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Classic car games entertain at MVOCC meeting

June 16, 2011
By Richard Sberna
A special young man named Hunter Shaffer was the guest of honor at the Mahoning Valley Olde Car Club’s June 4 meeting at Poland Township Park. Four-year-old Hunter, who has refractory epilepsy, enjoyed a round of car games during the afternoon along with his parents, Jeremy and Dana.

Hunter’s family will be the recipients of funds raised at the MVOCC’s 33rd annual Cars in the Park classic car show, which is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 7 at Boardman Township Park.

Jeremy and Dana explained the seriousness of Hunter’s seizures, which cannot be controlled with medication. Sometimes, Hunter stops breathing during these bouts. The seizures can also become prolonged when he falls into what is known as status epilepticus. According to Dana, one such seizure lasted for a terrifying 73 minutes.

Unfortunately, Hunter isn’t a candidate for surgery due to the nature of his seizures, which aren’t confined to one area of the brain. For now, all that doctors can do is keep trying different drugs as they’re developed. His parents said doctors are also considering a vagal nerve stimulator that would be implanted in Hunter’s brain to regulate the electrical impulses causing the seizures.

Jeremy and Dana expressed their gratitude at the assistance they’ve received from the community.

“It’s amazing what people will do to help out,” Dana said. “We’re so thankful that these people here are taking the time and chose us.”

Jeremy said they’re also hoping to get the word out about epilepsy, which he said is largely misunderstood by the general public. According to Dana, 3 million Americans have epilepsy, 300,000 of whom are children. She said that 70 percent of those cases are of an unknown cause. “That’s the scariest part,” she added.

Fear had no place on that Saturday afternoon, however, as the Shaffer family watched MVOCC members in a classic car games tournament. It included a series of timed events, including a slow race, which required drivers to pilot their cars a length of 150 feet in the longest elapsed time without coming to a stop or riding the brakes. The winner was Dave Bayoski, who shamed the turtles and snails in attendance with a three-minute, 12-second crawl from the start line to the finish.

MVOCC member Ed Virostek oversaw the action, which also included an event that required a passenger to balance a cup of water held out the window on the end of a yardstick while the driver travels half on the paved road and half on the lumpy gravel parking area. The Chinese fire drill was a crowd favorite, in which driver and passenger had to stop at a pair of traffic cones, one on each side of the car, get out, pick up the cone on their side of the car and take it to the other side of the car, get back in and drive across the finish line in the fastest time.

Article Photos

Photos by Richard Sberna, Town Crier
Holly Marsco and Laura Vennetti swap traffic cones on either side of a 1978 Cadillac during the Chinese fire drill event at the MVOCC’s classic car games tournament at the club’s June 4 meeting in Poland Township Park.



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