The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Cars fill fairgrounds for scholarship funds


Diana Zimmerman

Robert and Angelee Torppa won Best in Show at Rods and Reels with this 1968 Pontiac Firebird.

It was a beautiful day in Skamokawa for a car show. The fairgrounds were packed with people and cars on Saturday for the 13th and final Rods and Reels Rod Run.

There were 361 cars registered by 11 a.m., but the number was closer to 400 by the end of the day, according to organizer Lee Tischer. Volunteers served salmon and burgers to 800 people.

This year's winners include:

The 2018 Club participation award went to Clatskanie Cruisers with 21 cars; the 2018 John Luthi Memorial trophy went to a 1941 Plymouth Coupe belonging to Jim and Susan Lemonds; the 2018 Rods & Reels Favorite was a 1949 Mercury Convertible owned by Randy Wheeler; the 2018 Dollar For Scholars Choice was a 1969 Plymouth Road Runner belonging to Aaron Watson; and the 2018 Best of Show was a 1968 Pontiac Firebird belonging to Robert and Angelee Torppa.

"It's a big undertaking," Tischer said of the event. "It's a great group of volunteers and a lot of work."

The core group of returning volunteers are at retirement age, Tischer said last week. They are planning to continue to be active with Dollars for Scholars, but they want to consider different events for fund raising.

Along with Tischer and his wife, Diane, volunteers include his entire family, Scott and Pat Kehrli, Dennis and Vicki Reid, Kay Chamberlain, Janet Bryan, Karen Fleming, and Steve McClain.

"Numerous volunteers help in the kitchen," Tischer said, "with setting up and tearing down. So many locals have come and helped."

And as he said on Friday while thanking volunteers, if he were to name all the people that helped through the years, it would take a while.

Diana Zimmerman

Sisters were cheerily chatting in the rumble seat of a beautiful old car.

People keep asking Tischer if someone is going to take over the event.

The simple answer is no.

"Because we are tied to Dollars for Scholars, we use their insurance, we use their tax exemption," he said. "A lot of people don't realize that even though they are a national organization, we get to keep all our money locally. We pay them I think $100 a month and they do our taxes for us. There are so many benefits. A lot of colleges will match. If you give a $1,200 scholarship to a student, the college will match it if it comes through Dollars for Scholars.

"That's one reason I just can't hand it over to anybody. What happens if something went wrong? I'm retiring the show, the name. Basically all the information will be sealed."


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