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New car show supports The Bridge
By Bryan Jessop

A new, temporary home for the Leamington area’s classic and custom vehicles is helping the funding process for a new temporary home for the area’s homeless youth.

The first ever Fehr Car Wash Car Show took place at its newest location at 373 Highway 77, next door to Nutek Tirecraft Auto Centre as a fundraiser for The Bridge Leamington Youth Centre. Held Saturday, July 14, the show was open to vehicles of all makes, years and models, with registration fees being donated to The Bridge.

The inaugural Fehr Car Wash event was the idea of the businesses owner and operator Cornelius Fehr, who explained that he became interested in supporting Leamington’s newest youth centre shortly after it opened its doors.

“I just thought it would be a good idea to help out The Bridge in any way I could,” he noted. “It’s a great thing that they’ve got going. Something like that has to start somewhere, so I thought I could at least lend them a hand.”

Participating vehicle owners paid registration fees of $15 in advance or $20 upon arrival for the five-hour event. Proceeds were also generated through barbecued sausage and hot dog and beverage sales and with donations offered in exchange for a car wash — a feature that attracted a lengthy lineup of supporters. In total, about 40 classic and custom classic cars, muscle cars and custom and late model cars and trucks attended the show, which offered door prizes and live music. A sum of about $3,168 was raised for the local youth centre.

Fehr explained that with a respectable turnout for his first show, making an annual event of the occasion is something he is giving serious consideration.

“As long as The Bridge is willing to welcome it, it’s something I’d like to keep doing,” he explained.

Fehr Car Wash has been at its Highway 77 location for about one year. Most recently, the eight-year-old business — which first opened its doors on Canada Day of 2010 — operated from 99 Queen St., within close proximity to the Leamington Municipal building. If the show does become an annual attraction, Fehr noted that it may take place on a different July weekend to avoid scheduling conflicts with similar local events such as Belle River’s Sunsplash.

Greg Wiens, a staff member of The Bridge and one of several representatives of the organization that also included volunteers helping out with the show, explained that proceeds will be directed towards the centre’s Phase 2. The project is based on the creation of short term housing featuring 10 units that will be built immediately east of the kitchen area on what is now The Bridge’s Sherk Street parking lot. Staff at the facility hope to see construction begin as soon as the autumn of this year.

“We’d like to see the whole thing done as soon as possible — there are youth in our community who are homeless,” Wiens said.

Funding required to accommodate Phase 2 is pegged at about $600,000.

Another car show organized in support of The Bridge — the Lally Southpoint Ford Sizzlin’ Summer 5th Annual Car Show — has been rescheduled from its original June 9 date to Saturday, Sept. 15. For more information on the Lally show, contact Steve Bott at 519-257-5000.





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