Car show raises money for LifeNet

Published 10:36 pm Friday, November 7, 2008

The late Bill Gwyn may be best known in these parts for having been one of the first – and last – people to make runs at the former racetrack in Suffolk.

But today, Gwyn – who for 30 years spent many weekends drag-racing around the track at Suffolk Executive Airport – will be remembered for his gift of life.

Just a year or so before his death last June, Gwyn signed up to be an organ and tissue donor.

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A car show is being held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at Donnie Allred’s Collision and Repair Center, 3730 Pruden Blvd., in memory of Gwyn and to raise money for LifeNet Health. The Richmond-based organization, which promotes organ donation, will have representatives on hand to answer questions.

The event is being organized by Sonya Thacker, a long-time friend of Gwyn. She knows the benefits of organ donation firsthand – her husband was a heart recipient.

Dennis Godwin, who raced with Gwyn for decades, said he is looking forward to attending the car show.

Gwyn had a real knack for working on cars, said Godwin, adding that Gwyn was nationally known for building engines used in vehicles competing in stock cars and tractor pulls.

“If it went fast and drove in a circle, Bill could build an engine for it,” he said. “He was great to work with.”