Michelle Marie Leasure is shown with the 2004 Ford Taurus from Chilla State Farm and Honor Credit Union. Also pictured are (from left) Jessica Howrigon with MYOI , Dan Chilla and Car Zone senior representative Raz Bocanegera. (Photo by Rachel Pokornowski)Passersby admire one of the many cars gathered at the Allegan High School parking lot for the 2017 Allegan County Cruise-In. (Photo by Rachel Pokornowski)

Cruise-In crowds help good causes

By: 
Rachel Pokornowski, Staff Writer

The second annual Allegan County Cruise-In on Saturday, July 29, drew a crowd of cars and trucks this year, enjoying sunshine and summer weather.

It helped raise money for the Cancer and Hematology Centers of Michigan “Smile Box Program” in honor of Al Zych Sr. and Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative.

Many local emergency vehicles were also on display with representatives to give tours to youth. There were activities for all ages including raffles, games, a bounce house, booths and food.

Arnie Goldberger announced the winners for the car show in eight different categories.

He said he had just finished a year-long battle against caner and is now cancer free.

Four judges determined the winners in addition to a people’s choice award.

Gene Millbocker won in both the truck category and the people’s choice award with his 1932 pickup. Other winning vehicles included a 1965 Mustang, a Chevy Chevelle, a 1949 Willy’s Jeepster, a VW Beetle, a 1936 Chevrolet Coupe, a 1934 modified streetcar, and a 1960 Honda motorcycle.

Meagan Scofield gave a heartfelt thank you for the support shown for the memorial to her father, Al Zych Sr.

She said, “He would have loved seeing everyone smiling and laughing and no one worrying about cancer for a minute.”

The real winners of the day were former foster youth being assisted by Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative who won used cars.

MYOI aids foster youth to become independent adults.

State Farm Insurance Agent Dan Chilla announced the winners.

Four teenagers had interviewed with a panel of four interviewers. The winners didn’t know the results in advance.

Chilla said, “I wish we had four cars but we are blessed with two. This helps bring them forward from foster care to adulthood.”

Michelle Leasure received a 2004 Ford Taurus from Chilla State Farm and Honor Credit Union and Ashley Lindsley received the 2008 Ford Taurus from Car Zone.

Car Zone senior representative Raz Bocanegera said, “One day, Dan came in and kept talking about the foster care program. I asked, ‘What can I do?’ He said, ‘I need a car.’

“I’m glad we could make it work. We’re glad to be part of it.”

Chilla thanked the community and businesses for their help making this event happen.

Contact Rachel Pokornowski at reception@allegannews.com or (269) 673-5534.

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