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Machines shine for children's sake

August 31, 2008|By CHRIS CARTER

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - The M&S Harley-Davidson Motorcycle-Corvette Show celebrates two great American traditions, event chairman Ron Yaukey said.

Yet each Labor Day weekend, the annual show promotes something even more American and a bit more important - people helping people.

This year's show benefited the Children's Aid Society of the Frances Leiter Center in Chambersburg.

"These motorcycle people, they like to help people, especially kids," Yaukey said. "This is a good show for them because they like to help, but they also like to ride and they like to show off their bikes."

Likewise are the Corvette owners, whose entries in the show outnumbered motorcycles by almost double. There were 128 total entries in the show, and more than 80 were Corvettes.

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"The nice thing about this show is that it's diverse. You have your Corvette people and your motorcycle people," said Yaukey, who admitted being a part of both crowds. "We all mingle together and look at each others' rides. There's a lot of nice custom jobs here."

Yaukey directed the Corvette part of the show, while M&S Harley general manager Darren Moats headed the motorcycle half. Moats said about 800 people filtered into the M&S parking lot Saturday.

The show awarded prizes in 10 classes for motorcycles and seven classes for Corvettes. Rob Staubs of Martinsburg, W.Va., won Best of Show Cycle for his 2005 Harley Fat Boy, and Ray Owings, of Westminster, Md., won Best Vette for his 1955 convertible six-cylinder.

Corvette participation was more than that of the motorcycles for the third straight year. The Novingers, spread across Pennsylvania and West Virginia, entered four Corvettes in the show - two won prizes - and haven't missed a show.

"Since it started," Ken Novinger of Falling Waters, W.Va., said of his participation. "It's for charity, so it's always a nice thing."

Dozens more have attended the show since its inception - either as an entrant or as a spectator. But many left with another role - supporter.

Proceeds from T-shirt sales and entry fees went to the Frances Leiter Center, which was presented with a $2,800 check at the end of the day.

"This is a fundraiser every year. In the past, it has been for an individual child or family," Moats said. "This year, we did the Frances Leiter Center because it helps multiple children. Money from T-shirts and show entries goes to the charity."

The Frances Leiter Center is one of four chapters of the Children's Aid Society in south central Pennsylvania. The nonprofit organization offers counseling to at-risk youths who have suffered from domestic problems, including abuse and abandonment.

"They figured it wouldn't be helping just one child or one family, but a group of them," said Molly Helmstetter, director of marketing and fund development at the Children's Aid Society. "It's fantastic that this happened because it helps subsidize the cost of counseling.

"Families that come in are on a sliding scale and many of them are at the poverty level. This helps us offset the costs of helping them."

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