Cruisin’ for a cause

The courtyard of the Chatham-Kent Hospice is typical of the entire facility – serene and welcoming. Ten waterfalls represent each of the rooms at the hospice. 

East Kent Hot Rods unite for Hospice benefit

By Michael Bennett
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Ridgetown Independent News

After seeing other vintage car groups host benefit festivals, members of a local vintage car group decided they wanted to do this for their community.

The Ridge Runners East Kent car group is hosting its inaugural East Kent Hot Rods for Hospice benefit on Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Ridgetown Fairgrounds.

Cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors will be displayed from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Most vehicles will be vintage, but all are welcome.

Along with the vehicles, the festival will include food, entertainment, vendors and activities for kids and families.

The event is free admission for guests, but cash donations for the hospice will be appreciated. There is a fee for vehicles, vendors, and swap meet participants. All proceeds will go to the Chatham-Kent Hospice.

“Hot Rods for Hospice is not new. It’s like Hogs for Hospice,” said event co-organizer Emily Vollans, referring to a popular event to support the hospice in Leamington. “We saw another club doing it and thought, ‘That’s a great idea. Why don’t we do one for our own hospice?’ So we just ran with it, and it got big, fast.”

The Ridge Runners East Kent group is working with the Ridgetown District Agricultural Society and the East Kent Vintage Equipment Club to put on the festival.

East Kent Hot Rods for Hospice already has 58 vendors and six food trucks booked for the day.

The vendors’ portion of the festival is being held in conjunction with the weekly Ag Society’s Farmer’s Market, as there will be food booths, crafters, artists, apparel, wood and metal crafts and more.

Live entertainment will be provided by Barker & Wicks from 10 a.m.-noon, followed by Black River Remedy from 1-3 p.m.

Kids will have a number of activities, including a colouring contest, Different Strokes face painting, Lally Groups’ hot wheel track and CK Expo will be on hand with a variety of games.

Ridgetown Fire Station 11, along with Chatham-Kent Police and EMS, will be on hand to talk with the kids and adults about their services – and give tours of their vehicles.

There will also be Cosplay photos, swap meet, pie auction and other activities.

There will be a 50-50 draw that will take place at 4 p.m., and you do not have to be in attendance to win.

For more information on the event, including volunteer opportunities for high school students and anyone interested in being a vendor or having a swap meet booth, contact Vollans at or 519-365-6232.


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