SYCAMORE – The Turning Back Time Car Club so far has donated almost $20,000 raised from its July car show to local nonprofits, including relief for the victims of the St. Albans fire.
Mike Tritle told the Sycamore City Council that this year was the first year people weren’t sure there would be a Cruise Night before the Turning Back Time Car Show.
The cruise was scheduled for the night of July 26, and before the cruise could take place, people saw the smoke and learned about the fire at Building A of St. Albans Green.
“All of us were concerned as to whether or not there would be a cruise,” he said. “And none of us cared. ... We knew what was going on down there.”
The next day was the 20th annual Fizz Ehrler Memorial Turning Back Time Car Show. Almost 800 cars would come in to participate in the show and take over the streets of downtown Sycamore. Every year the event raises money for local nonprofits.
“I was watching the smoke and was thinking, this club, we have a big event tomorrow. We’re going to have to do something. I mean, that’s what we do,” he told the City Council on Monday night. “That’s why we have the show.”
The morning before the show, Tritle said the Turning Back Time Car Club that organizes the show decided that its portion of the funds raised from the 50/50 raffle drawing would be donated to the St. Albans fire relief. And people donated.
“We sold $2,400 [more] in 50/50 tickets this year than we did last year,” Tritle said. “The town rallied together.”
Tritle also noted that Mayor Curt Lang had come out with a donation box for the relief fund as well for people who wouldn’t buy raffle tickets because they don’t gamble. Mike DeVito, a member of the club, matched donations in the box up to $500
“If God has timing, if there had to be a fire, I’m glad he had it on that weekend,” Tritle said.
So far, the car show has distributed $19,300 to 19 different organizations in the community.
The next Turning Back Time Car Car Show is planned for July 26.