Beehive Drive stuns Helper crowd
Helper's historic Main Street was blocked off Tuesday afternoon as a fleet of exotic sports cars rolled into Carbon County. The group led by Larry H. Miller's eldest son Greg stopped to make a sizable donation and to conduct the second stop in the 2014 Beehive Drive.
The Beehive Drive is a week long charitable drive for Utah that runs from Miller Motorsports Park through the state, making stops that include Moab, Blanding, Fairview and Helper. Participants from all across the country have the opportunity to showcase their rare and limited production cars while driving through rural Utah. The drive is escorted by the Utah Highway Patrol, who are commissioned for this event.
The drive was created by Larry H. Miller in 2006 as a way to raise money for several charitable organizations while showing off the beauty of Utah. According to event spokesperson Sara Waldman, one of the event's featured charitable causes is the Honoring Heroes Foundation which provides funding to the families of law enforcement officers who were either killed or injured in the line of duty.
To showcase the drive's relationship with Utah law enforcement, the Utah Highway Patrol follows the drive and is highly visible during the event's stops. Waldman stated that the officers were paid for their time through the drive's accounts and that tax payers were not burdened by their participation in the event.
In addition to their law enforcement efforts, the non-profit Beehive Drive also makes contributions to students through educational grants. The organization provides funding to approximately 40 Utah students each year to finance a trip to Washington D.C. on a history and educational tour.
Over eight years, participants and sponsors have raised more than $1.6 million all told providing funding to Utah communities and other non-profit organizations.
On Tuesday, the cadre of drivers stopped in Helper just after 12:30 p.m. to share lunch with local residents, present their vehicles, and participate in a check presentation to Helper Mayor Ed Chavez.
After enjoying a lunch provided by Marsha's Sammich Shop, Chavez was presented with two checks for $2,000 a piece by event organizer and chairperson Greg Miller. The money is designated for city improvement, said Waldman, who also noted that Helper had received between $2,000 - $3,000 from the organization during past Beehive Drives.
Of the vehicles participating in the 2014 event, the 2008 Chrome wrapped Lamborghini Mercielago driven by Jacob Kingston stood out among the decidedly high class group that stopped in Helper.
According to Kingston, the vehicle was a gift. A gift that keeps on giving. As a major Utah Jazz sponsor, Kingston was approached by Miller and decided to participate in the drive.
While the Mercielago's chrome finish grabs at the eyes, the fleet of cars included limited edition and custom Jaguars, Lamborghinis, Audi's, Porche's and even some limited production American cars.
The drive kicked off on July 27 and will conclude on July 31 with a gala event at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake. Both the gala party and Octane Party are open to the public.