My Thoughts About The Portland Roadster Show
March 18, 2019

As I gear up for the new week after participating as a vendor at the 63rd Annual Portland Roadster Show, I reflect on the smiles and conversations of the attendees, both young and old, enjoying the vehicles on display, the music playing 'Oldies But Goodies' and yes, even some were dancing to the tunes (myself included). There were Dads and Sons, Grandparents and Grandkids, young families and groups of guys and gals of all ages, enjoying the show that is so much more than 'a picture' of what you see walking from building to building.

After enjoying 3 days with fellow vendors, talking with attendees, offering support for the tireless volunteers, it saddened and frustrated me to read on Facebook how a long running, positive, community event, can become the talk of such negativity. I'm aware there were parting of ways with some members of the Multnomah Hot Rod Council this past year and I can honestly say that I don't know why and I'm OK with not knowing. I don't ask 'why' because there are always two sides to a story....plain and simple. I guarantee that no person reading this would appreciate others believing things said about them in a negative way, simply because it was said. In life, we are involved in personal and business relationships that don't always work out. Employees leave jobs, couples get divorced and roommates move out. This is life...things happen....one door closes....another door opens.

I am amazed every year at what it must take to put together such an event. This is an all-volunteer run show. Each person who prepared for and worked at the show were donating their time and energy to provide a fun event for all to enjoy. I don't care how many times you've done it.... there will be hiccups. I know how many changes I make to my 10'x20' booth before 'Go Time' and I only have to answer to myself to approve of my changes. Never does an event this size go off without a glitch at one point or another, nor should it be expected to.

The Multnomah Hot Rod Council, who owns and produces the Portland Roadster Show, is a non-profit organization, consisting of council members and car clubs in NW Oregon and SW Washington. Thousands of toys and money are delivered every December to Randall Children's Hospital through the 'Angels on Wheels Toy Run', which is also produced by the Multnomah Hot Rod Council. The yearlong effort and never ending volunteer hours that go into producing these events is immeasurable.

While you may not agree with every aspect of a show or you're bothered by the misspelling of a word, can each of you please take into consideration the following positives about the Portland Roadster Show and the positivity it brings to the community and recipients of the money it raises? It's not just about pictures of the cars and who owns the rights to them. It's about people helping people. It's about bringing a smile to someone's face. It's about a walk down memory lane for a senior citizen who used to drive a car 'just like that'. It's about family and friends enjoying a similar hobby.

The opportunity the show presents for the up and coming car enthusiasts (and adults) in the Model Car Exposition and High School Challenge is enjoyed by many community members and high school students. The Annual Rose City Brush Bash allows some of the nation's finest Pinstripers perform their artistry right in front of you, rather than only seeing the finished product. The real art is watching the talent of the artist bring it all to life. The Pedal Car Auction invites 20 or more local High School and Community College Automotive programs to customize pedal cars that are auctioned off and the proceeds go back equally to all of the programs that participate.

Most importantly, the Wagon Angels Event for the Children's Cancer Association is the part of the show that will tug at your heartstrings. Local Automotive Shops and High School Automotive programs customize pull wagons that are then each selected by youngsters who are battling cancer. The Brush Bash team personalizes each wagon with the child's name and any other special things that make it their own. Truly, something to remember.

Myself and other vendors appreciate being able to participate in shows like the Portland Roadster Show to advertise our companies, provide information for non-profit organizations, sell our products, and inform consumers about the services we offer. We're able to reach a large number of people in a 3 day period. At the show, we're surrounded by show attendees who are having a great time and making memories with those they are with, while helping to raise money for those in need.

With all the positives this show promotes, consider the negative effect your implications and unintended consequences may have on the non-profit organizations, businesses and individuals who benefit from the Portland Roadster Show.

I hope you'll join me in supporting the Multnomah Hot Rod Council and the events they produce in a positive way.

Thank you for your time,
Kelly Edmunson
Northwest Classic Auto Mall


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