Two dogs on in Halloween costumes

Furry Friends Pet Relief Hosts Halloween Fundraiser in Antioch

Two dogs on in Halloween costumes

Mutts Hank and Ernie head from their costume contest to the pin-up girl competition in their holiday getups on Saturday in Antioch.

Story and photos by Joe Porrello

Residents gathered for a Halloween celebration featuring multiple contests on a picture perfect day on Saturday in Antioch.


Holding the fundraising event was Furry Friends Pet Relief, a nonprofit that helps people in need take care of their animals.


FFPR began holding the event, now in its ninth year, as a festive car show competition, but Saturday’s version additionally featured costume contests for kids, dogs and people dressed as vintage pin-up girls.


“It’s kind of grown throughout the years, but there’s always over 100 cars,” said Furry Friends founder Erin Pina. “It’s great. Things move pretty seamlessly now.”


People could register their cars for competition for $30 online or in-person for $35 and vendors rented booths to sell their products and services. All the proceeds went toward the goal of lessening animal shelter overpopulation.


Fifteen trophies were handed out for different categories of the Hot Rods 4 Paws car contest, including best in show, people’s choice and best decorated trunk.


The event also featured a trunk-or-treat for children, with most cars in the competition having candy bowls; employees of businesses on West 2nd Street were outside giving out Halloween treats as well. 


Car show contestant Ken Lewis has been a part of the event before, and said its new location in  downtown Rivertown is an upgrade from the previous location in a shopping center parking lot.


Cars in the contest were rated on a scale of 1-10 for different criteria like cleanliness of the body and engine, interior and overall presentation.


Troy Schennek has been attending car shows for 30 years, but Saturday was his first time being one of five judges for the competition.


“I think it’s a great event and great for the local area. I mean look at all the people: They’re all over the place,” he said. “It’s a good cause, and who doesn’t love dogs and cats?”


FFPR offers low-cost spay and neutering, vaccinations, dental work, and basic medical care; its services are free to veterans and unhoused people. Leashes, collars and bedding can also be provided by FFPR to those who cannot afford them.

Car show contestant Michael Simpson said more similar events should be held locally to raise funds and for community enjoyment, and that car shows are a good way to start a passion for children.


Lewis said he uses his car as a project to work on with his son — who is now into hot rods himself — and that he’s looking forward to coming back next year.


Pina said she’s excited for the 10th installment.

“We’re thinking of other things we can do to make it bigger and better,” she said.

FFPR is always in need of volunteers and donations, and has an Amazon wishlist on its website for those looking to get involved.

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