Car show cooks up support for CHEER’s new kitchen


GEORGETOWN — Champagne brunch was served.

Fundraising support from car lovers will help CHEER Inc. feed its ever-growing need to meet nutritional demands of home-bound seniors in Sussex County.

The nonprofit’s capital campaign for a new, modern kitchen facility at the CHEER Community Center was bolstered Saturday with the 8th Annual Car, Bike & Truck Show.

“CHEER prepares 1,700 meals a day to feed senior citizens around all of Sussex County,’ said CHEER Executive Director Ken Bock. “We do that in an old obsolete kitchen that is undersized with equipment that we are holding together with parts that come from e-Bay in some cases. What you are doing today is so very important to us, in helping us cook for and feed senior citizens in Sussex County.”

The current kitchen is based in the Thurman Adams State Service Center in Georgetown.

“We did 345,000 meals across Sussex County last year and our numbers are continuing to increase,” said Florence Mason, CHEER’s Nutrition Services Supervisor. “As the government has taken away prescription plans and a lot of the other stuff our seniors just can’t afford to help donate for the cost of the meal. So, fundraisers like also help us provide meals. This particular fundraiser, like Mr. Bock said, is going to solely go for the building of the new kitchen. The kitchen we are in now is for a maximum 800 meals. We do 1,700 meals a day out of it.”

While attendance was undoubtedly impacted by the threat for stormy weather, the event featured vehicles, including Bill Overland’s 1950 Willys Overland, John Masters’ 1902 Curved Dash Oldsmobile and event facilitator Walter Koopman’s Porsche and Matra.

There even was a Gremlin, but not the one from the 1984 movie.

Bronx native John Cacciato brought his 1974 Gremlin, which was supposed be a one-year band-aid to get him through his final year of high school.

“I was going to trash it,” said Mr. Cacciato.

Only he didn’t. It hardly resembles the car his parents shelled out $1,950 for several decades ago. It is on the car show tour now, and even sports a detailed painting on the back from “We need a bigger boat” scene in the movie “Jaws.”

Car club participation at the show included the County Seat Cruisers, Ocean City Cruisers, Historical Vintage Car Club of Delaware, which is zeroing in on a milestone anniversary next year, along with a group of imports that included Chevrolets.

“Chevrolet started in Belgium, France and Switzerland, so I guess that ‘57 Chevy, we’ll consider an import,” chuckled Mr. Koopman.

The historical Vintage Car Club of Delaware held a special raffle, with proceeds donated to CHEER’s Cooking for Seniors capital campaign.

“We are about to turn 50 years old next year,” Historical Vintage Car Club president John Scheetz. “It’s going to be a big celebration for us. We have some pretty big and exciting events going on. We’ll probably have a big car show at the Milford Veterans Home.”

HVCC member is 112 and growing and is open to anyone and all vehicles.

“We had to change our policy, because the generation is changing with cars and stuff. We have a younger generation there, and they have some pretty good cars, so we opened it up to everybody. We even have members that don’t have cars. They come and volunteer and keep the club supported,” said Mr. Scheetz.

The Historical Vintage Car Club’s charitable arm has a heart for military. “We sponsored Wounded Warriors and our veterans. We have a college scholarship for automotive technology. Our younger generation will someday be working on our equipment, so we want to continue that education,” Mr. Scheetz said. “Our big push is mostly for our veterans. Our club is made up of a lot of veterans. We have noticed that we have a lot of veterans that come to car shows so that is where we push the hardest.”

The CHEER show again featured Mr. Koopman’s massive display of racing/motorsports memorabilia.

A silent auction featured autographed items from NASCAR stars, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and legendary Richard Petty, as well the Philadelphia Eagles. Auction proceeds go toward the new kitchen.

Georgetown Mayor Bill West, who is an active volunteer in CHEER’s meal delivery program, offered a welcome and thanks to those in attendance.

“Welcome to the county seat — Georgetown. It is an honor to be mayor of the town to represent the people that live here, but it’s also great to recognize and thank the people that come to Georgetown,” said Mayor West. “It’s very important to us to open our arms and let people come to this great city to see what we are doing to try to change this town around. So, on behalf of the council and myself, we want to thank everybody for being here today.”

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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