Jamboree raises funds for fire budget

A local festival dodged the rain this past weekend as it drew large crowds for its activities on Friday and Saturday.
The Uniopolis Jamboree, the mid-summer event, is the major fundraiser for the Uniopolis Fire Department’s budget, and firefighter Sam Blank said that the money will fund their budget for the year. This year the proceeds from the event will go toward updating equipment.
“The money is used for repairs, and for new equipment,” Blank said. “Outdated equipment needs to be replaced.”
Preparation for the festival which began several months ago, featured a new event this year’s — Kitty and Vernon McIntyre, from Famous Old Time Music Company, in St. Johns. They provided the musical entertainment on Saturday evening.
Another idea incorporated into this year’s event is more fire safety information and lessons for the children.
“We do more stuff for the kids each years,” Blank said.
The event began on Friday evening with a car show, a volleyball tournament and fresh carnival food. The Fire Pup visited the festival on Saturday, and children were given coloring books, that included fire safety tips.
“We’re trying to be unique each year,” Blank said. “We like to try new things each year.”
Blank said that each member of the fire department brings new ideas to the jamboree each year.
For Blank, he likes to bring in fire safety tips, especially for the children. Blank, who serves as the DARE officer for the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office, said he enjoys bringing education to the children.
“With everything I do, I try to help people,” Blank said. “It’s all about education and working with the kids.”
The car show, held on Friday evening, had many entries for the show.
Local car dealer and Uniopolis resident Josh Steinke, of Greve Sales and Service in Wapakoneta, says that cars are his passion.
“I’ve been to car shows all my life,” Steinke said, “and I sell cars for a living.”
Steinke brought two cars to the car show on Friday evening, a 2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8 and a 1987 El Camino.
“Only 600 of these (Dodge Magnum) were ever produced,” Steinke said. “The car was only made for six years.”
His Dodge Magnum was painted a special color — Inferno red, and he enjoys bringing it to area festivals.
Steinke has been in 10 car shows this year alone, showing his cars.
“I love cars — that’s why I got into the car business,” Steinke said.
Steinke’s favorite part of participating in the shows is being around all the cars and the other people.
Wapakoneta resident and retired carpenter Bill Fisher brought his 1967 Chevelle Malibu to the show, and he says this is a hobby of his.
Fisher said he has had an interest in cars since he was 16-years-old.
He has owned his car that he shows for three years, and had it painted marina blue.
Another car enthusiast, Lima’s John Ulrey had the opportunity to share his car show experience in Uniopolis with his granddaughter, Cheyanne Lambert.
He said he goes to car shows every day, with cruise-ins in Lima during the week and car shows around the area on the weekends.
“My favorite part is socializing,” Ulrey said of attending car shows. “I recognize the vehicle before I recognize the person.”
He has had his 1980 GMC Chevy pickup for nine years, and has done a lot of work on it over the years, with taking it off the frame and building it back up.
Lambert said she enjoyed her first car show with her grandfather, and she had the opportunity to take many pictures of the other cars in the show.
“It was neat,” Lambert said of the experience.