Community Driven: Highlands Motoring Festival
Highlands Motoring Festival, set for June 10-13, relies upon a small army of volunteers to ensure that everything purrs like a well-tuned engine.
The 14th Annual Highlands Motoring Festival rolls into town June 10-13 and is filled with four days of activities (see highlandsmotoringfestival.com for schedule).
The festival focus has always been fundraising for local charities, and this year – as in the past five years, three specific organizations will receive HMF support: The Highlands Literacy & Learning Center, Community Care Clinic-Highlands, and REACH of Macon County.
Steve Ham, co-chair, helps oversee and manage the festival.
“It started as a one-day, Saturday car show and has evolved into a four-day packed festival,” he said. “People of Highlands have some fantastic cars. Every car has a story. But I love the people more than the cars. I’ve found it extremely rewarding working with volunteers … people with a heart who want to help their community.”
Instead of spreading donations thinly to a number of charitable organizations, HMF has since its 2008 inception sought to focus on three specific “human needs organizations” established for the underserved in the community.
“And while each serves a different, important role, they all do a fantastic job for the community,” commented Ham, explaining that monies raised are divided equally.
“And because we are completely volunteer-driven and there is no overhead, all goes to the charities.”
To date, HMF has raised a total of $215,000. Even though the rain-or-shine event is free to the public, festival volunteer greeters are often presented with donations, and there are regular, annual festival donors.
Ham said the festival would not occur without the 80 or so volunteers that make it happen. Volunteers are still needed to greet, help set up and take down tables, signage, etc., park cars, occupy merchandise tables, and more.
On June 3 is a Volunteers Orientation and Training Meeting from 4:00-6:00 P.M. at Highlands Community Building.
Also, because Celebrate Art + Automobile is another component of the festival, volunteers are required for 2-hour shifts at the Bascom Center Exhibit.
People still interested in volunteering can call Jerry Hermanson at (828) 526-1991.
by Deena Bouknight