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Local churchs car show will help families at Christmas
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These three cars will be shown in next weekend's car show at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gainesville. - photo by Tom Reed

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Al Ringer talks about how he hit a deer when driving his 1956 Mercury, the same kind of car Chuck Dyarmett will have at the car show.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Car Show

Where: 600 S. Enota Drive, Gainesville
When: 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 1
How much: $5 breakfast, $15 to enter car show
More info: 770-532-2428

Good Shepherd Lutheran members are kicking off their first fundraiser for a special Christmas dinner by rolling out classic cars like a 1956 Mercury, a Model A Ford and a 1965 Mustang.

Typically, the Christmas celebration at the church includes church members for a holiday dinner. But this year plans have changed.

"We have a food bank here and we probably help about 15 to 20 families a week," said the Rev. Ben Haupt, pastor at Good Shepherd. "And so instead of doing a Christmas dinner for our own congregation, what we're going to do is send out invitations to all the people that our food bank has helped throughout the year and invite them to a Christmas festival."

The church will provide a meal, presents for the children and even a Santa Claus from the money raised at the car show.

"It's a good chance to invite people onto our property and get to know them and let people know that Good Shepherd is around and we're growing," Haupt said. "We've been very full the last couple of months, and we are looking to expand; things are going well."

To start off the day's events, a homemade breakfast will be available for a small fee prepared by the church's Lutheran Women's Missionary League. Then, folks can meander around the church parking lot and check out about 40 to 50 classic cars.

Chuck Dyarmett, a member of Good Shepherd and also a member of the Lanierland Old Car Club, said he will bring his 1957 Mercury. The car won't be hard to find - look for its yellow and black stripes and lots of chrome.

"For some reason the colors seemed to work out right on certain styles of cars. You couldn't paint this color on a lot of different cars," said Dyarmett, who owns five other restored cars.

His garage also holds a '56 Mercury, '57 Thunderbird, '65 Falcon Ranchero, '67 Shelby Mustang and a '65 Volvo 544.

"It's just a hobby for me and I kinda build them, drive them, enjoy them and then sell them and go to the next one," he said.

Those who enter the show will have a chance to win in a couple of categories, too.

"They can register cars and then the awards we'll do around noon," Dyarmett said. "There will be a top 10 cars, best of show, people's choice. We'll probably do the presentation of trophies at noon, stop registration at 11 a.m."

The Rev. Haupt also will have a car in the show, along with church member Al Ringer.

"My father-in-law restored it ('65 Mustang) for my wife when she was 16," Haupt said. "We drove this car to junior prom ... got married and this is the car that we drove away in from the reception. So, I trailored it down last weekend from Indiana so it would be here for the car show."

In fact, all three church members have had their cars in weddings. Dyarmett's car has been used in several weddings and Ringer taught his grandson-in-law to drive his Model A for his granddaughter's wedding.

"There's a reason we bought them," Dyarmett said. "I drove one of those in high school, Ben's wife owned that one and Al's dad drove the same car that he has."

Plus, Dyarmett added, it's something you can share.

"When you have a show or a cruise-in or even when you are pulling into a gas station, other people enjoy your hobby. They come up and they want to talk about it."

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