Community Support



One of the Over the Road Gang’s major goals as a non-profit agency is to use a substantial portion of our revenue to provide scholarships for local high school seniors who wish to further their education in an automotive-related field.

Applications are available on this site as well as at Ottawa High School, West Franklin High School and Central Heights High School. All Franklin County seniors are eligible to apply as long as they will be enrolling in automotive-related courses after they graduate. Enrollment information is required before funding is released to those students chosen by our scholarship committee.

Unlike many other scholarship offerings, our scholarships are not merely awarded for high GPAs and community service. Good attendance, average grades, hard work and a true interest in a career in the automotive field are what we look at first. Please take the time to complete an application if you are interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry.

For scholarship information click here and complete the application or contact us via the email form here.


Donation Recipients

The Over the Road Gang is a non-profit organization. We thought you might be interested to know what is done with the profits we receive from our annual car show. The following are organizations that our club has donated to in the recent past

The Franklin County Cancer Foundation, Inc.

The Franklin County Cancer Foundation is a non-profit organization that was formed in the spring of 1998 to aid active cancer patients in Franklin County, Kansas. They are a group of community volunteers who help in many ways that other cancer groups do not. They operate with less red tape and more compassion. With the combined effort of the Franklin County community, they work to make life a little easier for local residents as they and their families cope with cancer. They are in continuous need for volunteers and donations to help them make a difference.

Several of our club members and their loved ones have personally benefitted from the kindness and compassion of the Franklin County Cancer Foundation. Our club has donated to this cause for many years. In addition, we often donate one half of our 50-50 pot contributions as well. We appreciate all they do for our community.

The Franklin County Diabetes Association

Our involvement with this organization began at the request of a past member who deals with diabetes on a daily basis. We annually contribute to this worthwhile organization.

Lake Region Resource Conservation and Development Program:

Lake Region RC&D is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization serving Franklin, Anderson, Coffey, Linn, Miami and Osage counties in Kansas. All projects and programs are funded through grants and donations. The program’s mission is to plan and initiate leadership and education to assist communities to develop local goals and objectives for managing economic growth improving quality of land, water, and life. The organization is creating a better environment for attracting industry, increasing recreation opportunities and beautifying the countryside within Lake Region.

The Lake Region RC&D collects broken and unwanted bikes, then takes then to the Ellsworth Correction Facility to be refurbished.  The refurbished bikes are adopted by deserving children within the six counties served by the Lake Region RC&D

When faced with severe budget cuts, the RC&D found themselves in need of assistance. Our club was honored to help out. We have been very happy to also be involved with the adopt-a-bike program that provides refurbished bicycles and safety gear to regional children.

Franklin County Shriners

The Shriners are best known for their work with Hospitals for Children which are a network of 22 medical facilities across North America. Children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay. 99% of all money raised by the Shriners goes directly to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

One of the local group’s largest annual fund raising events is the sale of foot long polish sausages at the Ol’ Marais River Run. Not only does the group staff a food booth all weekend, they also drive the park shuttle all weekend at the show. Several children from our area have directly benefited from the help of this organization. It is the club’s pleasure to provide support for this wonderful organization.

Franklin County’s Got Talent

Show performers of all ages join the fun to benefit the Franklin County Habitat for Humanity. Dancers and musicians of all ages perform acts to pop, country, punk and classical music. Winners are determined by the total of the judge’s votes as well as the amount of money collected by the individuals when the evening’s activities end.

Over the Road Gang members not only enjoy attending this event but are very proud of our youngest member who was the winner of Franklin County’s got Talent in 2010. If you have attended our show in past years, you may have heard Jenna Moore sing the national anthem.

Ottawa’s 150th Birthday Celebration

The origins of a community are important. Ottawa’s Sesquicentennial celebration was an opportunity to celebrate the character of the brave men and women who formed the foundation on which our city was built. The year long celebration involved many organizations and groups who committed to a jam-packed year of celebration. The city’s Charter Day anniversary was September 6, 2014. The past 150 years have been filled with challenges and successes — events that gave the community character and strength — and it all started with the settlers whose tenacity and vision literally paved the way for the rest of us along the Marais des Cygnes River.

