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Car group names Barth “Man of Year”

 


Car enthusiasts

Recently, the Inland Northwest Car Club Council met at Northern Quest Casino and Resort for their 2016 Man of the Year award meeting with more than 150 car enthusiasts attending, including locals Allen Barth and Paul Charlton. Their newsletter says it all, “This year’s Man of the Year loves cars, in fact he makes his living restoring cars. He likes to talk about cars and is an encyclopedia of information on many makes and models; he is one of those guys you can go to for anything. Need a special part, a special tool to fix the brakes on special year, need advice on how to time your engine, that weird little “tic tic tic,” looking for a visor for that special truck? Just call him. He either has the part, the answer or will know where to find the part or the answer. This recipient has held many offices in his club and also is the club’s newsletter editor along with maintaining the membership roster all along recruiting new members. He is generous and community minded. He supports and promotes his town with car shows and opens his car collection to car clubs and supports local youth by teaching basic car care and loves to donate T-shirts from his garage. This gentleman has had some huge setbacks, a devastating fire to his restoration garage in 2015 which is now fully functional. He also has suffered major health issues, but that has not stopped him. He continues to share his collection with car clubs and even held a wedding for a club member. He is the official grill master and photographer at their club events; it is said he is unstoppable. With great honor the Inland Northwest Car club Council Board of Directors to (sic) Congratulate this year’s Man of the Year, Allen Barth.”

Allen Barth purchased the Studebaker Garage from Suzanne Deking in 2011. Barth began his large car shows on April 27, 2013, when he served about 230 barbecued meals. Later in the spring of 2013, Barth held a free ice cream social at the garage where more than 50 persons partook of his generosity and consumed six gallons of ice cream. At that event, he said he had been restoring Studebakers full-time for the past 12 years. His car shows are now the central event of the former Spring Fling which is now “Cruizin’ Harrington.” Barth is supportive of the Harrington Chamber of Commerce and is an officer in the Harrington Public Development Authority. His enthusiastic and contagious support of the town is awesome.

Chamber news

Wednesday noon, March 1, the Harrington Area Chamber of Commerce met with President Tim Tipton at the helm and the following persons present: Bunny Haugan, Cade Clarke, Cindy Haase, Lexi Hottell, Cassandra Pfaffle-Dick, Paula Pike, Mark Stedman, Heather Slack and Kathy Hoob. Sharon Nighswonger stepped down as vice president, and the position is open. Nominations and voting for this position will occur at the April 5 meeting at 6 p.m. at Harrington City Hall.

General discussion was held regarding the many facets of Cruizin’ Harrington including vendors, yards sales, posters and advertising, and a Beer Garden. The Chamber will be responsible for the Beer Garden this year. Following the presentation of awards at the car show, there may be an ice cream social at the Studebaker Garage.

Discussion was held regarding the vacant lot on the corner of Third Street and Willis. This is in the early planning stages and ideas will be solicited from the community. It was suggested that a booth at Cruizin’ Harrington might elicit interest in a project for the lot and the public could be polled at this booth.

Curiosity led this writer to ask how the city acquired the lot and obtained this explanation. In 2011, a group of youths, Harrington Community Action Team Servers (HCATS), received word that they had been approved for a grant of $2,000 which had to be spent by year’s end. A part of the grant necessitated showing collaboration with community and business partners. Two different possible projects, a skate-board park and a walking-bike-exercise trail were discussed. The group did extensive research on the web and physically visited other towns to see similar projects and created presentations based on their findings. They personally visited with Bill Floyd, then owner of the area at the corner of Third and Willis, and with then Mayor Gilliland. This led to the eventual exchange of property that resulted in the City acquiring the parcel with the understanding that it would result in a plan that would involve and benefit both the town and its youth.

The HCATS soon realized that they would not meet the time constraints of their grant with this project and had to abandon the idea. Instead, they researched and purchased the large-screen monitor in The Art Room of the Harrington Opera House that served to provide a live video feed from the auditorium for those unable to negotiate the stairs (prior to the acquisition of the elevator). Other contributions this group made to Harrington included purchasing additional flower planters for the entrance to the school, purchased benches for park and downtown locations, purchased and installed dog-waste stations and conducted a town forum to brainstorm potential projects to benefit the town and provide positive activities for youth.

Chamber By-Laws

With its new name, Harrington Area Chamber of Commerce has been re-working the by-laws for the organization for several months, and they have now been completed, presented and adopted by unanimous vote in this meeting. Significant portions of this three-page document of by-laws are the mission statement, membership and specificity of its meetings. The mission statement is “to actively promote businesses in the Harrington Chamber of Commerce area.” Two levels of membership have been defined, voting and non-voting, determined by one’s payment of dues by January 31. “Time and day of general meetings will be 12 noon on the first Wednesday of each month. Every quarter the monthly meeting will be held in the evening, beginning at 7 p.m. This will enable business owners to attend and share their opinions.” All meetings are open to the public. Officers must be Chamber members for at least one year and in good standing. The document may be viewed on their website http://www.harringtonbiz.com under organizations, Harrington Chamber of Commerce.

 

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