It's his first time at the helm of Langley's single largest community event of the year.
Eric Taylor is president of Langley Good Times Cruise-In, and in the days leading up to the annual charity car show, he said sleep is evading him, while his staff jokingly say they don't recognize him because he's been at work so seldom lately.
All of his time - like that of the other "devoted" directors - has been consumed with preparations for Cruise-In.
The Cruise-In is an annual family-oriented event held in downtown Langley. This year's charity car show is being held Saturday, Sept. 7, from 9 a.m. to roughly 6 p.m. and it is expected to host more than 700 classic, custom, and vintage automobiles and upwards of 100,000 guests have been known to attend the show.
"We have an excellent board of directors who have all sorts of skills and knowledge, which collectively lead to a great show..." he said.
"And these board members have been working day and night to get it done and to make it better than last year," he said, still in awe of all that's involved in making the event happen.
"This is my first year as president, and my eyes have been opened wide to the amount of work to pull off this show," Taylor said, feeling a little fatigued just a few days ahead.
He's not the only new face on the board, noting there a few other new directors. And with new people comes new ideas.
Admittedly, he said there have been some small changes to this year's show, but not much that will impact the public greatly.
Changes have included updating the website, adding a new membership program, garnering new sponsorship, and collecting donations on-site.
While admission continues to be free, the Cruise-In committee has partnered with the Salvation Army this year, in hopes of collecting cash from the crowd. "We hope that people understand that the Cruise-in is a charity event. All funds raised go to
local charities," Taylor said.
Sponsors and vendor fees cover all the costs that go in to putting on the show, he explained. Then part of the sponsorship money, along with all dollars garnered from car registration - and now donations - go back to the community in the form of donations. Taylor wants to see those donations increase, and hopes working with the Salvation Army will bring that about.
"Our experiment with the Salvation Army is just the common sense approach being taken. The Salvation Army has a system to give large groups of people the opportunity to donate to their cause, but the Salvation Army is dependent on people gathering together. The Langley Cruise-In attracts an enormous crowd, and we have never had a system of asking people for a donation," Taylor said. He elaborated that a loonie from each patron would help Cruise-In charities greatly.
In addition to the thousands raised for local service groups and charity organizations each year, Taylor said Cruise-In once again expected to make a significant infusion into the local economy.
"For a one-day event to bring in $6 million (in economic spinoff) is pretty impressive," he said of the estimated impact.
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