The Gila River Resorts & Casinos Concours in the Hills, presented by Matson Money, took place on February 4. From drivers to pilots, parachutes to puppy paws, this event had a wide range of attractions — and it smashed its previous record by raising $485,898 and counting through sponsorships, registration, food vendors, donations and donated services.
Some of the cars on display included a LaFerrari, Aston Martin One-77, Cord 812 SC Convertible Coupe, a Ford GT Le Mans race car and many more. In total, there were over 70 Ferraris, 35 race cars, and seven military helicopters.
When the event began in 2014, there were 220 cars and 3,000 spectators. This year, there were approximately 50,000 spectators, featuring 1,200 vehicles and more than 100 vendor and sponsor booths.
This year, as the cars were rolling into the park, four members of the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, The Leap Frogs, parachuted out of the sky. They flew into the event trailing an American flag surrounded by red, white and blue smoke. Concours in the Hills’ opening presentation included a missing man air performance by the Mesa-based pilot group, The Falcon Warbirds. The official opening of the event wrapped up with a check presentation to Phoenix Children’s for $470,000. With donations gained through the day the total was brought up to $485,898 and counting which will go directly to children in need of life-saving medical services.
There were five award categories at Concours in the Hills: Best Domestic, Import, Race Car, Car Club Display and Best of Show. A 1970 Plymouth Superbird won Best Domestic and a 1973 Mazda Rx2 won Best Import. A 1967 Watson Indy Roadster won Best Race Car, an MG Car Club won Best Car Club and a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB won Best of Show.
“The support for this show from the community and sponsors is overwhelming,” said Peter Volny, creator of Concours in the Hills. “We in the car community are honored to be able to make this donation to Phoenix Children’s, where we can make a true positive impact on the lives of children.”
This marks the last year that Volny led the event, which is one of the largest car shows in the world. He gifted the auto show to Phoenix Children’s, and from now on, the hospital will be planning this annual, strictly for charity event with the help of its auxiliary group, PCH50. The group, also known as “The Fifty,” has a mission to harness the energy, enthusiasm and experience of 50 driven community leaders as the next generation of supporters of Phoenix Children’s.
“This year will be hard to beat,” said Dr. Kris Birkeland, a member of PCH50. “But I know that Phoenix Children’s and the PCH50 will continue to grow the impressive legacy that Peter has created with this event. We look forward to the community seeing what we can do at Concours in the Hills 2024.”
This event would not be possible without the generosity of sponsors, such as Gila River Resorts & Casinos, Valley Buick GMC Dealers, Matson Money, CuraFin Advisors & TMD Wealth Management, Discount Tires, Lucid Motors and Penske Automall.
Images: Rob Mains Photography