Rex Gardener, founder and director of the Vintage Car Rally Association, Inc. headquartered in Grove, along with co-founders Charlie McKinney, Vic Thompson and Rex’s grandson Justyce Gardner, presented a check for $42,638 to the Autism Society of America at a December 3rd meeting with ASA officials.

ASA VP of Business Development Gordon Lavigne accepted the donation on behalf of the ASA.

The proceeds represented funding raised at the VCRA National Hemmings Challenge Vintage Car Rally held in Springfield, MO. Three other regional events in Missouri, Nebraska and Tennessee also contributed funds to the donation. Charity auctions held by the Branson Collector Car Club owners Jim and Kathy Cox also added monies to the contribution.

Through a special foundation called “Matching Funds” the amount of money donated by the VCRA will be doubled bringing the total to over $85,000.

A portion of the VCRA donation, $7,500, was earmarked to go directly to the local Heartland Chapter of ASA that does work to help children in the immediate Delaware County area.

Today, one out of every 150 children is diagnosed with autism. All donations to ASA go to research, awareness, special education, and adulthood preperation.

The VCRA was formed in 2006 and since that time has made possible donations of over $180,000. For more information go to