Rittenhouse of Portage and the Portage Chamber of Commerce planned on their second annual Auto Show being bigger and better than their first. Marquees up and down Willowcreek Road had been built up anticipation that would come to culmination on August 4th 2016.
Chamber members Nancy Simpson and Jessica Bailey sat at the registration booth to welcome car owners. Around them are more sponsors of the event, Liz Moses of Moses Health and representatives from Indiana Farm Bureau.
“They see what the Chamber does and want to help,” said Simpson, the Executive Director of the Chamber. “ It's something different that we've never done.”
She spoke not just about the sponsors, but the organizations like the YMCA that advertised for them. The car owners contribute when they sign up.
Moses, a car expert herself, said, “ They get to show off their cars.”
“We had 36 cars last year,” said Bailey, the Director of Marketing and Communications Development for the Chamber. “This year we're hoping for fifty. We got the word out, the weather's great.”
The Senior Lifestyle Coordinator of Rittenhouse, Judy Kukelka, was just as excited to welcome the auto owners as her Chamber partners.
“The residents love [the show],” she said. “They can reminisce about the cars.”
Glen Ewen thinks about his younger days whenever he drives his ‘64 Ford.
“We used to have a lot of fun,” he said. “We were really lucky, we grew up at the best time. There wasn't much traffic. When you bought a car you didn't worry about if it had a warranty because you knew you were buying something good.”
Bob Jones bought his ‘50 Chevy twenty years ago. It's the same one he had in high school, that he drove in with the girl that is now his wife. His son and granddaughter build cars with him in their spare time.
“I love building them, but this one is my favorite.” Jones said.
El Tapp does not have a favorite car. This is his second year as a spectator at the car show. “I'm a car fanatic. They attract all kinds of people, and people get along when they're talking about their cars. You can meet new people.”
Kukelka was ecstatic to see the crowd building. It is a great day when her residents can mingle with the rest of the community and relive the thrills of their youth. “Any time we can get exposure for the things we do for our residents is a win-win. We want people to see the good we can do for them.”