The Toys for Tots Show and Shine car show and donation event raised a little bit more than $500 from raffle tickets and filled no less than 13 overflowing boxes with toys on Dec. 11 at the Elks Lodge in Rio Rancho.

Toys for Tots boxes are backed beside a 1967 Chevrolet Nova in the Elks Lodge parking lot. (Michaela Helean)

“We do 150 events each year for this, but this (event) is my favorite because of the heart that goes into the cause,” Marine veteran Paul Caputo said.

Caputo dedicates most of his time to the cause. He mentioned the many families in northern NM who suffered from the fires earlier this year.

“Those families need all the help they can get when it comes to their kids,” he said.

New Mexico Motor Events, a sponsor of the event and organizer of the car show, puts the event on every year. This year was the 16th to take place.

There were plenty of cars in the show that ranged from classic to import to a firetruck.

Michael Gonzales, who runs the group, said he loves doing this event because of all the excitement and heart that goes into it.

But he also gets excited for the wing eating contest. This year, organizers decided to use a mild sauce instead of spicy because of a few health issues last year. They also waited an extra 15 minutes for cool-down time for the same reason.

The contest was intense, with people around the bar and seating area cheering on the contestants.

The evening ended on a good note, as people achieved more than necessary with the Toys for Tots.