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First St. John Car Show Will Benefit Comfort Dog Program

Church to hold car show with music and prizes Saturday.

Car enthusiasts will have a new event to cruise Saturday as hosts its .

Between 60 and 70 cars are expected at the show, which will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the church parking lot at 7214 Cass Avenue, said show coordinator and congregation member Eric Dybas.

Dybas conceived the show as a way to help support one of the most famous members of the St. John family: .

Shami travels the area providing companionship and cheer in places such as schools and nursing homes, as well as within the St. John congregation. The 2-year-old golden retriever even recently traveled with St. John Pastor Doug Swanson to Joplin, MO, to spread a little joy within the tornado-ravaged community.

But training a dog to be as sweet as Shami doesn’t come cheap. Dybas said it can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $12,000 to prepare a canine to be a comfort dog.

That training is covered by Lutheran Church Charities. But by taking on some of Shami’s costs, Dybas said, St. John will be able to pay it forward so the group can help fund training for another dog in another church.

“Shami’s here to provide peace and comfort,” Swanson said. “It’s really meaningful as so many people are going through tough times right now."

The car show itself will give St. John the opportunity to do something fun for the community, he said.

“I’m looking forward to the place being full of wonderful cars and people walking around having a good time,” said Swanson, who will have to miss the show to attend a family reunion.

Show-goers will be able to snack on hot dogs prepared by congregation members and enjoy music provided by Platinum Events & Promotions.

In addition to a 50/50 raffle, several local businesses have donated raffle items such as a $60 gift basket from , $35 in Buona Beef gift cards and an Avon gift basket.

“It’s been great the way the community has responded,” Dybas said.

Eight prizes will be awarded to show participants, including pastor’s choice and best of show awards.

Car owners can enter the show anytime between now and the day of the show by contacting the church office at (630) 969-7987 or just showing up on Saturday. Although attending the show is free, there is a $10 entry fee for participating cars.

Though this is St. John’s first car show, don’t expect it to be the last.

“This is going to be the first of many,” Dybas said. “We’re going to be doing quite a bit more.”

Editor’s note: Darien Patch will also be present with giveaways at the St. John Car Show. Come out and say hi on Saturday!

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