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Mechanics, technicians give back to community at second annual CarFest

Event takes place April 1-2 at Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO – The Freeman Coliseum will be host to the second annual CarFest, a weekend designed for car enthusiasts. Some of the top mechanics and technicians from around San Antonio will be there to answer questions, put on demonstrations, and give away 10 cars.

What is really special about the weekend is that mechanics and technicians from all over town will be there working on 25 cars for various charities.

Willie Mitchell is the Chairman of the Board of 'Fighting Back'. It is an organization based on the East Side that helps members of the community in a variety of different ways. They do HIV testing, work with formerly incarcerated people, and help keep youth on the straight and narrow.

"We do a lot of things to help people change their lifestyles so they can become more productive citizens," Mitchell said.

One of the tools they need to 'fight back' is a vehicle.

"Sometimes they don't have a way to get to a job, sometimes they don't have a way to get to food that they need," Mitchell said." Or they don't have a way to get to the hospital."

There are a number of different reasons Mitchell's organization needs a vehicle that runs and is safe.

This is where 'CarFest' comes in. Various car shop garages from around town supply mechanics and technicians to help make repairs on the vehicles. It also gives up and coming mechanics from different trade schools a chance to get some hands on experience.

"Our theme is 'Unity in the Community', said Gary Pundt, who is the Owner of Alamo Heights Garage."We help people get to where they need to go and without a car they cant get there."

The repairs can be anything from a fuel tank to breaks to engine work. They make sure the car runs and runs safely.

"We're just going through these cars front to back to make sure they are safe, reliable and dependable for these folks who desperately need it," Pundt said.

"When you take it to them they don't say yes or no they just figure out how they can fix it and they do everyrthing they can to fix that vehicle for you," Mitchell said.

Pundt said having these mechanics and technicians work on the cars in front of people shows a different side to the guys other than just car mechanics. It shows them being an intregral part of the community.

"Hearing some testimonies from some of the people we helped last year will literally bring you to tears, just what it means to them," Pundt said."For them to have a car that is dependable and starts when it needs to start is really heart warming, makes you feel good as a person."

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