Motoring Festival makes donation

  • Highlands Motoring Festival organizer Steve Mehder did his best to fit a giant $15,000 check for three nonprofits into the mailbox.
    Highlands Motoring Festival organizer Steve Mehder did his best to fit a giant $15,000 check for three nonprofits into the mailbox.

Like so many events in 2020, the Highlands Motoring Festival had to change up its format in order to proceed.

Fortunately for the nonprofit organizations that benefit from the four-day event for automotive enthusiasts, the changes didn’t stop the giving. 

On Dec. 23 motoring festival organizers Steve Ham and Steve Mehder stopped at the Highlands Post Office to drop off checks totaling $15,000 to support The Literacy and Learning Center, REACH of Macon County and the Community Care Clinic of Highlands/Cashiers.

“It is the time of year when Highlands Motoring Festival normally presents a ‘big’ donation check to the three local human needs charities that it supports,” Ham said. “But in a pandemic year the in-person presentation ceremony, surrounded by organization representatives and children, is out of the question. Instead, the decision was made to let the US Postal Service deliver the donation.”

The 2020 Highlands Motoring Festival, scheduled for June of 2020, was cancelled in May. At that time, the HMF organizing committee decided to stage a special event in September called “Mountain Motoring,” which was designed for social distancing. More than 100 people safely participated in two days of “One Lap of the Mountains” driving tours. The net proceeds amounted to $15,000, the sum that was shared among HMF charity partners.

Planning is already underway for the fourteenth annual Highlands Motoring Festival, to be held June 10-13, 2021, with seven different events spanning the four-day festival. For 2021 there will be added events with another day of driving tours and an awards gala. 

The 2021 featured marque is Purebloods d’Italia. There will be several classes of other classic cars including some special pre-WWII Packards and historic Porsches.

From May 11 through Aug. 21, 2021, the motoring festival will be collaborating with The Bascom Center of Visual Arts for a special exhibition, “FreeWheeling– the Allure of the Automobile in Contemporary Art” that features the work of top automotive artists including paper, canvas, and sculpture. Additionally, there will be a rotating display of extremely rare and special automobiles in the gallery.

For more information about the 2021 Highlands Motoring Festival, visit