Back for the first time since it reignited a cruising tradition last month, Rock the Block in the ‘Boro returns to Hillsboro from 6-10 p.m. Saturday.
There will be a couple changes this month. Because the middle of town was bottlenecked during the inaugural event, the route is being enlarged. The event will also serve as a fundraiser for local charities.
“It’s looking to be a big one, and we want to help some local charities as much as we can,” said Dan Holsinger, one of several organizers of the event. “Show up, bring some food, bottled water, anything and everything that won’t go bad, we’ll take it.”
The new route will still incorporate the 100 blocks of South High Street, West Main Street, South West Street and Walnut Street. But as cruisers head north on North High Street, Holsinger said they are asking participants to continue out North High Street to the North High Business Center just north of Jerry Haag Motors.
“There will be signs up directing people where to go, and there will be cones in the business center parking lot where people can loop around, come back up North High, do a lap around the old block, and then head back out North High again. That way we won’t have the town gridlocked,” Holsinger said.
Starting around 5 p.m. at Holtfield Station on South High Street, Holsinger and others will be collecting donations of food, other non-perishable items, and money. He said that due to an anonymous donation, event T-shirts will be given away to some of those making donations. The donated items will go to New Life Church and Ministries that Holsinger said gives away around 126,000 pounds of food to more than 700 families each Friday.
He said the driving force behind the church’s food ministry is his landlord, Bill Bowman, a minister at the church.
“They’re backed up to my house every Friday,” Holsinger said. “It just touches me, so I want to give something back to him.”
But the church will not be the only charitable organization benefiting from the cruising event. There will be a raffle to benefit Hope For Highland County and the Highland County Humane Shelter. And T-shirts are being sold to raise money for possibly other organizations. There are three styles of T-shirts that cost about $25 for one or $40 for two (XXL sizes and up are more). About 50 have been preordered, and others will be on sale until around 10 p.m. Saturday at The Design Chambers, 126 S. High St., Hillsboro. Pictures of the shirts can be viewed on the “Bring Cruisin’ back to Uptown Hillsboro” Facebook page, where orders can also be placed.
“The more we sell the more we can help people who need it,” Holsinger said.
The organization has already raised about $4,000, according to Holsinger, and all money raised is going back to the community. He said that later in the year, some of the money may be used to buy Christmas toys for local children.
The next cruising event will be held Saturday, July 11. Holsinger said it may include a car show and a 50/50 raffle.
There are many others besides himself, Holsinger said, that deserve credit for the event and the good it is doing.
“I’m just kind of like — it just happened to go through me,” he said. “I want the community to know it’s the community doing it. If there wasn’t so many people behind me, pushing me, I would have given up long ago.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.