(09/04/13) - Rev up your engines - the 30th annual Frankenmuth Auto Fest is only days away.
The classic car show kicks off Friday and runs through the weekend. This year, it's celebrating three decades of giving back to the community.
"All the proceeds, any money left over when we are finished paying bills, we give back to the community, that started in 1983," said Auto Fest co-chair Tony D'Anna.
Like all good traditions, D'Anna doesn't want that to ever change.
"It's a great feeling," he said. "You come down here to eat, it's all non-profit, the VFW, the Rotary Club, the Lions Club."
For three decades, the classic car show has donated millions of dollars to local charities and non-profits. Among those groups that have reaped the benefits - Frankenmuth school athletics.
"Our programs could not run without the assistance from the Autofest. It provides assistance for money for instruments, our band trip and athletic equipment," said Mary Anne Ackerman, Frankenmuth Schools superintendent.
In addition to helping the Frankenmuth area, the Auto Fest also supports the Great Lakes Bay Region.
"They've given so much money to great causes, like the peds unit at Covenant, scholarships, Michigan's military and space museum, they've helped families of wounded veterans the list goes on and on," said Jamie Furbush, of the Chamber of Commerce.
"We did a lot of charity work when I was a firefighter, so it's very nice for the car show to take its money and put it towards the different charities in and about the town," said Rick Caruso, of Southgate.
As the classic car show has grown over the last three decades, so has the city.
"Everybody likes to work together, one of the major industries is tourism and we're all pulling in the same direction," said Al Zehnder, of Zehnder's of Frankenmuth.
It's that direction that's led Frankenmuth to become one of the regions top destination spots.
The Chamber of Commerce says the Frankenmuth Auto Fest provides great exposure for local businesses.
"It is a huge weekend in Frankenmuth, probably our biggest weekend of the year. It's very exciting, and what it means is people coming together," Furbush said. When we have 100,000 people on Main Street in a night, even though they may not go into a store, they come back weeks later to start their Christmas shopping."
While Frankenmuth continues to add more attractions, it hasn't lost its small town appeal. That's why Caruso keeps coming back.
"This is my 18th year of coming. It's the last show of the summer, great environment," he said. "People are great here, probably the friendliest towns I've ever been in."
ABC12 News has your all access pass to the Frankenmuth Auto Fest. Our live special begins Friday at 7 p.m.
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