Cops and cars just naturally go together, and on a breezy Saturday, the Ocala Police Department (OPD) sparkled with vintage and antique cars, trophies, and yes, even the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The September 28th benefit for United Way of Marion County raised more than $3,750 in its second year.
Amanda Cummings, United Way Ambassador for the OPD, was delighted with the show of community support. “We had 155 cars registered along with those who came in to spectate,” she said. “The event helps our officers and our community to mingle and support each other.” The benefit helped bring the police department and the community together to help the United Way.
Cars, trucks, motorcycles, SWAT vehicles and emergency response vehicles gleamed in the sun. Standout entries this year included the Ghostbusters themed station wagon accompanied by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (and a ghostbuster or two.) In another nod to the movies, Eddie Parker showed off his Jurassic Park Jeep, outfitted with an enormous dinosaur bone, a creepy skeleton, and even a caged velociraptor.
Several notable winners included Best in Show, won by Bill Rosenbaum for his 1957 Bel-Air; the Chief’s Choice Award given to Ecto1, the Ghostbusters car; and the People’s Choice Award went to Sgt. Eric Hooper, who won for his 1957 Chevy Bel-Air. It’s a second win for Hooper, whose 1967 Ford Galaxie won the category last year.
Among the most popular activities was the K-9 unit and handler. Cummings noted, “Everyone loved seeing the dog and taking pictures with them.” Officer Roos and K9 Cheney demonstrated Cheney’s training and posed for photos.
“My favorite moments at the shows are when people stop me and thank me for putting it together,” Cummings said. “Seeing the smiles on everyone’s face knowing that they are truly enjoying the moment and appreciating the cars.”
“We offered food,” Cummings said, “and they were absolutely amazing.” Food trucks from Curbside Cuisine, Cora’s Kitchen and Louie’s Pizza provided delectable nosh. She’s enthused about future car shows for OPD. “We will absolutely do this next year!”