The Show Must Go On

Ronnalee Colantonio, Becky Rohrer, Rebecca Purring, Angela Colantonio and Janice Sauers wait with hand sanitizer to greet donators.

The year 2020 has been a wild ride, but that didn’t stop the 3rd Annual Muscle Up Against Covid Car show. From classic antiques to newer rally vehicles, approximately 100 participants rolled in donning masks to “show off their stuff” in a socially distant atmosphere. 

Sauers Cares, a nonprofit organization dedicated to local causes and needs, had intended to cancel the show due to pandemic precautions, but a few past car entrants encouraged Executive Director, Stephanie Sauers-Boyd, to continue with the event. 

“In past years, you would have seen food trucks, vendors, tons of raffle baskets, seating areas, Porta Potties—the whole kit and kaboodle. This year, attendees will find a much more scaled back event,” Sauers-Boyd noted.

The orange Chevy Camaro SS took the People’s Choice Award.

Donations typically go to the American Cancer Society, but Sauers-Boyd stated, “[We] saw an opportunity to shift how we traditionally hold the event, provide for a safe environment for participants and volunteers, and hold the event to raise money for the current COVID need.” 

Masks and social distancing allowed over nearly 100 car enthusiasts to enter, and donations for the event were accepted by Venmo to help keep safety measures in place. The registration fee for this year’s show was waived, and donations of more than $6,765 are going to CHOP’s COVID-19 Relief Fund. Door prizes included Sauers Cares and Wawa “swag,” in addition to a $250 Visa gift card. The People’s Choice award went to a 2010 Chevy Camaro SS, owned by Anthony Antinucci.

“Sauers Cares tagline is ‘Delivering Hope through Creative Solutions’ and I think any time that we can prove that we are living out that core focus – the better,” Sauers-Boyd said.

Individuals and families alike came out to check out the cool rides and get some interaction within social distancing guidelines. Tedd Barrett, driving a 2017 Chevy Camaro SS, and Fred Kammler, with a 1955 Chevy Bel Air, sat down for an interview about the importance of the event. 

“We don’t have any places to go with the COVID-19 stuff, so I bugged Steph to re-do it again, so we’re here,” Kammler stated. “We hope that Steph continues to put it on because it’s a great show,” Kammler reiterated, while Barrtett noted, “It’s a nice event, and we’re grateful.” 

Jason Ostrander shares opening remarks at Saturday’s Muscle Up Car Show.

Jason Ostrander of Sauers Cares, stood on stage to thank Quaint Oak Bank, Jeff Edwards of Intercontinental Development, and Wawa for their donations, participation and contributions to the event, which was spared from downpours due to Tropical Storm Fay in the Northeastern U.S.

Wawa volunteers Colin O’Hara, Brandon Hooke and Katie Iaquinto were excited to be on location at water stations handing out pretzels, muffins and coffee all donated from the Philly region convenience store. Iaquinto formed a bond with the organization when they’d stop by her location to drop off free pizza, and the relationship grew from there. 

Colin O’Hara and Katie Laquinto talk with a volunteer while the event gets going.

“The Sauers’ are great people,” O’Hara said of his second year working the car show. 

Hooke mentioned he just liked learning about cars, and as a “people person, I like helping people.”

In a time of crisis, it may be easy to shut down and feel helpless, but Sauers Cares saw an opportunity to stay active while remaining safe. With a little teamwork, Sauers-Boyd says they were able to “shift how we traditionally hold the event, provide a safe environment for participants and volunteers, and hold the event to raise money for the current COVID need.”

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