All decked out

Antique car and truck owners were at Luttrull-McNatt Saturday for a combination classic car show and pregame kickoff for Cooke County United Way. The event included music from KGAF, birthday cake and plenty of restored classic vehicles.

The Cooke County United Way got a head start on its 55th birthday celebration Saturday thanks to Luttrull-McNatt Gainesville Chevrolet, Buick, GMC.

The auto dealership had already planned a classic car show and invited the United Way to join the event, Cooke County United Way executive director Angie Hare said.

“We greatly appreciate Luttrull-McNatt for honoring our birthday this way,” Hare said. “Events like these bring about awareness and education about who the United Way is, what we do and what our 18 local agencies do.”

In addition, to a collection of antique and classic vehicles, the event featured a large United Way-themed birthday cake and a live broadcast from KGAF Radio.

Hare pointed out that this is crunch time for United Way volunteers. The campaign runs from now until Nov. 1.

She noted that several local businesses have stepped up to help sponsor United Way events.

“This is all about awareness,” Hare said. “We hope events like these help people consider giving to the United Way.”

According to information provided by the organization, one of the United Way’s primary missions is to focus local resources to create measurable results.

For every dollar raised, 7.2 percent goes directly to each agency.

Last year, the Cooke County United Way distributed more than $375,000 in agency allocations and special grants which benefit local residents.

“Money that is raised for the United Way stays here in our community,” Hare said, adding that fundraising events such as Friday’s kickoff luncheon are paid for by ticket sales or underwritten by sponsors.

“No campaign money is used to fund special events,” she added.

The United Way is also backed up by a force of more than 250 volunteers.

Hare said she understands that the tough economy makes life more difficult for just about everyone.

“But tough times make it more important than ever for us to take action to help others,” she said.

Several local United Way supporters were on hand for Saturday’s event including Ben Bindel of the Muenster Youth Council.

“Things like this event are very important to me both a participant and a volunteer with a United Way agency. I’m glad we were able to put this together in one package,” he said.

For more information on the Cooke County United Way visit

Tickets for Friday’s kickoff luncheon are $10 each and are available by calling 665-1793. Hare advises those who plan to attend the luncheon to purchase tickets no later than today.

“There will be a very limited number of tickets available at the door,” she said.

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