Travelling trophy benefits high school’s auto program

An impressive trophy is currently visiting various businesses around town. These establishments are sponsors for the Settlers’ Days Car Show coming up on Oct. 6 and the travelling trophy is starting to generate excitement about the event.

It is also beginning to raise funds for the automotive program at the Marengo Community High School. As it travels from business to business, customers are tossing cash into the beautiful trophy. This money is being collected by Abby Laudato and Gas & Diesel, 154 N. State St. Marengo, who is promoting the show.

The trophy, along with the other car show trophies, was provided by Your Supply Depot and Thomas Stewart, 207 E. Grant Highway. This trophy is three feet tall and the base is of mahogany. It will be presented to the Best of Show winner during Settlers Days.

Vincent Long and Dan Schirmer teach the automotive program at MCHS. “Abby volunteers with us on a daily basis,” Long said.

“The Auto Refinishing (third year) class is bodywork on the vehicles. During Auto 2, the students go out to learn to work on the school buses and heavy machinery. The first semester of Auto 1 is basic hands-on learning. During their second semester, the students actually work on cars - mostly family, friends, and teachers. They charge $10 per hour, not to steal business from local businesses, but to gain real world experience and to raise money to participate in the SkillsUSA contest. In fact, the funds raised by the car shows at Joe’s Place and other donations to the Auto programs go for the same purpose,” he said. “The school pays for everything we need in class.

“The contest theme this year is ‘SkillsUSA: Champions at Work, Career-Ready Starts Here.’ SkillsUSA is the only organization that defines, implements, and measures career-readiness of students based on the demands set by business and industry today.

“This contest is strongly supported by Mike Rowe of ‘Dirty Jobs’ on the Discovery channel. MCHS has sent students to compete in SkillsUSA for several years. In 2013 a MCHS student finished fourth in the nation in Refinishing. We have had students place well in the Diesel and Refinishing categories. We had a student do well in the Culinary category also. SkillsUSA covers far more than just the automotive arena.

“I have only had one female student in Automotive. I would love to have more. She has been published in ‘SkillsUSA Champions’ magazine and, in college, she was published in ‘Auto Body News.’ “Our students have been in five or six contests this year and hotels, food, and other needs can get expensive. Donations to our department cover the gap between what the school funds and what we actually spend. We do not want the students to have to pay for anything.”

If you do not see the trophy around town before Settlers Days, the car show will be held in Spencer Park on Oct. 6. ByAnne Eickstadt Correspondent Travelling trophy benefits high school’s auto program