Car Show, community efforts raise money for Project Graduation
THORNDIKE – On Saturday, April 30, a new tradition may have started for Mount View High School students and community members, especially those with a passion for cars, trucks and motorcycles.
17-year-old MVHS senior Desmond “Des” Gonzalez hosted the first-ever auto show fundraiser to raise money for the class of 2022 project graduation trip. A double baseball and softball game took place as dozens of people gathered to help out, raise funds and view the wide array of vehicles on display.
Hosting his own car show has been one of Des’s dreams since sixth grade. A volunteer at the Owls Head Transportation Museum, an employee of English Auto USA at Searsport, and an automotive collision student at Waldo County Technical Center, he is passionate about automotive restoration. He said it was “really satisfying” to see his dream come true.
Her favorite part of the event was spending time with friends while raising money for the senior class’ trip to Orlando, Florida, which will take place in June. “I have to hand out Hot Wheels cars to little kids,” he said. “I like to make them smile.”
MVHS senior and viewer Emma McPherson said, “I think it was an amazing fundraising opportunity.” Student volunteers came together to help run the event and to earn community service hours to contribute towards the 15 hours required for graduation.
Senior volunteer Ethan Bodiford said he appreciates every donation to the senior trip, while juniors Kassydi Gotham and Mabel Glick agreed. “It was a lot of fun,” Glick said, while Gotham added that she enjoys “helping out the community.”
Six awards were handed out at the Auto Show, with trophies made by Des. Scott Kunesh of Liberty won the Best in Show award with his 1967 Chevrolet El Camino. The Best Truck award went to April Keyes of Benton and her 2004 Subaru Baja. Augusta resident Kevin Berry won the award for the best motorcycle with his Indian chief 2016. Lin and Karen Doughty of Knox received the award for the best American car for their 1956 Mercury Montclair. Pat Holt, resident of Skowhegan, won the award for the best foreign car with his MG 1953 TD. The award for Best Student Owned Car went to MVHS senior Miles Littlefield of Waldo and his 1994 Mitsubishi Expo.
Also in attendance was automotive group Waterville Gunmetal Studios. April Keyes, who won the award for best truck, is a group administrator. A member of the group for three years, she said the organization’s prerogative is “to get people more involved in the automotive community.”
Keyes said that since there are “a lot of bad things”, the hope is “to get people involved in things that are good for society”. Des Gonzalez received an invitation to join the club, which he accepted.
A food stand provided baked goods and food to raise funds for the project’s graduation trip. Maine Masons representing the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation sold pies as part of their fundraising grant. Members of The Order of Eastern Star Lodge, Grand Lodge and Unity 58 Lodge hope to raise $4,500 in total for Project Graduation.
In total, the event was a success, raising approximately $650 from show entries alone, while a total of $1,773 was raised for the Project Graduation account. In a Facebook post, Des thanked the community for helping to “make this dream a reality.”
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