Dale Parshall and the other volunteers would have been busy today finishing the set up and opening for the 33rd annual Branch County Swap Meet Car Show.

The Mother’s Day weekend event kicked off the spring and summer season of festivals and local tourist attractions in the county.

COVID-19 restrictions stopped it this year.

“I don’t miss the work, but for those we help it’s sad,” Parshall said.

In the 10 years since he and other volunteers took over the weekend show and car cruise, it has raised $4,000 shy of $200,000 given to local charities and non-profit organizations.

“We usually run between $20,000 and $30,000 a year,” he said.

Last year, 14 different local groups received awards.

This local group of car enthusiasts who decided not to let the event die 10 years ago. Parshall said the key was "the base of people who enjoy cars and really wanted to keep it going. Locally people know the money is going for good causes."

Money goes to the Domestic Violence Shelter, Sexual Assault Awareness, the food bank and the fair which hosts the events on its grounds. It usually draws up to 1,200 show cars – antiques, classics, show cars, street rods plus over 100 show quality motorbikes from all over the Midwest. Plus hundreds of spectators to see them.

“There are also scholarships to the Career Center. We give some money to the intermediate school, Pathways to Independence, a wide variety of local groups,” Parshall said.

Parshall has been volunteering since the first show 33 years ago in one way or another. He is going to miss the people.

“We just get together with ours cars. It’s quite gratifying what comes of it. This is just a different year,” he said.

One thing would not have been different. Sometimes the meet is either wet or cold. This year the forecast calls for low temperatures.

Cars show in the Midwest are cancelling into July. Coldwater and Auburn, Ind., always started the season in the region know for automobile collecting and customizing.

Parshall said the show can’t be postponed.

“The driving force where we make our money are the vendors at the swap meet. They plan their schedule well in advance with no way to bring them all back.”

They will be back next year.

There are the local sponsors who pick up the costs of the event so all the money at the gate and swap meet goes to the charities.

“We talked to them and offered them back their money. I guess 95 percent said to fold it over until next year. So I’ll guess we’re committed to be back next year,” he said.