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2014 Creative Choice Award Winners

Merchandising Category Winner
Best Public Service or Charitable Cause Event
"Wounded Warrior Car Show" 
Hogue's IGA
Bellevue, OH

June 15, 2013 (one-day event)

Hogue's Car Show

Description of the event

Hogue’s IGA storeowner Tracy Hogue has been hosting a car show for five years to celebrate Father’s Day, but recently she decided she wanted to make a bigger impact with a charity-focused event. Tracy was already supporting Wounded Warrior Project through the IGA Exclusive Brand summertime selling event where a portion of the cost of IGA Brand bottled water, hotdog and hamburger buns, and ice cream went to support Wounded Warrior Project, but she thought having a warrior-themed event would help draw-in more support for the cause. Since Bellevue, Ohio, is also home to a charity called Wounded Soldiers that helps local soldiers and their families after a soldier gets home from service, Tracy decided to pair both charities with her car show to create the ultimate patriotic cause marketing event.

Tracy got about 85 cars to participate in this year’s show. The cars were mostly classic cars and hot rods. Tracy charged each car $5 to register for the show, and all the proceeds went directly to the charities. She also sold hamburgers and hotdogs that her vendors donated to her, and the money from concessions also went to her charities. She sold 50/50 raffle tickets and other raffle tickets for prizes her vendors donated as well, like baseball tickets, food prize packs, and grills. Tracy also held a few specials inside the store.

Hundreds of people attended the car show, raising about $1000 that was split evenly between both charities.

Purpose of the event

Car shows are very popular in and around Bellevue, so Tracy wanted to host one that would raise proceeds that would go to a good cause. Increasing exposure for the Wounded Warrior sale already going on in her store was a great way to help, but she also wanted to do something to help locally. Adding the Wounded Soldiers tie-in allowed her to stay within the "warrior" theme and help families within her own community.

Steps taken to develop and execute the event

A few months before the event Tracy starts asking for donations from her vendors, lining up products and raffle prizes, and spreading the word to local car enthusiasts. Tracy went to car shows in the area leading up to her event to pass out flyers to get participants in other car shows to come to hers. At one of these car shows she ran across a man with an old IGA delivery truck, and after some finagling got him to park his truck in front of the store. Tracy got the local paper to come out and take a picture of the truck, and she used the images to promote her car show.

Tracy runs a couple specials in her store, mainly for water bottles and other picnic items, to drive some of the car show traffic into the store.

Success of the event

Tracy was very proud to be able to donate $500 to both the Wounded Warriors and Wounded Soldiers charities. Both charities had representatives present at the show to accept the donation, and they were extremely grateful. Everyone in the community who has been touched by the passing of a family member or friend in the armed services welcomes the opportunity like this to support. The event also helped raise awareness for the IGA Exclusive Brand Wounded Warrior sale, which led to increased product sales throughout the summer.