Following the success of its 10th annual School Supply Drive Car and Bike Show in September, Ball Metal & Sonoma Raceway are visiting eight Solano County schools to bring trucks full of paper, pens, spiral and composition notebooks and more.

Just before noon on Feb 16., students at Eugene Padan Elementary and Hemlock Elementary were gearing up for the long weekend when the supply delivery caused an excited stir around campus. As they pulled up to Padan, teachers and students stood out front to receive the large boxes of supplies and take photos, gratefully surveying the assortment of supplies.

Every year, Ball Metal receives two teacher needs and two student needs from each school which helps make the delivery unique to each school For Padan, that included a goal post for the soccer field, set to be delivered next week.

“There’s a lot of passion for the community,” said Brandon Thornton, the facilitator behind today’s donations. “We had over 320 cars and motorcycles show up last year, after only planning for 300. The year before we had 240,” he said, adding that the first ever car show was a barbecue with only 15 cars present.

Not only did the 2023 show see their highest attendance yet, but it also included a brand new partnership with Sonoma Raceway who donated 250 backpacks to the cause. Through this partnership, Ball Metal was able to raffle off donated race tickets, which was crucial in helping secure the goal post for Padan this year.

Sierra Sandusky from Sonoma Raceway joined Thornton and Elizabeth Ennenga for the delivery, handing out miniature race cars to the classrooms. Students clapped and cheered at the gift, eagerly responding when asked if they liked loud cars.

Perhaps an even bigger surprise was the Amazon gift cards Thornton and Ennenga gifted to the teachers to help with their individual supply lists. Touched by the presents, the teachers expressed their gratitude with hugs.

While it’s harder for the younger kids to understand where these supplies are coming from, Thornton explained the reward comes from the reaction. “I’ve seen kids cry when we bring backpacks full of stuff to donate because they don’t have backpacks,” Thornton said.

As one of the schools with the top needs, Padan has established a strong relationship with the annual car show , shared and promoted through newsletters to the student’s families.

Before continuing their drop-off route across town at Hemlock Elementary, Thornton, Ennenga and Sandusky made one more stop on campus to deliver an Amazon gift card to Mr. P, the school’s custodian who was busily sorting through the supplies. Mr. P hugged the group, grateful for the show of appreciation.

After visiting schools across Fairfield and Vacaville today, Ball Metal will continue their donation drop-off in the coming weeks to Dixon and Vallejo schools.

Donations from last year’s show yielded over 10,000 crayons and more than 8,000 pencils, allowing more students to benefit from Ball Metal’s commitment to the community.