Scott Britz, pictured with his parents, was just 23 years old when he lost his father Edward to heart disease. Scott and his brother had always participated in car shows, a passion they inherited from their dad. When Scott decided to honor his father’s memory, he chose to celebrate their love for car shows. Four years ago, Tacoma, Washington’s Hot Rods 4 Hearts came to be.
Scott donates 100 percent of the proceeds from the yearly event to the American Heart Association. Starting out with 41 cars and $1,300 proceeds, he has built Hot Rods 4 Hearts into an event featuring 120 cars that earned almost $4,000 for the association this year.
He wanted the event to be different from other car shows. Not only had he lost his father to heart disease, his nephew died from congenital heart disease when he was only 10 days old. Scott wanted his event to be a family-friendly one. “Usually there aren’t many kids at car shows,” Scott explains, “When someone’s competing with their $150,000 antique car, they’re afraid the little kids will be all over them.”
He added fun activities to keep little hands busy while adults viewed the cars. Every year, the event evolves. This year, a local produce market donated cases of bananas and apples, a gymnastics team came to perform their routine for guests, and local heart survivor Roy Teeter distributed trophies to competition winners. Next year Scott hopes to add a ceremony to honor first responders and veterans.
The car show has gone from a one-day event to a year-long process. Scott begins in January with friends, family and neighbors all pitching in to help remember his dad. His sincerity and devotion seem to be contagious. Friends created a Facebook page and produce a yearly video to celebrate the successful event. Scott was interviewed this year by local media Q13 Fox News and South Sound Talk. He sees the same families coming back year after year, and among them are a lot of heart survivors. Hot Rods 4 Heart has raised over $12,000 for the American Heart Association since its inception.
“I love honoring my Dad. I’m happy to be raising funds for the American Heart Association. But, it also makes me happy just to see people have a good time,” Scott says. Scott is pictured with (left to right) his brother Ed, sister Peggy and their mother Carol.