The 29th annual Sedalia DARE Car Show appeared to be a huge success on Saturday, as evidenced by the large car count and the awarding of two high school senior scholarships.

Terrific weather greeted car exhibitors in downtown Sedalia on the first Saturday in April, the traditional date for a car show founded by “Race Car” Bob Hiller nearly 30 years ago.

Hiller, who has suffered three strokes, appeared at Saturday's show at 2nd and Osage, along with his girlfriend Maybelle Koeller. The impressively colorful #31 DARE car was also on display at the event, at which all the proceeds go to the Sedalia Police Department's DARE program.

The program is the only one of its type in the US that offers scholarship money to high school students. “The City Council has never had to appropriate one dollar to this program,” Hiller told KSIS Saturday morning. “That's because of all we do here.”

Sacred Heart senior Alysia Marquez, 18, daughter of Dr. Henry and Angie Marquez, and Smith-Cotton senior Kelsey Sharp, 17, daughter of Troy and Keyla Sharp, both received a $500 scholarship check from the Sedala DARE program, personally presented to them by Hiller.

Both are former Sedalia DARE students. Marquez will be attending Mizzou this fall to study Journalism, while Sharp will be attending UCM this fall to study Elementary Education.

DARE Officer and Mentor Brad Beard noted that “we wanted to say thank you to the person who got everything going, to make sure everybody knew about DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education),” Beard said, adding that a customized bench was presented to Hiller at the opening ceremony.

Beard pointed out that while last year's car show raised around $7,000, Hiller raised a mere $200 for the cause 29 years ago. Beard estimated the car count at around 80 by 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Hiller got a little emotional when he mentioned to the crowd that the scholarship recipients are the reason he keeps going. “And I will be back,” Hiller promised.

In addition to the car show, there was a silent auction taking place inside the Municipal Building. Awards were presented at 2 p.m.

UPDATE: Maybelle Koeller announced on Friday, April 12, that a total of $9,563.64 was raised for the Sedalia DARE program at the event.

In the photo: From left, Sedalia Police Chief Matt Wirt, Sedalia Mayor John Kehde, Smith-Cotton senior Kelsey Sharp, 'Race Car' Bob Hiller, Sacred Heart senior Alysia Marquez, and Sedalia DARE Officer Rodney Collins.