It might have a new name, but its purpose is still the same – it’s all “for the kids!”
The Miracle Makers of Maryland (MMM) Car Show, formerly known as the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Car Show for the past four years, will be held on Saturday, September 14 from 12 to 4 pm at Lockheed Martin in Middle River.
All makes and models of cars, trucks, bikes and other unique vehicles are welcome, and all proceeds from the show will benefit the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The entry fee is $20 cash per vehicle at the gate, and spectators are free.
Cars will compete for first through third place in categories such as Import, Domestic, Exotic, and Truck/SUV and Bike. Other trophies include Best in Show, Cole’s Choice and Bridget’s Choice (named for local Children’s Center patients), Best Paint, Best Wrap, Best In-Car Entertainment and more.
In addition to the cars on display, there will be a DJ and raffles throughout the day, along with hot dogs, pit beef, ham and turkey by McKinney’s Catering, with all food sales benefitting Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
MMM founder Chuck Mahla wants to emphasize “it’s the same show we’ve been doing every year, and it is still benefiting the kids at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.”
“We decided to create our own nonprofit so we could send proceeds directly to the Children’s Center and also be able to have other events throughout the year,” he said. “Our goal is to continue to support other local nonprofits in our community and expand our fundraising efforts.”
Mahla started the car shows five years ago when he was a Rite Aid employee. Each year, the pharmacy ran a six-week campaign where they raised money for CMN, and the closest CMN hospital was Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. The campaign encouraged employees to ask customers if they would like to donate to CMN at the register, and employees would often spearhead additional fundraisers as a fun competition.
In 2014, Mahla and his coworkers held car washes and bake sales during the campaign, raising a few hundred dollars. But when store manger Sue Ray, who was like a second mother to Mahla, passed away that summer, he knew he “wanted to do something bigger and better for CMN in her honor.”
In 2015, he and his coworkers organized and hosted the first CMN Car Show at his high school, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Essex. It attracted more than 85 cars, and they were able to raise $1,500 for the children at Hopkins. The next year, they raised more than $5,000. With a larger turnout, they moved the show to Lockheed Martin in Middle River the following year to accommodate more cars and spectators.
According to Mahla, last year was bigger than anyone ever expected. With only 28 cars preregistered two weeks before the show, the crowd was predicted to be smaller than any of the previous shows, however the gorgeous spring morning brought more than 400 vehicles and thousands of spectators. With a goal of $20,000, the 2018 CMN Car Show crew raised more than $32,000 for the Children’s Center.
Mahla continues the show not only to honor Ray, but also Donna Collins, his Rite Aid assistant manager who passed away in 2017. This year’s MMM goal is $40,000 and 500 registered vehicles.
“I like to remind people that everyone probably knows someone who has been affected by Hopkins,” said Mahla. “If we can just get everyone to bring one extra person this year, that would be the push we need to meet our goals.”
The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center offers one of the most comprehensive pediatric medical programs in the country, with more than 92,000 patient visits and nearly 9,000 admissions each year. The Pediatric Trauma Service treated more than 700 children last year. The hospital features a designated pediatric burn center and a 45-bed regional neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and it is one of only two hospitals in Maryland to offer pediatric ECMO (Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation), a sophisticated heart-and-bypass machine used for circulation and oxygenation in critically ill children.
“We have many generous local sponsors who have been instrumental in making this show possible, and people can go to our Facebook page to check out our entire list of sponsors,” said Mahla. “We are forever grateful of everyone’s support over the years. It has been an incredible experience. Our goal is to bring the community together and encourage others to reach out and give back where they can. We just try to do our part and make a difference for the kids.”
MMM Car Show
Saturday, September 14 from 12 to 4 pmGates open at 10:30 am
Lockheed Martin, 195 Chesapeake Park Plaza, Middle River, MD 21220
$20 vehicle entry at gate. Spectators are free
Rain date: 9/21/19