By Jim Newell
Downtown Lake Orion, warm summer weather and classic cars aligned, creating a perfect day for the Golling Buick GMC annual Classic Car show on Saturday.
Golling Buick GMC and the Lake Orion Police Association co-host the car show, with 130 classic vehicles – trucks, hot rods, muscle cars, sedans and antiques – the Lake Orion police officers, music from emcee Rockin’ Ronnie and 70 cruiser awards.
And while everyone let the good times roll, the real beneficiaries of the car show are Orion area families – that’s because the show was a fundraiser for the Lake Orion Police Association’s Kids & Kops and Shop with a Hero programs.
Through registration fees, donations and raffles, car show organizers raised money to help the police association with the Kids & Kops fun nights at Blanche Sims Elementary, sponsoring local youth sports teams and helping area kids and families in need.
“We’re hoping to make a couple thousand dollars for the police association,” Kokenos said during the car show. “We’ve got a pretty good walk-through crowd, too. I’m happy with what we’ve got. We have to get back to ‘normal’ life as best we can.”
The car show raised $2,250 for LOPA.
“Down from years past, but better than I expected, considering what’s going on,” said Kokenos.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing concerns over Coronavirus safety protocols, organizers did not advertise the car show to the extent that had in previous years, organizer Bill Kokenos said.
This year, Kokenos said organizers changed the way cars were parked to encourage greater social distancing, and emcee Rockin’ Ronnie made announcements throughout the day reminding people to social distance and wear face coverings.
Last year, the car show had its most successful year ever, bringing in more than $4,000. Around 190 cars entered into the show, also a record. The show averages around 170 vehicles.
“We want the kids in the area to have the best Christmas they can with what the police association can do, given what they can raise. Working with the Lake Orion Police Association is great. These guys are just fantastic,” Kokenos said.
This is the sixth car show Golling has hosted the car show in downtown Lake Orion. Prior to that, the car shows were at the Golling Buick GMC dealership on Lapeer Road in Orion Township.
Golling Buick GMC General Manager John Cooper has always supported Golling hosting the car shows to support area non-profits, and told Kokenos to go ahead with the show if it was allowed. The Lake Orion Village Council approved the event permit in June.
Kokenos said that one of the goals in organizing the car show was to showcase the downtown, support the police association and help promote local businesses.
To donate to the LOPD’s programs, visit lakeorion.org for contact information, or call 248-693-8321.