The combination of a great cause and a day of fun for the whole family doesn’t happen often. Luckily, an advantage to living in Tacoma is a myriad of choices when it comes to entertaining events benefiting those in need, including the annual Hot Rods for Hearts Car show. The second-year event will take place on Aug.23 at Griot’s Garage , 3333 38th St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hot Rods for Hearts seems poised to expand on the success of last year, when organizer Scott Britz and his team were able to donate $1,830 to the American Heart Association. This time, Britz hopes to bump that number up to $2,000-$3,000 thanks to a unique, more family-centered approach.
“It’s more family friendly than a lot of car shows,” Britz said. “There’s a lot to distract the kids and if you keep kids distracted, it keeps them off the cars and happy.”
Other than an army of slick looking vehicles, the event will feature everything from face painting to karate demonstrations, a giant game of Jenga made out of 2x4s and perhaps even an appearance from Rhubarb, the Tacoma Rainier’s mascot.
The Tacoma Hotrods for Hearts show began last year in honor of Britz’s father and nephew, who passed away from heart disease several years ago. To honor them, the show gives 100 percent of its proceeds to the AHA. Britz and his brother have been running the event in Algona over the last several years, but in 2014 the car enthusiast decided it was time to expand the show and broke out on his own.
Britz’s goal is to present 100 cars and bikes at the show. Currently, he has 41 unique vehicles signed up, including his Dodge Charger, a car that isn’t really seen in many exhibitions but is a perfect representation of the type of show the team wants to put on.
“If it has wheels, an engine and it’s your baby, bring it in,” Britz said. “Every vehicle is welcome.”
Britz hopes the inclusion of multiple events and activities will encourage some family bonding time that won’t get old once you’ve walked past all the cars.
“A lot of people, they get bored after an hour or two. You look at the cars, and then that’s it. We’re trying to revamp with different things going on throughout the day,” Britz said.
Hot Rods for Hearts even has a food vendor this year in the form of Steph’s pizza, and a percentage of their proceeds will also go to the AHA.
Participants will be allowed to register their car until the day of the event, and there will be 24 trophies passed out at the end of the day, 20 from the crowd and four individual selections from the host and survivors of heart disease.
With over 100 sponsors so far, doing everything from promotion to donations, the event is looking to be bigger and brighter than last year, and with that comes plenty of supplies, including goodie bags and raffle prizes, so far featuring a guitar and an extra large first aid kit.
“My upstairs looks like a Walmart exploded right now,” Britz said.
With a house full of supplies and a lot of hype behind the second year event, Hotrods for Hearts is heading into the big day looking like a home run. Britz is hoping they can have a repeat of last year, only larger.
“Last year went well, it went off almost without any hitches, so we’re hoping to do the same this year,” Britz said.