Ed White raises thousands of dollars for charity at July 4th auto shows
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Ed White has spent his career serving the residents of Topeka as a police officer.
Now, White continues to give back to his hometown by hosting the annual Spirit of Kansas July 4th Auto Show at Shawnee Lake.
The event is scheduled to take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 4, near Reynolds Lodge, 3315 SE Tinman Circle, on the east side of Shawnee Lake.
White, 75, has raised thousands of dollars for local charities during his years of sponsoring the auto show.
He says he has loved classic cars since he was a teenager, when he attended Highland Park High School.
“I’ve always been a car lover,” White says, “since I was in high school and had my first car”.
Soon White began to work on his own classic cars. He then started attending auto shows and has been doing so ever since.
“I just enjoyed it,” he said. “I love people and I love cars and I always do.”
White says it “takes a lot” of preparation to host the July 4th auto show. He says he usually starts working on the series right after the first of the year.
Weather is another variable that can stop the auto show before it even starts: “I’ve had it rain three times here,” White says.
The auto show is held in conjunction with other Spirit of Kansas activities taking place on July 4 at Shawnee Lake, including a blues festival, a water ski show, and later that night a fire pit. ‘artifice.
“We’re trying to make it a family day,” White says. “I do it for the people too, so the community has a chance to come out and watch these cars. Some people have never seen some of these cars before, and it gives them the opportunity to go out and talk to car owners. “
The main reason he sponsors auto shows, he says, is because he can show his appreciation and support for local agencies that serve the Topeka community.
“I liked doing that,” White says. “This is my opportunity to give back to the community and spend a day here by the lake where people can hang out and have fun.
“Shawnee Lake is a great place here. We want people to go out and really have fun. The money goes for a good cause.
There is no entrance fee for people who want to come and see the cars.
White says he’s grateful things are “opening up” a bit in the Topeka area after some COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed.
Due to COVID-19, White says, “We were the only game in town” last year for July 4. Most of the other auto shows had been canceled due to the coronavirus.
He said he wasn’t sure until about three weeks before the event in 2020 that he would even be able to sponsor the show.
Yet even on short notice, over 100 classic cars made it to Topeka for the show. Cars came from all over the Topeka area, including Kansas City and Manhattan.
White served in the Topeka Police Department from 1971 to 1999, when he retired as the Commander of the Criminal Investigation Division.
After retiring from the Topeka Police Department, he worked in the early 2000s as Chief of Security at Heartland Motorsports Park before changing his law enforcement uniform with the Police Department to the Washburn University, where he served from 2003 to 2013.
White says he doesn’t earn a dime from auto shows, with all profits going to the organization selected to receive funds from this year’s event.
Plus, he says he sometimes puts his hand in his own pocket to help with last-minute expenses.
This year’s recipient is the Boys and Girls Clubs of Topeka, an organization White participated in when he was young in the capital.
Dawn McWilliams, Executive Director of Boys and Girls Clubs of Topeka, said she was grateful to White for choosing the organization to receive funds for this year’s event.
“There are a multitude of reasons why we are so excited about this opportunity,” said McWilliams. “Mr. White is actually a Topeka Boys and Girls Clubs alumnus, which makes him even more special to us.
“He recognizes the need and importance of the club in the community
for children because he himself benefited from the club.
There is no charge for spectators at the auto show.
Those who wish to exhibit their vehicles can register on site from 8 a.m. on the day of the event. The cost is $ 20 per vehicle.
White says all vehicles are welcome at the auto show.
For more information, call White at 785-640-9915.
Copyright 2021 WIBW. All rights reserved.