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Cruise Raises Cash For Scholarships
Rolling in from all over the Central Valley, auto enthusiasts gathered for the annual Escalon Lions Club Autumn Cruise on Saturday, Sept. 11, raising money for Escalon High School scholarships.

There were classic cars in every direction, with the show centered at the city's Main Street Park. Members of the sponsoring Lions Club ran the event, staffed the merchandise and silent auction tables and opportunity drawing booth, served up breakfast ad lunch and generally made sure the day went off without a hitch.

Proceeds of the annual one-day cruise benefit graduating Escalon High School seniors through scholarships and this year's show seemed to be both a financial and critical success.

"I've been coming the last four years," said Bob Merrell of Stockton, who had his 1967 Chevelle SS on display. "I've put a lot of work into this thing."

He has also won awards for the car at the cruise and was hoping for another winner on Saturday.

"This is my hobby now that I am retired," he said, noting that he attends shows throughout the region and especially enjoys the Santa Cruz show, since that is where he is originally from.

"Escalon is a small town, this is a nice show, it's a good one," he added.

Turlock resident Kathy Zumbrunn had a truck on display, one her dad bought in 1953.

"It took me eight and a half years to restore it," she said. "It was a mess."

But now, she proudly takes the truck to shows and was among those attending the Friday night 'pre-cruise' gatherings this summer at Hula's.

For Modesto resident Chuck Johnstad, the show provided a chance to look at some classics.

"I love cars," he said. "I have three of them in the garage."

His are not yet 'show worthy,' he said, but he enjoys attending classic car shows to see what others have done to showcase their automobiles.

Lions Club member Frank Bryan, who helped coordinate the Friday night events, said though the number of cruise entries was off a little bit this year, the quality made up for it.

"It's going well and it's a good crowd," he said. "Really everybody is happy and cooperative."

Fellow Lions club member Ed Alves agreed.

"It's an excellent show, one of the best," he said as he set up his camera in the middle of Main Street to photograph the award winners during the afternoon cruise. "The credit goes to John Salvin, Bud Andrews and the rest of the crew that helped pull it off, there are some outstanding cars and John has a great cast of hard workers."

George Cantrell of Turlock and his 'better half' Jane had a 1961 Chevy Impala convertible in the show, noting it has only 62,000 original miles on it.

"It floats down the road," Jane pointed out.

The two enjoy traveling to car shows around the region.

"It's the camaraderie of street riders, they're a friendly group of people," George said.