For more than 30 years, Central Kentucky Rods and Machines has been providing holiday toys for children in need through its annual Christmas for Kids Car Show.

The tradition continued over the weekend as the club hosted its 34th annual event at the Transit Authority of Central Kentucky Building in Elizabethtown.

Club President Bob Merchant said 70 vehicles were featured in the show, with license plates ranging from Washington state to Illinois. The show kicked off Friday and continued through Sunday afternoon.

All proceeds went toward holiday toy donations for Helping Hand of Hope’s Angel Tree program. With money raised by the show, 300 Hardin County children and 50 LaRue County children are provided with toys, Merchant said.

Attendees were required to bring a toy or cash donation.

“We’re going to try our best to make kids have a good, happy Christmas,” Merchant said. “And we’ve been doing that for 34 years.”

Emphasizing the event’s growth, Merchant said the first show included eight vehicles and raised $240. He said last year’s event raised more than $40,000.

The show also served as a memorial event for recently deceased club members, including Harold Hendricks, Francis Beard and Bill Estes. They were memorialized through a plaque display and by showcasing their cars in the show.

The prime event for the club, organizing the show and gathering sponsors is a year-long endeavor, Mer­chant said. More than 40 sponsors contributed to this year’s event.

“We couldn’t have done this without the help of all of our sponsors,” club secretary Roberta Haycraft said.

In addition to the car show, the event also included a performance Saturday from local act Keene and Company Band and an auction and award ceremony Sunday.

Quincy Francis, who was set up with his 1935 Chevrolet 3 Window Coupe and 1958 Chevro­let Bel Air, said this was his fifth year taking part in the show. He said he enjoys the opportunity to have an indoor car show in November and likes supporting the cause.

“I like it because of what it supports,” he said.

Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or acritchelow@thenewsenterprise.com.

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