To end the flood-heavy summer for the city of Winfield on a positive note, County Market hosted a car show fundraiser last Friday – bringing in over 50 classic automobiles for display and raising money to donate to the city directly.
Kevin Heminghaus, County Market manager, said the idea all started from something pretty innocuous.
There’s a smoker that routinely travels around to different County Market stores in the area, and Winfield’s turn with the equipment was coming up Friday Aug. 16.
With the hard summer and all the lives impacted from the heavy flooding Winfield suffered, Heminghaus said his staff brainstormed up a way to make a big event out of a regular occurrence.
“The City of Winfield has kind of had some hard times this year, with the flood and everything…so we just thought about a car show fundraiser to tie in with when we had the smoker, and that’s what put everything in motion,” he said.
“We were really looking to get the city of Winfield some funds to help out with the flood victims and to help them recuperate a little bit.” In addition to the store employees, Heminghaus said Kristy Scherrer and Melissa Summers also helped to organize, and played a major role in the success, of the car show fundraiser.
As the Mississippi River spilled over its levees in recent months, Heminghaus said some of the store employees were impacted by the flooding.
“I’ve got one [employee] at least that I know is still not back in her house,” Heminghaus said. “Then regular customers, I talk to them each day, several of those have been out of their homes or had to redo things.”
A good deal of homes in the eastern part of Winfield had to be evacuated during the peak crests of the river, but with water spilling over the highways and railroad tracks in that part of the county, many more people were affected.
“It affects everybody in Winfield,” he said. “Obviously it affects those people the most, but from businesses to churches to community leaders, it affects everybody.”
Turnout for the fundraiser “far exceeded” Heminghaus’ expectations; they’d roped off enough parking spots for 53 cars to participate in the show, but so many more came that they had to squeeze cars in wherever space was available.
“That kind of got us thinking that we’ll probably do this annually, and pick some other worthwhile cause each year,” Heminghaus said.
“I think it was good for the community, especially after the year we had,” he added.
The car show raised $1,819, which Heminghaus said they will present to the city in the coming days.