Palace Chrysler-Jeep

Classic cars, good eats and poker

August 08, 2012 - By Gabriel Ouzounian

Review Co-Editor

Police from the Lake Orion Police Department do more than patrol the streets of the downtown area.

They also sponsor a youth program called Kops for Kids and for about three years, Golling Buick GMC has helped them make their program a success. Annual events help to fund the project and 2012 will be no different. It all started with a classic car show.

"We have an old car and we entered it in a car show three or four years ago," said Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh. "We call it 1541 and it's actually the oldest active police car in the state of Michigan. It's more for festivals and parades but it's registered as a line car for the designation. When the guys at Golling saw the car, they thought it would be fun to do an event just for police and for all Lake Orion youth."

So Dealership Owner John Golling and General Manager John Cooper liked the idea and the event has happened ever since. In 2011, the event raised $1,500 and according to Narsh all of it went to the Kops and Kids program. The Lake Orion Police use this money for a variety of donations and activities. In 2011 for example, they provided tuition assistance to a high school student who wanted to pursue criminal justice.

The event at Golling is the signature event for the Kops and Kids program.

But helping area children is only what the even seeks to do. For those that wish to attend this year's event - titled "Poker Run" - there will be a number of activities to choose from, least of which will be the classic cars that everyone who is able is encouraged to bring.

It starts with an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast for $7 (kids under 10 are $3 and seniors are $5) from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. After that the poker run begins and those interested can drive their classic cars from Golling to Metamora and back, stopping along the way to pick up cards from participating businesses. Whoever has the best hand at the end gets the grand prize of $300, though those behind will also have a chance at cash prizes.

Orion Area Chamber of Commerce President Bill Kokenos said signing up to be a participating business is beneficial to both the event and the companies.

"The businesses get to showcase their facility," he said. "Independent Village in Oxford, for example, will have different things available to visitors and the seniors there will get to watch the classic cars. TCF Bank will give out bags to put goodies in and everyone may have giveaways along the way.

"John Cooper is an extremely community-oriented person and when we did the pancake breakfast last year with a cruise to Woodward and back he wanted to know why we couldn't keep it more local. This year we want to keep it here and get local businesses involved."

After the drive finishes at around 2 p.m., the winner will be declared and the other activities are available. Those that simply wish to show off their classic car can do so without participating in the poker run for a trophy. Rocking Ronnie, the MC, will play hits from the 50s and 60s and later a band called "Two B Gone" will play live musical hits from the 50s through the 60s.

Food is available and the proceeds from those sales go to St. Joes Church School.

Admittance is free and the event runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with on site events starting at noon.

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