Cruising into car show season

Club preparing for yearly fundraiser

Staff photo / J.T. Whitehouse Long-time Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club member Rich Posivak pulls his 1940 Packard business coupe into the club’s first Tuesday night cruise of the season at the Southern Park Mall.

BOARDMAN — The Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club officially has opened its weekly cruises on Tuesday at the Southern Park Mall.

The first cruise means the clock is ticking, leading up to MVOCC’s 45th annual Cars in the Park car show at Boardman Park.

The Cars in the Park show is one of, if not the largest, one-day car shows in the Mahoning Valley. In past years, the show averaged between 250 and 400 cars with many that are not seen at any weekly cruise. It attracts some of the region’s unique vehicles.

This year’s show will take place Aug. 4, rain or shine. The show may be months away, but work began in January to put the show together.

“We start in January looking for the major sponsors,” said Dennis White, who helps oversee the show coming together. “We have filled our main sponsors but still have $100 line sponsors available.”

Each year, the club selects a child suffering a medical problem and pitches in to help the family. This year’s child is a 16-month old boy named Jace Richmond, who is suffering from Fibular Hemimelia, which means he was born without a bone in his lower leg. More information on the child will be available later this summer.

According to MVOCC President Amy Suszynski, the little boy won’t make it to the car show as he will be having one of several surgeries in Florida.

In the meantime, the MVOCC already has begun collecting for the family. They opened the cruise season May 14 with a donation jar sitting on the registration table. Funds will continue to be collected through the Cars in the Park show in August.

The MVOCC started the annual car shows in 1979 at the former Austintown middle school site in Austintown. The club kept the show going there until the school closed in 2007. Boardman Park welcomed the show with open arms and the club continued the show there, coining the new name of “Cars in the Park.”

The club has 62 members, according to Suszynski, and everyone who can volunteer will have a task or two to perform at the event.

“Members can park cars, register cars, run the 50/50 raffle, work the club T-shirt sales, and do any other task needed to keep things running smooth,” said White, who is among a few who take charge of the show. “We also have a club historical tent, concessions, a basket raffle and a flea market.”

The day before the event, member Elmer Lydic kicks it into high gear and sets up the show ring.

“We use cones and a field marker to lay down chalk rows,” he said. “I start with the larger part of the field and keep a 50-foot space between the rows. We need the space to turn some of these old vintage vehicles.”

White added there is judging and trophies to hand out at the show. There used to be 25 classes before COVID and judging was a chore. Today, the trophies focus on the show’s top 10 vehicles overall.

At the end of the show, the trophies are given out, the raffle winners are announced and the money is counted.

“The family of the child (we are helping) will get a check that day,” Suszynski said. “In fact, if the family helps sell the 50 / 50 tickets, they can earn additional funds.”

The actual amount is never known until the close of the show.

Of course there is cleanup after the show, which requires members to again pitch in.

Once the show is over, the club returns to the weekly Tuesday cruises through September. For now, the cruises are running and eyes are set to August.

“Pre registration for Cars in the Park is open now,” White said. “It will remain open through the week before the show, then we will register on the day of the show.”

For more information on the weekly cruise, Cars in the Park, registration and MVOCC membership, visit www.mvocc.com.

Have an interesting story? Contact J.T. Whitehouse by email at jtwhitehouse@vindy.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today