Local church continues 50s style fundraiser
By RACHEL BOCK
Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church brought the town of New England back to the 1950s. On Sunday, Aug. 14 the church hosted their Fabulous 50’s Drive-In and Car Show fundraiser.
Both sides of Main Street were filled with 28 classic cars lined up as people enjoyed walking while admiring the cars that were on display.
Another highlight of the evening were the delicious burgers, fries, and floats that were served by car hops who were dressed in 1950s costumes. People also enjoyed the classic sound of 1950s music playing in the background while they sat around the pavilion visiting with friends.
The popular 50s Drive-In event was started a few years ago as a fundraiser to resurface the church’s parking lot. The first two years the event was held at the parking lot of Our Redeemer’s Church, but soon the event was so popular that they out grew their space and needed a larger venue. The past few years the Drive-In has been held at the Lions Park, and the money that has been raised is used for repairs and the general up keep to the church.
Despite occurring during one of the busiest times of year (harvesting season) for the small farming community, the event was still very successful and over 35 volunteers came out to help with the fundraising.
“The car show went very well. I think everyone had a good time, and everything went smoothly this year. What was amazing is how people all came together to put this on. To have 35 people that helped during this busy time of harvest was amazing,” Committee member Nancy Belland said.
While Jon Wert was busy harvesting himself, his son Devin came up with the idea to bring in his dad’s 1958 Chevy Pickup to the Car Show. Jon Wert acquired the pickup when he was a junior in high school and started restoring the classic truck while he was in college, doing all the restoration work himself, except for the paint job. For Jon’s son Devin, who enjoys everything about the pickup—from the way it looks to the way it sounds—being able to take the pickup to town and display it at the show was a special treat for him. His dad’s classic pickup received a lot of looks, which you could see made Wert proud to tell spectators about all the work that went into restoring the classic pickup.
“I like everything about it. The way it looks and the way it sounds,” Wert said. “It sounds like a Harley.”
Devin and his dad are not done restoring vehicles, as they have another restoration project in the works. As Jon Wert first acquired his classic pickup when he was a junior in high school, Devin who is currently a junior in high school will be following in his father’s footsteps and restoring a car of his own. For Devin, who shares the same passion as his dad for classic vehicles, bought a 1950 Ford at an auction sale, and together the father and son team is working on fixing it up together. They just finished the time-consuming task of sandblasting, and even though they have a lot of work ahead of them, they do have a timeline that they want the car completed by.
“I need it for senior pictures next year,” Wert said. “We need to buckle down and get it done.”