Corvette Funfest Underway
Day One Activity Report
Larry Jewett - September 20, 2013 10:16 AM
The Fun Run to downtown Effingham kicks of day one of Corvette FunfestMid America Motorworks
A little chat among friends as Mid America Motorworks founder and chief cheerleader Mike Yager hosts a poolside gathering to talk CorvettesMid America Motorworks
Emily Kasperski received an award from Mike Yager for driving her 168,000-mile CorvetteMid America Motorworks
Richard Lehrburger came to Corvette Funfest from Bronx, New York. His Corvette has 628,000 miles on the odometer.Mid America Motorworks
With the 20th Anniversary of Corvette Funfest, the 40th Anniversary of Mid America Motorworks and the 60th Anniversary of the Corvette, it’s no wonder the theme for this year’s event is “A Milestone Celebration”. More than 800 Corvettes joined Mike Yager and crew for day one of the weekend-long celebration, taking advantage of the smaller crowd and getting a jump start on their weekends.
Bill Stephens and Maria Prekeges, hosts of the new television series Corvette Nation, were on hand to film the Yager Family Collection in the MY Garage Museum. The collection will be part of a feature on Corvette Nation, where film maker Michael Brown talks to owners of America’s Sports Car to find out how they came to love the Corvette, when their collection started and where it’s headed next.
“When someone asks me which Corvette is my favorite, it’s like asking a parent which is their favorite child. I love them all for different reasons,” Yager said with a big smile. While the Yager collection is unique for featuring rare and one-off Corvettes, what makes it remarkable is that guests to the MY Garage Museum can see this one-of-a-kind collection free of charge, seven days a week.
“Every guy likes showing off his cars to his buddies. I always thought, why store these Corvettes when I could share them with other Corvette lovers – and other car lovers – who appreciate these amazing examples of Corvette history,” he said.
A tradition every year, the highlight of Thursday is the Fun Run and Downtown Party. Every Corvette on the Funfest Grounds at Mid America Motorworks’ corporate campus lined up to partake in a scenic country drive that lead them to a street party in downtown Effingham hosted by the Effingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“Corvettes have been going on Fun Runs for 40 years,” Yager said. “It’s a fun way for us to show off the beauty of Effingham and welcome our guests to the community.”
The Downtown Party includes a parade down one of Effingham, Ill.’s main streets, complete with Corvettes tossing candy to the crowd. Live entertainment, food and an impromptu car show create the perfect atmosphere to kick off a weekend of Corvettes. Mayor Merv Gillenwater presented Gary Dempsey from Wisconsin with the City of Effingham Downtown Award and Mike Yager selected two winners – both high mileage Corvettes. Mike commended Emily Kasperski from Hawthorn Woods, Ill. with 168,000 miles and Richard Lehrburger from Bronx, NY with 628,000 miles for driving their Corvettes day after day.
The Milestone Celebration continues with Celebrity Autographs by Dave McLellan, Wil Cooksey, Dennis Pittsenbarger and others; a Friday Evening Charity Event raising funds for the David R. McLellan Engineering Endowed Scholarship, an expert panel of Corvette industry who’s who and the Saturday evening Bachman & Turner concert.