CHANNAHON – If you organize it, they will come. And people did come as the rain held off Saturday for the eighth annual Cruisin for Logan car show. This event captured the hearts of many as 36 cars were lined up at the Channahon United Methodist Church.
The Cruisin for Logan car show began when Logan Burgess was three years old. After Logan was tested for autism, his parents, Tom and Amie Burgess, found out that their insurance did not cover his therapy. On the brink of financial difficulties, Logan’s grandfather, "Papa Jim," who is a car show enthusiast, thought about having a car show to raise money for Logan’s therapy.
Until Logan was four-years old, he was non-verbal.
Because the Burgess’ insurance does not cover the costs of Logan’s therapy, all the money came out of their pocket. The donated raffle baskets, 50/50 raffle, and car show entrance fees all help towards Logan’s year-long therapy.
“A guy who comes to the car show every year sent a check to purchase items for baskets,” Amie said.
Forty baskets were donated by family, friends, co-workers, and local businesses.
“Many look forward to the baskets each year, “ Amie said.
The raffle baskets were lined on tables ranging from coach purses to restaurant gift cards. Each basket had a number with a description of the items inside the basket. Despite the weather, there was still a good turnout for the event.
Sporting an autism awareness shirt along with a Spiderman sweatshirt, Logan walked around the cars choosing his favorite. Every year Logan gets to choose his favorite car and present it with the "Logan’s Choice Award." No one knows until the presentation which car Logan will choose. However, some of the car owners like to sway Logan by giving out beads or little cars, having him sit in the car, - or even having a helmet representing Bumblebee from the Transformers movies - to sway his judgement.
No matter what car Logan chooses, everyone is there to support him.
When Logan was three, he was unable to speak to show which car he liked. His parents watched Logan to see which car he kept going back to indicated which one was his favorite. He was non-verbal until he was almost five-years old.
With his therapy, Logan is now verbal, he has learned to utilize coping skills that he has learned, and with his social groups, he loves to sing.
One couple has come out to the car show every year since it began. Don and Ellen Guinup of Joliet sat enjoying the weather supporting Logan and his family.
“We are here for Logan. I would have come today even if it rained,” said Ellen.
“It’s not about the trophy. It’s for the support towards Logan,” said Don Guinup. They have attended all eight years and will continue to do so in the future, they said.
“Now, after eight years, a lot of the car guys we consider our friends and family. A thank you will never be enough for 'strangers' helping us to help Logan,” said Amie Burgess.
An account is set up through Chase bank in Joliet for his medical fund. If you would like to donate, you can go to any Chase bank and donate to Cruisin for Logan.