FLINT, MI – Flint surgeon Dr. Bobby Mukkamala has hosted the Cars & Bars fundraiser for the Sloan Museum and Flint Institute of Arts for the past three years. This year, the event is virtual and focuses on the often-surprising stories surrounding his vast car collection.
“I want people to have fun and enjoy themselves, and see the car collection they might have heard about from friends,” says Mukkamala. “Each car has a story as to why I was attracted to it and the stories are entertaining. For example, you’ll hear about how I ended up with the 1986 Ferrari Testarossa that Sonny Crockett drove in the popular 1980s TV series Miami Vice.”
The annual Cars & Bars event (cleverly named because of the vast collection of cars at the Sloan Museum and the bars in written music…for the Flint Institute of Music) is one of the most popular fundraisers for the two cultural institutions. Dr. Mukkamala came up with the concept after several people offered to pay him to see his automobile collection. He decided the money would be better spent at two of his favorite places growing up.
“The Sloan Museum and the Flint Institute of Music offer our community so much to experience. I remember going to these institutions growing up. When we take out-of-town guests for tours they are amazed at the caliber of what exists in our backyard.”
The proceeds from Cars & Bars benefit the Sloan Museum and Flint Institute of Music’s programs, engaging future generations in STEM, history and the performing arts.
“This is a very important fundraising event for us, especially this year,” says Rodney Lontine, Flint Institute of Music CEO. “The money really makes a difference for both of our organizations’ programming so we can offer more educational opportunities to our youth. Bobby really brings a unique twist that we know our patrons enjoy. He is a cheerleader extraordinaire for anything that improves the quality of life in Flint.”
Sloan Museum’s Executive Director, Todd Slisher, added that the partnership with FIM and the type of event make perfect sense.
“Our automotive collection totals 100 vehicles, 30 of which are on display. Flint is a car town, and we showcase some of the best of what’s been built here over the years. Put that together with FIM’s vast performing arts programming, and you have an opportunity to support some of the best of what our community is known for,” he explains.
Popular radio DJ Lisa Marie from CARS 108 is joining Dr. Mukkamala as guest host for the virtual storytelling experience.
“Lisa and I will be walking through my garage and having a dialog the entire time. Anytime anyone logs into the event, they will have an opportunity to ask questions and be part of it. I also expect to get a lot of out-of-town guests logging into the event, including a few celebrities. It’s going to be fun for everyone.”
Cars & Bars is sponsored by Applegate Chevrolet, Victor and Inga Rabinkov, the Victor Victor Foundation, The View Newspaper Group, and Eric McCormick, Lawyer.