Hot roddin for Humanity

– Tanner Schubert

***The writer is enrolled in Comm 240 News Reporting.***

“Hot Rods for Humanity,” a car show that benefited Habitat for Humanity of Ellis County, was held April 12 in Municipal Park. It drew around 100 participants from Ellis County and the surrounding area, despite the chance for rain and hail in the forecast that evening.

“We raised $1,570, “ said Jamie Sproul, one of the Fort Hays State University students who organized the event.

Sproul, Augusta senior, said she and James Younger, Hays senior, and Kelsie Sorenson, McPherson senior, began organizing the event in late January as part of the requirements for Comm 490 Issues & Applications in Communication.

She said they chose to have the car show as a benefit because the Hays area doesn’t have car shows often. She said the students thought this would be a new, interesting way to bring attention to their event and to the non-profit organization’s cause.

“We had 38 cars register, and about 41 cars show in all,” Sproul said. Three of the cars chose not to register and compete for prizes. With a $25 registry fee, owners could show off their vehicles and help the local Habitat for Humanity chapter.

Around 20 awards were given in such categories as the car that traveled the farthest, the one that had the best paint job, the one with the best engine, the one voted the kids’ favorite, and so on. Habitat Board member Kris Munch, also an associate professor in the FHSU Institute of Applied Technology, made the wooden award plaques.

Habitat for Humanity is an international Christian organization that builds decent, affordable houses for those in need. The Ellis County chapter has built three homes to date, two in Hays and one in Ellis.

A new program the local Habitat affiliate is starting is “Brush With Kindness.” Habitat volunteers will do repairs to the exteriors of homes whose owners meet income qualifications. While homeowners do have to pay the affiliate for the supplies, the majority of labor is donated.

“The whole idea is to help people stay in their homes,” said Linn Ann Huntington, co-president of the local non-profit and FHSU professor of Communication Studies. The chapter is currently taking applications for the program; more information is available at the chapter’s website,

The sponsors of the Hot Rods for Humanity event donated food, drinks, prizes, T-shirts, and games for the participants. The list of sponsors includes Habitat for Humanity of Ellis County, Hays Tee’s, Emprise Bank, Advanced Auto Parts, Northwestern Printers, Nex-Tech, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Whiskey Creek, Vernie’s Trux n Equip, Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wal-Mart, the FHSU Intramurals Department, the FHSU Institute of Applied Technology, RDH Electric, S&W Supply, Best Radiator, and Xibit Customs.

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