By Don Lowe
A ‘monstrous’ Monster Truck Show is coming to Aurora, Mo early this month and while this event certainly should provide an opportunity for all those in attendance to enjoy ‘enormously’ exciting entertainment, what is likely to make it especially worthwhile is that funds generated will go to a tremendous organization.
Indeed, Peterson Outdoors Ministries and Lodge of Hope, a 501(c) nonprofit that’s focused on helping to provide hope, healing and restoration for veterans and their families, as well as those with disabilities and severe illnesses, is the beneficiary and Event Coordinator Bruce Vonier is ecstatic to make this worthy cause a priority.
Vonier explains, “I haven’t served my country in a military capacity. I have a stepson (Kreo Johnson) who is currently in the Army National Guard. This is my way of giving back to those that have served.”
As for the location of this Monster Truck Show, Vonier applauds the partnership with “The Aurora Maze at Adventure Farm” on their willingness to partner together and help make it possible for funding Peterson Outdoors Ministries while stating, “This venue had much of the logistical aspects covered (parking, ticket processing and an awesome family-friendly atmosphere).
“Our business (Sudsy Soap & Scents) has had a vendor booth during their ‘Corn Maze’ season the past three years, so we know each other well. As this is our first year, I felt it was important to have a strong support team. And “The Aurora Maze at Adventure Farm” brought us strong support.”
Of course, the ‘specialized off-road vehicles’ are a big deal and will get lots of attention, but Vonier emphasizes, “Each team has a purpose: They support veterans, first responders, autism, Mission 22 (provides treatment programs to veterans for post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries and other issues they might be facing), mental health awareness and children’s wellbeing.”
In getting things set up when this event was first being organized, Vonier remembered, “I worked, early on, with a production manager (Tim Howard). He’s been around the business 20-plus years.
“He knows the teams and I asked him to provide a combination of the best truck teams with a heart for a good cause.”
Regarding the competition, Vonier provided an overview of categories, while indicating “I’ve chosen awards for Best Trick, Best Freestyle, and a People’s Choice winner.
“The People’s Choice or ‘Crowd Favorite’ will encompass the truck and driver’s performance throughout the day, including the pit party, autographs, and photos, etc., along with overall performance during the truck show/competition.”
Vonier touched on the vital role that sponsors and other supporters play in stressing, “They are a must to help make an event successful. Large or small, each supporter is key to building community support, and I’m pleased with the support they’ve provided.”
While there are obviously a lot of folks who have helped make this happen, Vonier seemed particularly grateful to a specific group and raved that, “Tim Howard has provided the knowledge of the industry and connections to be able to put the Monster Truck Show together.
“Many team members from “The Aurora Maze at Adventure Farm” have provided assistance, and they will play a major role on the day of the events. At the Aurora Chamber of Commerce, Shannon Walker has been a huge help in pointing me to key people in the area and helping to promote the event.”
There are several activities surrounding the main attraction and Vonier highlighted one interesting aspect as being, “We have 1,000 frisbees that have been purchased, with 200 each by area businesses, to help promote and raise money for the event.
“I’ve taken frisbees to several events and had them signed by veterans and active-duty military members. I took some frisbees to the Missouri Veteran’s Home in Mt. Vernon, Mo to be signed by veterans that now live in the home.”
Vonier added that, “A special challenge will be issued to anyone that wants one of those frisbees. If they’ll commit to visiting the Veteran’s Home and will tag Peterson Outdoors Ministries in a social media post, I’ll give them tickets to next year’s event.”
The way Vonier sees it, this really is all about honoring those who gave so much of themselves for our country, and he emphasizes, “We really want folks to stop and appreciate the sacrifices that have been made.
“It’s not just a Monster Truck Show, it’s an event to celebrate and honor our armed forces and those that have served. It’s an event with a purpose. It’s going to be ‘A September to Remember.’”
Not surprisingly at all, for his part in all this, Vonier affirms that, “I’m humbled that I have the opportunity to give to those that have given so much. I know what Peterson Outdoors Ministries means to every person it’s reached.”
Aurora Monster Truck Show Fast Facts
What: Aurora Monster Truck Show / Fundraiser Peterson Outdoors Ministries
When: Gates open at 12 p.m. both days; Show begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 10 & 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 11
Where: The Aurora Maze at Adventure Farm in Aurora, Mo (20591 Lawrence 2200 Road)
Why: Raise funds for Peterson Outdoors Ministries and Lodge of Hope
Admission: $26 for Adults, and $10 for Children 5-12 at the Gate / Limited Trackside Bleacher Seating for $4 each
–The Veteran – Monster Ride Truck from Aurora, CO (Wilson Extreme Sports)
–Earthquake – Shaker Racing Monster Truck Team (Driver Alan Fenstermaker)
–Bear Foot & Monster Patrol – Both trucks owned by Phelps Motorsports based out of Paradise, Texas (Drivers Mike Phelps & Clint Wilson)
–Dysfunctional & Super Trooper – (Owner & Driver of both trucks is Vern House from Florida)
–The Watchman & Guardian Angel – Both trucks are with The Watchman Racing Team (Owners & Drivers Larry & Stacie Overman from Tennessee)
–Patriotic Theme on 9/11 with representation from all branches of the military as well as recruiting booths, plus interactive games in booths & equipment on site
–Jeep vs. Bronco Show – Ride & Shine / Saturday (Judged by monster Truck Drivers & People’s Choice Award
–Fun Run with Trucks, Jeeps, Broncos & Side-by-Sides (2 laps on the track) / Saturday (Limited to 20 entries. Top 4 times go the finals)
–Class Car & Truck Show / Sunday (People’s Choice Award & Biggest Club Turnout Award with Judging by Military Personnel)
Raffle Grand Prize:
Marionville Powersports & Jimmy Michel Motors 2021 CForce 400cc 4-Wheeler (Tickets are $20 each/6 tickets for $100) Note: Tickets give you a chance at all 5 prizes
MX4 Bed Cover – Truck Hero / $200+ Meat Bundle – Legacy Meats / $250 Certificate – A1 Automotive Machine / $200 Certificate – Town & Country Power Center
Area Sponsors & Supporters: Weiser Tent Service • Marionville Powersports • Jimmy Mitchell Motors • Kay Concrete • Aurora Advertiser • Sudsy Soap & Scents • Truck Hero • Ozark Fence & Supply Co. • Eagle Broadcasting • City of Aurora • SoMo Ag Supply • Orscheln Farm & Home Corp. • Jim Carr Oil Co. • Main Street Feeds • Vance Chiropractic Clinic • A-1 Automotive Machine • Legacy Meats • O’Reilly Auto • Freedom Bank • R&R Auto Salvage • Town & Country Power Center • Meadows I-44 Truck & Auto Parts • Lance’s Truck & Trailer Repair • Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts • Vaughn’s Excavation • Sancrest Trailer Sales • Stein & Sons Trucking • Rebel Recycling & Payless Auto Salvage • Sherwin Williams Paint/Monett • Hillhouse Services