BROOKSVILLE — For Monster Transmission and Performance owner Achilles Thomas, giving something back to the community has been an important part of having a successful business.
What started nine years ago as a small family operation has grown exponentially. And Thomas credits much of that success to the support he has gotten from residents who work for him and buy his company's products.
Last year, Thomas came up with the idea of holding a car-themed celebration at the Hernando County Fairgrounds that would enable him and his company to raise money for children's charities and food banks.
"This recession has been hard on everyone, but I think people who have the least have it the worst," Thomas said. "They could really use everyone's help."
Once again, Monster has teamed up with its neighbors at the fairgrounds and will present the Monster Auto Show and Children's Charity Event from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.
The daylong event will include a car, truck and bike show; an all-day truck pull; a truck tug-of-war; a live circus with elephants; monster truck rides; a petting zoo; and a large kids area with bounce houses, inflatables, face painting and balloons. An evening fireworks display will cap the day's activities.
Thomas admits he's a car nut and loves high-performance and classic cars, trucks and bikes. He expects to easily top last year's 500 show entries.
"This is such a great area for car collectors," Thomas said. "People can come to this show and see just about everything imaginable."
More than $10,000 will be awarded in cash prizes and giveaways.
Entry fees are $20 for cars and trucks and $15 for bikes; registration can be done at the show or in advance online at monstertransmissionautoshow.com.
Thomas said the event is also likely to draw attention around the country. Producers of two popular syndicated motoring shows, Tail Fins and Chrome and Born To Ride, have agreed to attend and shoot video to use in future episodes.
Because the event focuses on raising money and awareness about hunger, Thomas said he has partnered with Feeding America Tampa Bay in an effort to help stock local food pantries in time for the holidays. Anyone who brings a grocery bag filled with nonperishable food will receive a free event T-shirt.
Logan Neill can be reached at (352) 848-1435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.