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Car show raises funds for MDA

Tom Lee shows award handcrafted by Dayle Niemie that was given to car show winners. Niemie made all 38 plaques. The Pilot/Bill Schlichting
Tom Lee shows award handcrafted by Dayle Niemie that was given to car show winners. Niemie made all 38 plaques. The Pilot/Bill Schlichting
SMITH RIVER — Organizers of the 15th annual MDA Car Show were pleased with the turnout, which helped to increase the funds received for local Muscular Dystrophy Association programs.

Show organizer Tom Lee said the show netted about $4,500, about $1,000 more than last year. The number of cars entered, a total of 84, in Saturday’s show at Lucky 7 Casino and Hotel, was the same as in 2012, so Lee believes the additional funds came from increased attendance.

“We completely sold out of T-shirts, which is very unusual, but shows that we had a lot of people there,” Lee said. “We made about $800 on the raffle, which also shows there were a lot of spectators.”

Kevin Bane of KURY Radio spun the records for the show. Plus there was live entertainment presented by Passin’ Notes of Bandon and Tony and Stephanie La Torre.  

“We gave out 38 plaques to the top 38 cars that were picked by all of the car owners,” Lee said. 

Awards were presented by Heather Niemie and her father, Dayle Niemie, and Bill Hamilton, all MDA clients.

Larry Manardo, of Grants Pass, with a 1956 Ford pickup, won best of show.  

“It’s very unusual for a pickup to win best of show,” Lee said.

The Lucky 7 Casino pick went to Bobby Westbrook who entered a 1948, all original Buick convertible.

“We were all very happy with the results of the show and I think everyone had a good time, in spite of such a heavy fog first thing in the morning that it was like it was raining until about 9.”

All money raised at the car show will help fund local MDA programs and services, including support groups and equipment such as wheelchairs and leg braces. The proceeds will also support a clinic at Providence Medford Medical Center and help send Oregon children with muscle-wasting diseases to MDA summer camp each year. 

MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education. The majority of contributions to MDA come from individual donors.

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