Downtown fundraiser features barbecue and vintage vehicles
TEXARKANA. Ark. — Outdoor pleasures like barbecues and vintage car gazing went hand in hand at the Just Love and Kindness benefit fundraiser held here Saturday for Texarkana Arkansas School District Saturday.
For about five hours starting at 9 a.m., local and area residents gathered downtown to check out about 100 sports cars and other vehicles dating as far back as 1937 up to 2017 — all parked with engine hoods opened along both sides of East Broad Street.
While soaking up the historic look of automobiles
from about nine decades, eight local amateur barbecue cooks kept the crowds fed, mainly with pork and brisket entrees.
Proceeds raised by through barbecue sales and car entry fees will go toward helping TASD as well as other school districts purchase electronically controlled baby dolls (resembling real babies) that are used to help prepare students for what it’s really like to take care of a baby — including tending to the infant crying any time at all hours of the night.
“This is the first fundraiser of this kind we’ve held during this part of the year,” said Robert Klein, who along with his wife Laura, organized the event. “We also held a golf tournament last September. My wife, Laura came up with this idea. This gives kids the chance to know what it’s really like to have to take care of a baby.”
He said the doll is basically a computerized baby that is controlled by an app. “Which makes the doll behave like and mimic a real baby,” he said. “This gives kids an idea of what it’s really like to take care of a baby as well as what will be needed to financially care for the infant.”
Klein added that public school educators can also electronically keep the “baby’s” whereabouts monitored, in order to make sure the “parents” aren’t cheating on their parental obligations.
“The main focus of this fundraiser will be to distribute these electronic dolls to the school districts,” he said. “Next year, we will try to raise funds for a different focus for education projects.”
This year, Arkansas-side Mayor Allen Brown served as one of the barbecue cooks.
“This has turned into a fun time for me to get a chance to cook ribs and chicken for people. Mr. Klein is doing a wonderful thing for the community,” Brown said. “Also, the weather is really helping because there’s no rain today.”
Kathy Rounsavall with the Texarkana Victory Riders of the local Christian Motorcycle Association chapter, said her group wouldn’t miss this charitable cause.
“We want to show the love of Jesus Christ and participate in this fundraiser,” she said.