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AmeriCarna LIVE Car Show

Car show in Davidson raises money, awareness for those with autism.
BY MARTY PRICE

Five hundred cars and a crowd fueled donations to IGNITE Community Center for young adults with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome.

About 5,000 people visited Ingersoll Rand’s North American Headquarters and Corporate Center in Davidson on Nov. 26 for Ray Evernham’s fourth annual AmeriCarna LIVE car show

A former NASCAR championship crew chief, Evernham said he saw a need when his son, Raymond John, 25, graduated from high school. Five years ago, he helped to start the IGNITE Community Center in Davidson, “a clubhouse where they can learn banking skills, driving skills, job skills, cooking skills and social skills so that they can live independently,” said Evernham.

One year after the center opened, the car shows began with about 250 cars. “We thought ‘the only thing we really know a lot about is cars, so to get everybody together for a car show makes sense to us,” he said.

This year the number of cars swelled to 500, with the $100,000-plus proceeds being donated to the Evernham Family — Racing for a Reason Foundation, to support the IGNITE Community Center.

In addition to helping the cause, many of the car owners enjoyed showing their pride and joy to anyone who would stop by for a chat. Charlotte resident Rob Smeltzer completed the display of his red, 1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS with 128 feet of rope lights along with a model of his car in the engine compartment.

Amidst the chrome and red paint, a small, mirrored disco ball hung above the model car that was on a rotating stage above the chrome air filter. To some it resembled a dancing hall more than an engine compartment.






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