One local nonprofit plans to switch gears with its annual fundraiser.
Spark for The Arc, a big, new car show to benefit The Arc for the River Valley, is set to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 21 at Alma Middle School, 706 U.S. 64 in Alma.
The Arc for the River Valley provides advocacy, education and recreation for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“It will be a family friendly event, and we look forward to people coming out and enjoying the day,” said Micayla Cole, executive director of The Arc for the River Valley, of the new event.
Cole said The Arc for the River Valley intends to make the Spark for the Arc car show an annual event.
Entry fees for up to 75 cars and trucks for Spark for The Arc will benefit the regional provider of many services to about 475 members from seven counties.
A few of the 20 vending spots remained the first week of July. Vendors pay a $15 fee, but keep their sales proceeds, Cole said. Vendors that have already registered include Avon, Scentsy and LuLaRoe.
The Arc for the River Valley also has sponsorship opportunities available for businesses that would like to help by advertising at the car show.
Finally, there also will be a silent auction at the car show along with a couple of raffle items that car enthusiasts will enjoy.
Car show entries are $10 before the event and $15 on the day of Spark for The Arc. Check-in time is 8-10 a.m. There is space for up to 75 cars and trucks.
Trophies will be awarded for several categories like best paint job, best engine and best interior for several types of cars and trucks from race cars, “rat rods” and 4x4s to muscle cars, imports and street rods. There are both truck and car categories, as well as stock and modified.
Winner of best of show will be on all of the artwork, T-shirts and dash plaques for next year’s car show, said Jim McCallister of Fort Smith, a classic car collector and Arc for the River Valley board member.
There are a few reasons Alma was chosen as the location for the car show. One of the activities that The Arc for the River Valley regularly does is rent out the Alma Aquatic Center.
“In the past, our main fundraiser has been a New Year’s Eve party,” McCallister explained. “This year, we really wanted to switch gears and do something more wholesome and family friendly. We wanted to do something that you could bring your children to and our members could come as well. We wanted to be able to have it in a community that would embrace and love The Arc as all of its supporters do.”
McCallister went on to say that all other surrounding communities also have large car shows. Eventually, the car show organizers intend to move the event to Alma High School once a downtown area beautification process is complete.
“We can complement the car show with a small cruise and really showcase everything Alma has to offer,” McCallister wrote in an email.