To celebrate this event, the ORG donated funds and worked many hours on planning committees. Several members helped at the actual even and hosted a car show during the event. The name of our car show, the Ol’ Marais River Run, was chosen to honor the Marais des Cygnes River (the marshes of swans).

Toys for Kids Ride

The annual Toys for Kids Ride provides toys for 400 to 500 youths in Ottawa and Franklin County each year. The event begins with a chili appreciation feed at the Eagles Lodge. It is followed by a ride/parade down Ottawa’s Main Street to Forest Park where bikers deliver donated toys to an ECKAN representative. Later, bikers travel to the 700 Club in Pomona for an auction to raise more money to purchase toys.

The car club has donated annually to this cause for many years to help local children have a merry Christmas. Several members look forward to joining the ride every year.

The Ottawa Police Foundation

The Ottawa Police Foundation (OPF) exists to promote public safety by supporting and providing additional resources for community outreach programs, for advanced professional development of Ottawa’s law enforcement members, acquisition of advanced technology to improve crime fighting, and by creating community partnerships that encourage citizen participation to enhance the safety of Ottawa. Their mission is “to raise awareness and community support for the Ottawa Police Department”.

The Over the Road Gang greatly appreciates the support received from the Ottawa Police Department during the Ol’ Marais River Run and cruise night. Having a top-notch family event and keeping our participants and spectators safe are our highest priority. Our donation to OPF is one small way to thank the department for all of the extra work they put in to help our event happen each year.

Raggedy Ann and Andy’s Closet

The store is located at 424B South Main Street in Ottawa and is owned by Tammy Rhoades.

Each year, Tammy organizes a clothing drive to provide children in need with three new outfits so they can return to school in January with new clothing. This year, club members adopted a family with five children and provided three new outfits for each of the children for Christmas. We hope we helped make their Christmas an enjoyable one!


2014 – Community Builder Award goes to the Over the Road Gang, Inc.

IMG_3965The Community Builder Award recognizes Chamber members who play an active role in the community. Guidelines for nominees for the Community Builder Award are as follows:

NOMINATED BY: Blaine Finch: Green, Finch & Covington, Chtd.

The Over the Road Gang, Inc., is a most deserving applicant for the Community Builder Award.  The “car club” as they are commonly known is a current chamber member, have been around nearly thirty years and I can think of few organizations that take a more active role in the community and do more to promote a positive image of Ottawa all across the United States.

First, the Over the Road Gang puts on the single largest event in Franklin County.  With nearly 2,000 cars last year and crowds of more than 10,000 in Forest Park and downtown Ottawa, no other group comes close to matching the number of participants, visitors, shoppers brought to Ottawa.  The annual Ol’ Marais River Run has become the signature event for this community and has brought notoriety and acclaim to Ottawa. It is one of the largest car shows of its kind and draws participants from both coasts and from thousands of miles away.  

Second, the Over the Road Gang does not just put on a world class event. They use the proceeds they earn to reinvest in our community’s young people by giving away scholarships.  They also reinvest in our community’s facilities. They were a critical part of assembling the partnership to install a speaker system downtown and they annual spend money on improvements to Forest Park.  Those improvements make many other community events better and provide year round benefits for the community at large. They also work with local not for profit groups to help them turn the car show into a fundraiser for their interests, including local 4-H clubs that make money off of parking and several groups that help with vending and watching gates in exchange for help from the gang.

Finally, the Over the Road Gang is committed to being good stewards of the community.  They pride themselves on staying downtown after the cruise night to clean up and more than one person has remarked “You can’t even tell there was an event here last night,” when they complete the cruise night or car show.  This coupled with over 25 years of improvements to downtown, Forest Park, and the education of many young people, is indicative of their desire to leave it better than they found it in every way. 

For their efforts in putting on a world class car show, using the money they raise to make the community better, and for modeling a selfless spirit of community stewardship, the Over the Road Gang is one of our greatest community builders.