A Brief History
by Shawn and Jan Hanna
In 1999 I was approached by a woman who had just given her mother over to assisted care at the Park River Estates Care Center in Coon Rapids Minnesota. She approached me to ask if I would consider putting on a car show for the residents of the care center. I said, “I’ll give it some thought”.
I decided to go over to the care center for a visit just to check it out. I met the head of the care center, Vicki Peterson whom I liked immediately. We discussed her vision of what would best serve the residents and we decided that a small car show was, in fact, beneficial for the residents. Nearly all of the residents are in wheel chairs or have limited movement and are what we refer to today as mostly “seniors” but the center also included some younger folks who are handicapped. Vicki and I decided that the show format would allow for the residents to vote for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners and that we would give the residents free raffle tickets for the door prizes.
At the time I was working for a gentleman by the name of Tim DeVilbiss. He and I became very good friends over the years and Tim was a big car guy also. Tim liked the older Chevy Tri 5’s and belonged to a car club called “Chevy’s Best”. Tim and I discussed the idea of the car show for the care center with the thought that the older residents would like to see older cars to remind them of their more youthful days. We both agreed that this was a good idea and Tim went to Chevy’s Best with the idea and I went to Suburban Corvettes with the idea. Both clubs agreed to do the show and we were off.
I returned to Park River Estates with the show “Model” and it was well received by Vicki and her staff. My wife, Janet, had some good ideas about how to put on the show and we were glad to integrate her ideas as well. Tim and I decided to open up the show to all cars and began the process of adding our show to the Minnesota All Car Club list of shows that is published each year and posted on “Autoswalk.com” each year. This turned out to be a good idea as well. We both agreed that this should be a free show and that he and I would work towards getting some “free” door prizes for the residents and trophies for the participants (this translates to a lot of begging). Vicki said that she would like to add an “Ice Cream Social” while we did the prizes and trophies. She also gave us a microphone/amplifier so that those hard of hearing could better understand our Minnesota accent. Tim and I did well with this model, we were able to beg for prizes and he and I contributed the trophies for the event. Both clubs were supportive with attending the event and Park River Estates residents were very happy and supportive of the show.
In 2005, after cancer surgery, Timothy Devilbiss died of a heart attack. The sudden loss of Tim took a long while for all to recover from and we all agreed to continue the show in Tim’s memory. We invited Tim’s family to the next show and it was a tearful get together. Jeanine Devilbiss (Timothy’s wife) asked us to continue the show in Tim’s memory. Chevy’s Best Car club has been supportive of the memoriam and has done their best to continue to help supply older cars for the show as has Suburban Corvettes given support for the show throughout the years. Many, many thanks to Suburban Corvette Club of Minnesota and Chevy’s Best Car Club members for the 15 years of great cohesiveness and camaraderie that they have provided to all of us.
This year, 2014, we celebrate our 15th anniversary of the beginning of the show and we celebrate Tim’s life and his willingness to contribute to the lives of the residents at Park River Estates Care Center. Tim was a very giving person who left behind a legacy of good works, good wishes and good times. Rest in Peace Tim.
We look forward to many continuing years of good times with Park River Estates Care Center and its many wonderful residents for whom this show really resonates. The joy on their faces each year is a wonderful thing to observe and it is our joy to do a little something to bring a smile to their faces.