PLYMOUTH — Cars. Food. Halloween costumes. All this and more can be found in the field near Mancino's Grinders & Pizza October 20.
Mancino's owner Tony Gamble is organizing the first annual Freedom Park car show for all makes and models of cars, trucks, and special interest vehicles. Proceeds from the show — vehicle owners pay $15 to register — will go toward an all-inclusive playground for the city.
"(The playground) has been a dream of mine for at least five years now," said Gamble. "It's basically a handicapped playground. We want our children that have disabilities to be able to go to the playground and play, and not have other children know they are disabled. They won't be sitting on the sidewalk watching other children play, they will be there playing with the other children."
The cost of the playground is about $1 million, said Gamble.
The playground will feature a soft surface, a ramp system instead of stairs, and a splash pad.
A fund was recently set up through the Marshall County Community Foundation (MCCF) so interested individuals or businesses can donate to the playground. A committee is hard at work planning fundraisers for the project. This committee includes Plymouth Park Department Superintendent Mike Hite, physical therapists Rose Goncher and Eric Holsopple, and interested parents Marla Murasko, Tod and Lesley Langfeldt, Art and Lisa Jacobs, and Gamble.
Gamble said he has received "phenomenal" support from both local and national businesses for the car show fundraiser, and many have donated door prizes.
"It's a little harder to get support from local businesses, but we have Hoosier Racing Tire, Young's Appliances, and Advance Auto Parts that have been major sponsors," said Gamble.
The VanVactors are donating the use of the field for the show, and have agreed to mow it prior to the event.
There is free admission for spectators. Registration is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and each car owner will receive a welcome packet that includes a coupon for a free scoop of Hershey's ice cream and a coupon for $3 off a menu item at Mancino's.
"This is not a profit thing for me," clarified Gamble. "I'm not looking to bring business into my restaurant. It's all going toward the park."
A costume contest will also be held during the hours of the car show, with prizes for first, second, and third place.
For more information on the event, contact Gamble at 574-952-2492.