The Great Gainesville Car Show raises over $3,000 for Noah’s Endeavor
Car enthusiasts took over about four blocks Saturday in downtown Gainesville for The Great Gainesville Car Show.
About 100 cars and motorcycles paid $20 and $10, respectively, to show off their rides between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Pat Langmeyer, a Fort White resident, paid to show off his classic 1970 GMC truck. He took a rag and dragged it across the door frame, keeping the car immaculate. The truck’s luminous blue paint reflected the sun’s rays.
The truck represents a seven-year feat of mechanical work between Langmeyer and his son, Justin. He’s been around cars his whole life and has been showing them off for 30 years. He prefers driving the classic models.
“Not everyone has one,” he said.
Noah’s Endeavor, a non-profit that offers sports for disabled children, hosted the car show to raise funds for their activities. The group hosts activities like soccer, basketball and baseball where all kids have the opportunity to play. They raised over $3,000 for their events Saturday.
Will Voelker and his wife, Shelly, are directors of Noah’s Endeavor. The organization began around 2000 as a baseball program out of the Boys and Girls Club for kids without disabilities and kids with disabilities to play together. When the original founder moved away, Will and Shelly took over. Originally named Endeavor Adapted and Inclusive Recreation, the program was renamed Noah's Endeavor in 2009 after the Voelkers' son passed away.
Finding activities for Noah to participate in was difficult, Shelly said. He was often sidelined or not allowed to join in. With Noah’s Endeavor, kids of all abilities are welcomed to play.
Piyush Agade, a doctoral student at the University of Florida, has volunteered with Noah’s Endeavor since 2018 as part of the UF Kickboxing Club. He volunteered recently for one of their sports events in February. The kids have fun, he said.
“It’s very fulfilling,” he said.
Ana Jaramillo is also a student at UF. As part of the marketing program, she took on the job of promoting and helping fund the car show event for a business development project. She and other marketing students raised over $1,000 to put on the show.
Jaramillo said that putting on the car show every year takes a lot of logistical coordination and views the Voelkers as “go-getters.”
“I’ve been honored to represent them,” she said.
The marketing department at UF helped the first Great Gainesville Car Show take place about five years ago. As part of the marketing program, some students agreed to work with Noah’s Endeavor to help promote and organize the event.
“They really worked hard to help me get it up and running,” Will said.
The Voelkers are car people. Will has owned a 1951 Chevy pick-up truck, a 1969 Chevelle, and a 1974 Ford Bronco. He also dabbles in motorcycles, owning a 1969 Harley-Davidson FLH Full Dresser and a 1956 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car.
Beyond that, Noah was also a car guy. Shelly believes that he would have had a great time at the car show. She works as a family and education specialist for the Florida and Virgin Islands Deaf-Blind Collaborative at UF, but considers Noah’s Endeavor her fun job.
“If I see kids that are normally on the sidelines having fun, that’s what does it for me,” she said.