Lug Nuts on the lookout for car fans

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In the past decade, the Lone Star Lug Nuts have raised tens of thousands of dollars to help provide a special home away from home for young burn victims, and the East Texas auto enthusiasts hope to better past years’ contributions when they gather again March 24-25.

The 11th annual Early Bird Car Show will once again draw the car club’s members and guests to Kilgore City Park, welcoming visitors to help raise funds for the Percy R. Johnson Burn Foundation in Shreveport, Louisiana, and Camp I’m Still Me.

Located just outside of Marshall, the camp is a safe space for the injured children, specially-crafted to help them forget their disfigurements and put their worries aside with fun activities and fellowship, free of charge.

“Last year we were able to give them $7,000. We’re hoping to give them more this year,” car show co-organizer Marylin Morris said. “It gives a lot of children a chance to go that couldn’t get to go ordinarily. If they need clothes or if they need a prosthesis, it’s there for them.

“The people that volunteer there at that camp, they do it for nothing – doctors and nurses – the money all goes to the kids and their needs. It’s a wonderful thing. We enjoy doing it. It’s for a good cause.”

The Lone Star Lug Nuts planning committee once again expects between 150 and 200 cars at this month’s show. They’ll begin gathering Friday night with a cruise downtown at Commerce Street and North before the big event from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. the next day.

Participants pay a $25 registration fee to show their car at the park, and the Lug Nuts have a variety of awards for the automobiles: Best of Show Car & Truck, Sponsor’s Choice, Percy R. Johnson Choice, Best Motorcycle and more.

“It’s looking good so far,” Morris said. “I’ve got a little more than 60 pre-registered and there will be more that come next Friday night, the 24th,” with on-site registration running 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The amphitheater at city park will once again host live entertainment including a group of cloggers from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. March 25 followed by the day’s headliner, award-winning Elvis tribute artist Al Joslin from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in another free show.

The admission-free event also includes door prizes, a 50/50 pot, a wipe-out board and auction as well as a wide range of concessions and vendors.

For more information, log on to the “Lone Star Lug Nuts” community page on Facebook. The organizers are still accepting sponsors for the event to fuel the final take for the burn foundation – donations (including auction items) are tax deductible and can be directed to Morris at 903-431-2507, Ken Latham at 903-736-7866, Jeannie McGlathery (281-610-1854) or Kathie Ross (903-238-7034).

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