (Photo by Zachary Cimaglio, The Reporter)

Volunteers drop off notebooks, reams of paper, pencil boxes and various other school supplies at the Ball Metal Car and Motorcycle Show and School Supply Drive in Fairfield on Sept. 10, 2022. (Photo by Zachary Cimaglio, The Reporter)

Cars and bikes of various makes and models gathered round in the parking lot of the Ball Metal Beverage Packaging plant in Fairfield Saturday for the 9th Annual Ball Metal Car and Motorcycle School Supply Drive Car Show.
The event consisted of a contest for attendees to vote on their favorite vehicles and a raffle table laden with various prizes.
The car show has been a staple in the community for nearly a decade, and public support appears to be as high as ever. Car junkies, bikers and various other community members  came together to provide school supplies for students who may not have access to them as the school year gets into full swing.
According to event coordinator Brandon Thornton, the show began as a casual luncheon between some friends that ended up turning into a fundraiser event for local schools. From there, Thornton said he had the idea to turn it into a yearly event, which had over 220 participants in 2019 and more volunteers than ever this year.
“The biggest support that we’ve gotten from it is because there’s a cause, a legitimate cause,” Thornton said. “We don’t want your money, we want your school supplies, we wanna sort it out and get the supplies to everyone.”
Attendees donating school supplies of any kind were entered into a raffle to win a number of prizes like vehicle maintenance materials and winners of the contest were given custom-made trophies. Some vehicles on display included a modified Roadster-style 1951 Plymouth Concord and a 1952 Chevy pickup.
Will Johnston, an attendee who owns the ’52 Chevy, said he hadn’t attended the show since the COVID-19 pandemic caused a lot of community events to be put on hold, but that he was glad to be back to show off his car and attend the Ball Metal factory tour that is organized every year.
“The first time, they had a tour of the plant,” Johnston said. “That was a lot of fun.”
There was a number of activities for children as well, such as a jump house and a DJ playing family-friendly music while vendors sold various food items and merchandise like donuts, fresh fruit and designer T-shirts. The Boy Scouts of America’s Troop 853 sold popcorn to attendees to raise money for summer camp and scout fees, according to Carla Neudert, an ambassador for the BSA.
“My favorite part is seeing little kids giving back and excited,” Neudert said. “This is a good thing. As scouts, we’re always trying to give back to the community.”
According to Thornton, 2022 has been the best year the show’s organizers have had when it comes to the number of volunteers that arrived to help. He praised Solano County for its strong community and desire to come together for a cause.
“We got a strong community in Solano County, it’s great the support that we get,” he said. “We’re just happy to help. That reward of seeing those kids’ faces when we’re dropping off packages. You get emotional.”
Ball Metal’s car show and school supply drive is held at Ball Metal in Fairfield every year, and is likely to return in 2023. Go to the event’s official Facebook page to find out how to enter next year’s show.
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