While central Mexico continues to recover from a devastating 7.1 magnitude earthquake on Sept. 19 that left 366 dead — including several children at a school that collapsed in the country’s capitol — people in Sylmar are getting ready to do their part to help in the recovery.
And they plan to do it in style.
A classic car show is planned here on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Casa Torres restaurant parking lot at 14117 Hubbard Street. The highly polished chrome, awesome paint jobs and fancy rides should delight car lovers of all ages.
The free event will feature cars from the 1930s to the 1960s. It includes children’s activities, music, food and drinks, all with the purpose of raising funds to help one — and possibly two — nonprofits in Mexico: Los Topos Mexico, the world-renowned rescuers who specialize in digging through rubble after earthquakes to save people trapped inside collapsed buildings and Cruz Roja Mexicana (the Mexican Red Cross).
“The owner of Casa Torres wanted to do something cool. We were going to do (a car show) when this (earthquake) happened and we thought it was just a good fit,” said Edward Campos, CEO of Imagination Works, a business that specializes in graphic design, and which is sponsoring the event.
“We decided to speed up the date and put a cause behind it,” said Campos, himself a classic car owner.
Event Comes Together Quickly
He began inviting his friends who own classic cars, and the wheels started spinning quite rapidly.
In a week, banners printed by Campos at his shop in Sylmar started appearing on fences around the area. Some of the businesses Campos works with on a regular basis decided to pitch in as well.
Some of the businesses have pledged funds for the cause.
“I’ve never seen a response so positive. It usually takes two months to put together a car show. We did it in two weeks,” he said.
While entrance to the show will be free, Campos said attendees will be encouraged to donate whatever they can.
“One dollar or $10, it’s appreciated,” he noted. “It’s whatever you want to contribute.”
The lone fee — $30 — is for those who want to enter their cars and compete for awards in the various show categories.
Impacted by the tragedy
Campos, like many others, doesn’t have family or friends affected by the tragedy south of the border. But the images still struck him.
“You don’t need to have family to want to help out. It’s something humane to do,” he said.
The Sept. 19 quake rattled Mexico City, killing 222 people there. Also affected were Morelos, Puebla and three other states, some of which had been previously struck by the 8.2 earthquake on Sept. 7.
Thousands of civilians formed volunteer brigades over the weekend to clear rubble and offer other help at the collapse sites. Many more have donated money, medicine and supplies at collection centers.
Campos was particularly affected by the collapse of the privately run Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City. For a time there was a media frenzy over the efforts to rescue a girl supposedly trapped in the rubble that ultimately turned out to be false. Still, 26 children and staff died at the location.
Education officials have prohibited that school from reopening the parts that did not tumble, while an investigation into construction of the building goes on to see if there were any irregularities that may have led to its collapse.
“I just saw the photos and videos of the school. I’m a dad, and I can only imagine if that was my son there,” Campos said. “It really moved me.”
He’s hoping those images will move others as well.
Campos said there is no set goal for how much they want to raise.
“Our goal is to help, that’s the main thing,” he said.
He added that he’s also in talks to do another event to raise funds to help Puerto Rico, an island devastated by Hurricane Maria.
“If this works out, we can start doing something once a month,” Campos said.
For more information, call (818) 262-3114 or visit https://www.facebook.com/sylmarcarshow/