Team JLyons and the Excel Club of Copperas Cove High School hosted a car show that donated all proceeds to local child abuse prevention programs, at the Cove Terrace Shopping Center in Copperas Cove on April 10.
Charles Lyons created the nonprofit Team JLyons following his daughter Jasmin Bonnett’s diagnosis of Lupus in 2010.
“What we do is we go out and help all different kinds of programs, raise money, and raise awareness. So, today we are raising money for child abuse prevention,” Bonnett said. “My dad has taken kids in the community and made the Excel Club, and what they do is everything to raise money and awareness and let everyone know about all the different programs that they support.”
Lyons, who advises the Copperas Cove High School Excel Club, said the show was the selected format for the fundraiser because of his passion for cars and people’s pandemic fatigue.
“We are at a stage where it seems like people are trying to get back to normal life,” Lyons said. “One of the ways of doing that is to do some events where people can start interacting together, and the best way is to do it outdoors.”
Lyons said each participant paid a $15 registration fee, and additional donations from other organizations helped to make the event possible.
“We had sponsors who donated trophies so that was another expense that we didn’t have to accrue,” Lyons said. “We found out that a lot of car enthusiasts like to show their vehicles, especially for a good cause, and are happy to receive little medals and plaques, so we went that route.”
At least 27 trophies were awarded at the end of the show for categories like best car, truck, or motorcycle in show, best muscle car, best import and oldest in show.
Ray Abilez, a U.S. Army, and civil service retiree, displayed his 1965 Chevrolet pickup truck during the show.
Abilez spent at least seven years restoring the vehicle to its current condition.
This event was his first car show of the year, and he recognized the importance of the cause the event supports.
“This is a good charity that is being sponsored and for a good cause,” Abilez said. “Just about all of the car shows are for some charity and usually that’s what I look for.”
Vietnam veteran and Army retiree Robert Wegmann brought his 1965 Ford Mustang to display at the car show.
Wegmann spent considerable time and money on restoring the vehicle. He was inspired to restore the car because his wife and father, both who have since passed away, were fans of the Mustang.
“I like going to charity events because they support good causes,” Wegmann said. “I try to make all of the car shows if I can, especially if they have charities.”
Carlos Perez brought his 2004 Spider-Man themed Jeep Wrangler to the car show. This event was his second car show of the year.
“Friends reached out to me and I read up on the (event) and figured this was a good cause, so I came out,” Perez said. “I love kids. I have two of my own and it’s said to think that there are people out there committing child abuse, it’s just insane to comprehend.”
Perez took home the President’s Choice Best of Class trophy for his Spider-Man themed Jeep.
John Jones brought his 1924 and 1953 Cadillacs to the show, his fifth event of the year.
“This show is great,” Jones said. “There was supposed to be one last year but COVID kicked in. I don’t do the car shows for the trophies, it’s more for people’s education and for the children.”
Jones took home the trophy for Oldest in Show for his 1924 Cadillac.
At least 60 cars, trucks, and motorcycles were registered for the event, raising more than $1,000 for local child abuse prevention organizations and programs.