ARLINGTON — The parking lot of the Haggen Food & Pharmacy in Arlington was a bit more crowded than usual on Saturday, Aug. 24, as the second annual area car and motorcycle show to help raise funds for Volunteers of America’s Ending Homelessness program drew 72 registered entrants and at least 300 attendees during its six hours.
Michelle Fogus, communications and marketing manager for Volunteers of America of Western Washington, estimated that the show netted slightly less than $4,500 for the organization’s homelessness prevention efforts, while Sharon Paskewitz, director of operations for basic needs and services for Volunteers of America of Western Washington, thanked the Arlington Haggen grocery store for hosting the event for the first time this year.
“We moved it to the Haggen parking lot to accommodate a lot more people,” Paskewitz said. “Haggen has been a great partner, and we’re so happy to work with them on this.”
Although Paskewitz had hoped for closer to 100 car and motorcycle owners to enter this year’s show, she remained impressed with the turnout that the event generated in spite of the day’s intermittent drizzle.
“The show didn’t officially start until 9 a.m., but by 8 a.m., we already had 35 cars here, even with the rain coming down,” said Paskewitz, who credited Gayle Olthoff with recruiting participants for this year’s car and motorcycle show by blanketing other regional car and motorcycle shows with promotion for this event since the start of May. “Thanks to her and all of our other supporters, we more than doubled our count of 30 cars and motorcycles from last year’s show.”
Of the diverse array of vintage cars, muscle cars, trucks and motorcycles on display, the automobiles of the mid-1950s were well-represented. Just as Arlington’s Iris and Leroy Jensen accessorized their 1955 Ford Crown Victoria with a drive-up meal tray, so did Woodinville’s Pam and Sam Pauley complement their 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air with a drive-in movie theater speaker. Arlington’s Jeff Phebus went in a different direction with his 1956 Studebaker, retrofitting it into a vintage-style police car as a tribute to the careers that he and his sons have held in law enforcement.
“I always wanted a Crown Vic, but I never had one growing up,” said Leroy Jensen, who joined his wife in wearing red hot-rodders’ jackets to match her red 1950s-style poodle skirt.
“This is a remake of a car I went hot-rodding in during high school in the 1970s,” Sam Pauley said. “I sold it when I went to Vietnam, and I never got it back.”
Arlington’s Craig Johnson had aspirations more ambitious than merely recreating the past, when he’d restored the 1933 Ford two-door sedan that he brought to the Aug. 24 show.
“The top was ruined, so I just took it clean off,” said Johnson, who also souped up his rig by installing a 393 stroker engine and paying for a unique paint job. “The way they achieved the marbleized effect was, they laid down the first coat of burgundy paint, and then, while that was still wet, they put down a second coat of black paint on top of it, and then covered it with Saran Wrap, so the wrinkles in the plastic would give it the appearance of depth.”
“The proceeds from this show will benefit families facing the challenges of homelessness,” Paskewitz said. “We work with them as much as we can to help them become self-sufficient, but that’s harder to do when all our units are already full.”
According to Paskewitz, Volunteers of America is able to “graduate out” an average of 100 families each year from the 40 transitional housing units that are available in Snohomish County, but the organization is forced to turn away hundreds more low- and no-income families each month.
For more information on Volunteers of America of Western Washington, log onto their website at www.voaww.org.