EAST LIVERPOOL — Area residents who like classic cars, food, music, raffles or fun fellowship can hang out in downtown East Liverpool from 11 am to 10 pm July 30 for the inaugural Wheels and Meals event.
Plus, they can help out some local children at the same time since all proceeds from the day benefit the East Liverpool City Fire Department’s Toys for Tots program.
“That’s what this is all about,” city Councilman Jeff Kreefer said.
Wheels and Meals is sponsored by the East Liverpool Professional Firefighters International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 24, the union comprised of the city firefighters. Kreefer is a retired firefighter who served as assistant chief.
“We just like to help out the community because the community helps us out. It’s just our way to give back to the community,” city Fire Chief Bill Jones said.
Kreefer agreed that it’s a way to give back.
“I just want the city to have a nice day,” he said.
The fire department has had its own version of Toys for Tots for going on 60 years, according to Jones. He said all the money stays local, noting their program is not affiliated with the Marine Corps program. They’ve had other fundraisers in the past, such as tag days and dinners, but this is the first car show.
Jones said the local program helps out a lot of kids and causes and local organizations. Kreefer said for the past several years, a $500 scholarship has been given to a senior at East Liverpool High School. They’re all hoping for a good turnout for Wheels and Meals because of the benefit to the community.
Kreefer got the idea for the car show after seeing how well attended the Beaver car show is every year and how it brings a lot of business in for the local businesses. He thought of himself, “why can’t we do that here?” They started planning in December.
To pay homage to East Liverpool’s pottery history, organizers put their own twist on the typical dash plaque with plans to award commemorative Fiesta Ware plates to the first 125 entries in the car show. The white plate carries the Wheels and Meals logo with the IAFF emblem, a car and the year.
The event will take place on Broadway, Washington and Fifth Streets, with the stage on Washington Street. The band Cartoon will play at 1 pm, the Route 45 band will take the stage at 6:30 pm, and Classic DJ will play music in between.
Cars will be parked along Broadway and food vendors will be set up in the parking lot at Sixth and Washington streets. Food to be featured includes Chef Ray’s, Rayl’s Market with steak sandwiches and Philly steak sandwiches, Foxes Pizza, Fresh on Fifth, and two barbecue stands. Packaged ice cream treats will be available and the East Liverpool Elks Lodge 258 will offer burgers, hot dogs and refreshments.
A designer purse raffle will feature Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Dooney & Bourke. Three Fiesta Ware dinner sets for four will be raffled off and there will be gift baskets and gift certificates raffled off and a 50/50. Tickets will be three for $10. T-shirts will be $20.
Kreefer said there’s even an air-conditioned restroom trailer. Jones said firefighters will be on hand and they’ll have a couple of fire trucks out so people can see them.
He also thanked Kreefer for his support and for all the work he’s done to put the benefit together.
“I want to thank everybody from the area businesses. They’ve been extremely supportive,” Kreefer said.
Firefighter Alex Estell, who serves as union secretary/treasurer, Jones and Kreefer all noted the support from business sponsors, individuals and current and retired firefighters.
For information, call Kreefer at 330-843-4778.