PRESTONSBURG – Engines roared in Prestonsburg over the weekend as the East Kentucky Gearheads Car Club rolled into Archer Park on Saturday for the 8th Annual Ride with a Pal sponsored by CSX and the City of Prestonsburg. The organization invited special needs families for a fun filled day.
The East Kentucky Gearheads Car Club is a not-for-profit organization. Its purpose is social in nature and to help fellow car enthusiasts become better acquainted with each other and the automotive events throughout the area as well to protect and promote the vintage hobby in Eastern Kentucky, support area charities and promote tourism and the general goodwill of the community. All car club events are family-oriented and reach out to all age groups. The group hosts cruise-ins every third Saturday of the month in downtown Paintsville in the City Parking Lot.
The group sponsored the Ride with a Pal event at Archer Park on Saturday. The event was a much-anticipated event for special needs families. Many special needs individuals came out with their families. The Mystery Meat Band also performed at the event.
“We really enjoy looking at all the cars and everyone is so nice and understanding,” said Jill Ratliff, who brought her son Taylor to the event. “It feels like a safe place to come and it’s good to know that people here actually care about the challenges faced by special needs families. These few hours just to have fun, relax and look at cars is a blessing.”
The event concluded with a burnout contest and a parade where individuals got to pick the car of their choice to ride in during a parade around the park.
East Kentucky Gearheads is much more than a cruise-in club. Recently, members of the club noticed a need for wheelchair/handicapped accessible playground equipment at Archer Park. Members were determined to do something to help the special needs families and reached out to CSX, which became a major contributor to the equipment purchased for the playground. Archer Park officials were thrilled with the much needed donation and added additions to make it a complete play area. The group says it hopes to continue to keep supplying local parks with wheelchair/handicapped accessible playground equipment.
For more information about the East Kentucky Gearheads, visit ekygearheads.com.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.