Driver Days raises more than $8,000

Published 11:35 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sarah Noll of Norfolk, a member of the Tidewater Blacksmith Guild, pounds out a tiny iron “sword” for a young boy attending Driver Days. The Guild was one of many nonprofit, business and service organizations that were on hand during the 18th annual event.

This year’s Driver Days welcomed thousands of guests and raised more than $8,000 to donate to community organizations, according to an event coordinator.

Joan Mayo, who is the secretary for the event, said she thinks the event drew more people than it did in 2010 and raised more money.

“I think we did better this year than we did last year,” she said. “With the economy the way it is now, I’m delighted.”

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Mayo said after the organizers paid expenses for bands, supplies and other vendors, Driver Days raised $8,025 for three local organizations.

Mayo said $4,725 was donated to Driver Volunteer Fire Department, $2,300 went to Driver Furry Friends, and $1,000 was put aside to give as a scholarship to a Nansemond River High School student next year.

The donations were raised through the car and bike shows, vendor space rentals and more.

Phyllis Murphy, who owns Harmony House Antiques on Kings Highway, operates Driver Furry Friends, which fosters cats and helps the Suffolk Humane Society by paying for surgeries for its rescued cats.

Murphy said the donation from Driver Days means a lot to her and the work she does.

“It means a great deal,” she said. “It’s going to help with food and litter, and most of all, the surgeries and any medical needs the cats need.”

In addition to the money Driver Days coordinators raised, Berea Christian Church raised money by providing parking and holding a spaghetti dinner on Oct. 22.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser for the church for the year,” church secretary Cameron Butler said.

Parking brought in $2,500, and the dinner raised $785.

“That was a good amount,” Butler said. “We’re pretty happy.”

She added the car show organizers also donated about $720 to hold the show on church property.

Butler said the donations will help cover operation expenses for the church, and Berea also gave some of the proceeds to the Fire Department.

Mayo said overall, she is thrilled with how the event turned out.

“All in all, it worked out well,” she said. “It was a nice event. We had nothing but positive comments.”

She added, “It was a nice festival. We appreciate what everybody did to make it that way, and we appreciate everyone who came to visit.”