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East Hamilton students host event for Forgotten Child Fund

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East Hamilton Middle/High School is holding its second annual Community Day & Car Show Saturday, Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event helps provide Christmas gifts for children in the community while giving students experience hosting a full-scale fundraiser, said school principal Brent Eller. He hosted a similar event for six years as principal of Loftis Middle School.

All proceeds from the EHS event go to the Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department to purchase gifts for the Hamilton County Sheriff Office's Forgotten Child Fund. Come Christmastime, the fire department hands the presents out to children in its service area of Apison, Collegedale, Ooltewah, and portions of McDonald and East Brainerd.

"It's an awesome opportunity for our kids to get involved, and the community to get involved to help kids in our community," Eller said of the event.

Money is raised through car show participants, who pay either a $10 entry fee or donate a toy; and vendors, who pay a $20 booth fee.

Around $2,500 was raised and 250-350 toys were collected during last year's event, which drew between 80 and 100 car show participants, said Eller. Organizers expect twice as many participants this year, and have about 15 vendors signed up so far, he said.

"The kids have done a phenomenal job of really taking the lead," Eller said of students in the school's virtual enterprise classes, which planned and publicized the event and helped secure vendors. "It's a great lesson for our kids."

The event is free for attendees, and features free food and activities including inflatables, live music, games and a chili cook-off with faculty and student teams competing.

Car show entries and vendor applications will be accepted up until the day of the event. For more information, contact Jodi Crim at crim_j@hcde.org. To be a vendor, email Teresa Molnar at molnar_t@hcde.org.

Email Emily Crisman at ecrisman@timesfreepress.com.

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