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  • Megann Horstead

Annual car and bike show raises funds for Mooseheart


Mike Spadaccini, of Elgin, knows about cars. So, when an opportunity arose to showcase his ride in the Mooseheart Car and Bike Show, he said the rest was history.

“It doesn’t matter how much money you got, it doesn’t matter what religion you got, we’re all one family,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. You meet people from all over the place. It’s just people who have the same (interests and) who love cars.”

Locals polished up their classic cars, trucks and motorcycles for the fourth annual Saturday event, a Fox Valley Corvette Club fundraiser to support Mooseheart Child City & School.

Terry Velvhuizen, co-chair for the fundraising event, said the way in which cars are judged, based on popularity, tends to draw car enthusiasts to the event year after year.

“It really brings the car community together,” he said, noting how nearly 100 cars, trucks and motorcycles were anticipated to be on hand this year.

More than $15,000 was raised through the event in the last three years.

Gary Urwiler, exective director for Mooseheart Child City & School, said it means a lot seeing the community’s support for the school and its operations.

“I think what we look for is the exposure getting people to come on campus,” he said. “What’s Mooseheart? What are you guys all about? Not a lot of people drive back here, so when they get a chance to drive back here, they’re like ‘wow, there’s a little more to it than what you can see from the road or the highway.’”

Spadaccini, revving up his car for the show, said his interest in cars is a family affair.

“My father’s been in the business as long as I can remember,” he said. “I would go to work with him when I was this tall. Before I could do anything, I had to clean tools. I had to learn the value of a tool and then, I got more involved.”

By age 13, Spadaccini said he was pulling engines out of cars.

Spadaccini was showcasing his newly restored 1971 Plymouth Duster.

“We restored it over the winter time,” he said. “My father and I did this. (Within) four months, every nut and bolt was off of it. We painted it and just restored it and got it back up and driving.”

Spadaccini said he looks forward to events such as the Mooseheart Car and Bike Show. For him, he said, it’s all about the people.

Roy Fiebrandt, of West Chicago, was one of the spectators checking out the vehicles on display. He said he’s attended the show in the past, and decided to drop in.

“I just enjoy old cars,” he said.

Fiebrandt said he’s restored some of his own cars in the past, and is always excited to look at the different cars being showcased.

“I just love coming out,” said Denise Jackson, of Sugar Grove. “It’s just nice to get out for the day. You do meet new people.”

Jackson and her husband, Mike, were showcasing their 1931 Ford, built from scratch.

Denise said for a while, she didn’t consider herself a big car fan, but that’s no longer the case.

“We love it,” she said. “We take it out driving and things like that.”

Mike Priete, 65, of Harvard, has been involved in the Mooseheart Car and Bike Show every year, and said he was excited to showcase his 1998 Suzuki Intruder.

“It’s all made from recycled copper,” he said of his motorcycle. “I did all the work myself, so it’s hand-formed. I just use an anvil and a hammer to shape all my metals. It’s a daily rider for me. I do about 4,000 miles a year.”

Priete said he first started riding motorcycles at age 16.

“I just like anything with a motor, whether it’s a car, a boat, motorcycle, airplane,” he said. “As long as it’s got a motor, it’s cool.”

#Batavia

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