PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – Start your engines for the 22nd annual Project 25 event. The American Muscle Car Club is sponsoring the event at the Kartona Electric Speedway in Panama City Beach.
Bay County Sheriff’s Office is making sure every kid gets a Christmas gift this year with Project 25.
Project 25 began back in 1980 when deputies responding to a burglarized home realized the family was in desperate need of Christmas presents.
“It warms my heart to look out here. And people want to donate,” said Event Coordinator Becky Johns.
Since that day, the Bay County Sheriff’s Office has been supplying children with Christmas gifts for 43 years.
This is the 22nd year that the American Muscle Car Club has been sponsoring the event.
“American Muscle Car Club kicks off Project 25 every year. So and as you can see, all the cars, all the toys behind us, this club has donated over $200,000 to Project 25 over the last 22 years. I don’t know what we would do without them,” Johns said.
People were able to attend the event by giving a cash donation or an unwrapped toy.
Sheriff Tommy Ford says he’s grateful for the American Muscle Car Club and all that they have done over the years.
“This one for the record books. I think we have over 150 cars out here in the parking lot. They’ve been one of our greatest supporters of Project 25 for the past many years,” said Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford.
Attendees got the chance to try their luck at winning a free tank of gas. On the Kartona speedway, the person with the fastest time was able to fill up their tank for free.
Besides getting their need for speed, the main reason people showed up was to support the children.
“I always come here to donate toys and just have a good time,” said attendee Rick Hawkins.
The combination of donations and toys comes out to a cash value of around $15,000.
“It makes you feel good inside because one reason and one reason only because this is done for the kids and to see it. 150 cars out here, and they’re all here because of the kids and all these toys behind us, they’re all going to the kids in Panama City. It kind of hit you right here in the heart,” said American Muscle Car Club President Troy Brown.
The American Muscle Car Club president says he’s looking forward to next year’s Project 25 event.