LACONIA — The Lakes Region Rotary Club's first-ever car show proved a bigger hit than it's members ever anticipated, with 150 cars, pickup trucks and street rods showing up at the parking lot at the Weirs Beach Lobster Pound restaurant in July.
''We were caught completely by surprise by the turnout. We only had 37 cars registered before the show and we ended up having to print more entry forms the day of the show,'' said Scott Wilkinson, club president, as he presided at an cash awards ceremony Tuesday morning at the Water Street Cafe .
At the meeting the club presented checks from the $10,000 it raised at the show to nine different community organizations.
Wilkinson said that 700 people attended the show, which was so successful that the club is planning to hold a second show at the same location next July.
''We're going to do it again on the 26th of July,'' said Wilkinson, who credited Jeff Graham of Graham, & Graham along with John Silva and Tim Pratt for organizing the show.
Organizations receiving checks from the club included the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation, the Laconia Educational Endowment Foundation (LEEF), Great Lakes Region Child Advocacy Center, the Circle Program, the Boys and Girls Club of Lakes Region, the LHS Athletic Field Fund, Lakes Region Rotary Youth Leadership, the Laconia Area Community Land Trust and LRGHealthcare.
Wilkinson said about half of the funds raised came from event sponsors, including AutoServ, major sponsor; the Bank of NewHampshire, Graham & Graham, Meredith Village Savings Bank, The Inn at Mill Falls, The Weirs Times, WEMJ and Vermont Soapstone, which provided trophies for winners.
Best in Show award for last summer's show went to a 1957 Chevy Cameo pickup truck owned by John Noyes of Holderness and the People's Choice award went to a 1956 Fiesta Red 1956 Ford Thunderbird owned by Bill and Lois Porter of Franklin.
Many notable cars were at the show, including a futuristic looking DeLorean of "Back to the Future" fame, a 1977 AMC Pacer Wagon with a license plate ''Ugly-1'' brought to the show by Peter Waugh of Center Ossipee and a ''Rat Rod'', fabricated by Tim Bartlett of Belmont which had a shortened Chevy S-10 frame, the front end of an International Harvester pickup truck and a powerful 383 Stroker engine. The ''Rat Rod'' also had a 631 blower with twin 750 cube carburetors and a two-speed power glide transmission out of a Chevy Nova.
Next year's show will be a judged show with trophies awarded in each category and the Best in the Show winning a night's stay at Mills Falls in Meredith.
Lakes Region Rotary Club held an awards breakfast at the Water Street Cafe Tuesday morning at which it distributed checks to organizations from its first annual car show held in July which raised $10,000. Shown are Jeff Graham, club member from Graham & Graham, who organized the show; Tom Clairmont, president and CEO of LRGHealthcare; Joanne Cormier of the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation; Carole Davis of the Laconia Education Endowment Foundation; Kathy Kearns of the Circle Program; Scott Wilkinson, Rotary Club president; Matt Lahey of the LHS Athletic Field Fund; Bob Ewell, who heads Lakes Region Youth Leadership program; Kamal Gosine of AutoServ, major event sponsor and Lou Guevin of Bank of New Hampshire, another event sponsor. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)