Car show in Frazee to honor Tyler
Last year, a group of car enthusiasts joined together and helped rebuild Tyler Shipman's Pontiac Fiero before he died of cancer.
This year, they are rallying together again to hold a car show in the Frazee teen's memory.
Twin Cities resident Chris Kliewer, who helped organize the rebuild after he saw the post on a Fiero chat board, helped get businesses to donate materials and man hours.
"Once that started happening, it was like dominos falling," he said.
He posted comments on a regular basis, which caused more and more people to get involved and give cash donations.
"He ended up with several thousand in cash donations," Kliewer said.
Minnesota Fieros Forever (www.fiero.mn.org), is the group putting on the car show in memory of Tyler. It will be held during the Frazee Turkey Days celebration.
"We're selling it for the town, and the reason is the town pulled together to help us with (the rebuild).
"This is our way of coming back and saying, 'OK, let's get as many people in town as we can to stuff the restaurants and the bowling alley, and get money into the town to help the town,' at the same time, as turning this into a yearly event that really signifies what the car community is all about ... The bigger we make it this year, the bigger it will be next year and the year after that."
The Tyler Shipman Memorial Car Show is July 23-25. It includes attending the street dance that Friday night and then the car show Saturday.
"We're selling the show idea as 'small town charm, big town show.' We're actually trying to make it a three-day event," Kliewer said.
And there's something special planned for Fiero enthusiasts, he added.
"The Fiero community has been invited up to the Shipman home because normally they'd be planning graduation now ... So they're going to turn all that time and effort into beautifying the landscape."
He said Tyler's mother is planting a memorial garden of yellow, Tyler's color choice for his rebuilt Fiero. And the Shipmans, Kliewer said, plan to hold a barbecue for car club members that help with the landscaping.
"I think it's just fantastic," he said.
The car show plan is to have 10 businesses from Frazee and surrounding communities donate money for a trophy and then send out a representative to the car show and pick a favorite.
"It doesn't have to be super shiny or anything. It just has to catch the eye of whomever's giving a trophy. This is an all-car show, anything goes. If you have a boat you think people might want to see, bring it."
It is $10 to enter a car, and all donations and entry fees will go to the Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo.
Community Bank in Frazee is handling all the finances for the club. The car club will be able to present a check to the MeritCare representative at the show.
The car show is Saturday, with registration at 9:30 a.m. Trophies are awarded at 3 p.m., just before the town's demo derby that afternoon.
"The town has welcomed us with open arms for this show," Kliewer said. "We're really excited about it. The goal is to raise money for cancer research. And it's all going to be done in the Shipman family name."
Of course Tyler's Fiero will be the center feature of the show.
"It was one of those stories that came out of nowhere, and those of us who partook in it will never forget it," Kliewer said.