Millsboro Cruizers’ car show supporting Home of the Brave II

MILLSBORO — A charity-driven event that has been a staple in Millsboro for more than a decade is gearing to hit “Cruize’ control.

The Millsboro Cruizers’ 12th Annual Big Saturday Car Show is set for Aug. 13 at Rickards Auto Body on U.S. 113.

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The Millsboro Cruizers Big Saturday Car Show is Aug. 13 at Rickards Auto Body.

Given a good weather blessing, organizers anticipate upward of 200 entries from Delaware, Delmarva and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Augmenting the car show are a live auction, music, crafts and food vendors and a 50/50 raffle.

Every penny of proceeds goes toward charitable causes.

“Our sole reason for existence is charity,” said Millsboro Cruizers vice president Dave Lomas.

Millsboro Cruizers’ support has assisted senior citizens with heating the utility bills, the Secret Santa program for needy families and children in the Millsboro area and the Boy Scouts, who assist in set-up and clean-up at the car show.

Among this year’s beneficiaries: Home of the Brave II, a residential home in Milford for homeless female military veterans and their children.

“A lot of us in the club, myself included, are veterans,” said Millsboro Cruizers president Cliff Kerr. “We have kind of followed that for a few years. Being a veteran, I like to keep myself in the loop as far as veterans’ organizations. When we saw that (women’s Home of the Brave) coming about, we discussed it and decided we would like to help them out.”

“I will say probably this year the bulk we raise will go to Home of the Brave II for women,” said Mr. Kerr. “Our hope is we will raise a good amount of money for them and when do give them funds we’d like to go up there as members with our cars.”

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Longtime Cruizers member Jerry Rice and canine co-pilot Missy gear up for one of the car club’s activities: the Millsboro holiday parade.

Community support drives the club’s charitable engine.

Dairy Queen in Millsboro is a $1,000 corporate sponsor of the car show; Chuck Hall State Farm on Rt. 24 is a $500 donor.

“And we have so many small businesses out there that help us out with $150 and $200,” said Mr. Kerr. “The local community is very supportive of us. We are very well supported by the community. They like what we do.”

The staging venue is donated by Ezra Rickards, owner of the auto body business.

“He has graciously opened up the lot. He supplies everything; the electric for all of our tents,” said Mr. Kerr. “He asks for nothing in return.”

The Cruizers evolved from a car show associated with Millsboro’s Big Thursday celebration, a longstanding tradition that eventually lost steam and faded away.

“The club is kind of a bounce-off from the Big Thursday show,” said Mr. Kerr. “We didn’t want to see it end. There were lots of people that were interested. So they formed the Millsboro Cruizers.”

“We decided to form our own club so we could continue the car show,” said Mr. Lomas.

Millsboro Cruizers present membership hovers around several dozen people.

“It is just a really good mix,” said Mr. Kerr. “We have some classic antiques. We have muscle cars.”

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Club member Dave Lomas is set to ride in the Millsboro Candy Cane Parade.

Chevys outnumber Fords, said Mr. Lomas.

“I am a Mustang myself,” said Mr. Lomas. “It varies.”

Interestingly, some members do not have classic cars.

“We even have a couple members in the club that are just real car people but they don’t have a car. They love it. They have read about the Millsboro Cruizers and they really like our mission and what we do with our funds from the show,” Mr. Kerr said. “You don’t have to have a car to be a Cruizer.”

“It is a bunch of great people; husbands and wives; single people. We have one big thing in common and that is our love for the classic automobiles. And we are all very charity minded,” Mr. Kerr said. “We feel that whatever we make we can give back to the community and to our veterans. That is our goal and we will continue to do that hopefully as long as we possibly can. And we have a lot of fun.”

Annual membership is $5 per person; $10 for family.

“We don’t try to make a lot of money on membership. We just like to get members,” said Mr. Lomas, noting the club is hoping to transfuse some young blood into its membership ranks. “We would really like to get a lot of younger members. Most of our members, including myself have gray hair. We would like to get some younger people.”

The car show opens with registration at 8 a.m. Awards, including Top 50 and Best of Show, are at 3 p.m.

General admission is free.

Cruizers member Jim Parkinson is providing the music.

Among the food vendor selections: ice cream, hot dogs, barbecue and pizza.

About two dozen craft vendors will be on hand.

For car show, the first 200 entrants receive dash plaques. Two hundred goodie bags go to the first 200 people at the show.

Car show registration is $12 in advance and $15 the day of the show.

There is no judgment for Millsboro Cruizers.

“The show is for our guests only,” said Mr. Kerr. “Cruizers are not included in the show as far as judging goes.”

“We do not judge our cars,” said Mr. Lomas. “We park our cars in a separate lot. So if you come to our car show and you have a nice car you don’t have to worry about competing with our cars.”

August 14 is reserved as the rain date.

For more information on the car show or Millsboro Cruizers, visit www.millsborocruizers.com.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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