Anyone out in Park Hills Saturday evening may have been reminded of their youth while cruising up and down Main Street, because that was exactly what everyone was doing, ‘Cruisin’ for a Cause’ to benefit the Park Hill Senior Center Meal on Wheels program.
The air was filled with the smell of burnt rubber, cheers and laughter as vehicles made their way up and down Main Street. People lined the street laughing and talking with friends as they watched each car pass, sometimes cheering them on to do a burnout. As cars inched along drivers and passengers would talk and wave as they passed friends, reminiscing how they did this every Friday and Saturday night back in the day.
People of all ages were enjoying the special event. Today’s kids were brought out with their parents and told stories of mom and dad’s younger years. High school students were experiencing serious downtown cruising for the first time ever.
That was just the case for high school kids Ethan Flanagan, 16, and Jessica Hulsey, 18, who were out cruising Main Street for their first time. They said they had never been out cruising before but they both had heard stories of cruising from their parents.
“My dad used to go out cruising,” Flanagan said. “I have heard stories about it and there is a lot of people out here, it’s pretty cool.”
Hulsey agreed that it was pretty neat. She added they were having a lot of fun.
Mark Elders was really excited about having the chance to cruise and reminisce about his younger years.
“I love this! We used to do this back in the day,” Elders laughed. “I was just saying I got (a) ticket … right up there, right where the cop car is sitting. There are a lot of memories.”
Tim Mosier, of Terre Du Lac, and Lisa Moore, of Park Hills, were out cruising and Moore said they used to do this when they were in school.
Mosier said there are a lot of good memories from cruising and it was an every weekend thing back then.
Rodney and Angie Rokiski, of Bismarck, have some very special memories from cruising when they were younger. In fact, that is how they met and they’ve been together ever since.
“We both worked at Dugal’s Grocery store when we younger, too,” Rodney said. “This is pretty neat and it is a good cause. It has been years since Main Street has looked like this. I am glad Holly (Buxton) is doing it. It just really brings back old memories.”
Angie said it should definitely be an annual event.
Cruisin’ for a Cause organizer and Park Hills Senior Center Director Holly Buxton said they had an amazing turnout, more than expected with it being their first year to hold the cruise event.
“From the get go it has been so cool and this is a thing that all of the community pulled together to make happen,” Buxton said. “People from Desloge, Farmington, Bismarck, all of our Park Hills people and more. They all came out and the community as a whole pulled together. It was just an awesome thing.”
Buxton said there was a band in the Country Mart parking lot and they had 54 vendors set up throughout the day. There was also a beer garden and bleachers set up so people could sit and enjoy the music.
“It was a hot day and everybody gave very generously,” Buxton said. “We just really appreciate everyone coming out and we have some ideas and suggestions for next year to make it even bigger. So we are going to be doing this again.”
Buxton explained the senior nutrition center she operates serves about 300 meals a day to area seniors and 250 of those are home delivered. She said because of this they have to do something to help out with their finances.
“We were actually shocked, I didn’t realize it would be this big of an event,” Buxton added. “Everything raised all stays right here, it doesn’t leave the community, which is something people like. We deliver (meals) to Desloge, Leadington, Leadwood and Park Hills, so the money will stay right here in St. Francois County.”
Buxton explained those who matter most are the seniors and that is who everyone was helping to feed. She said it’s not just the meal, it’s so much more. They deliver means to people who never see another person all day, or have anyone who comes to talk with them, so the meal delivery is also a way to check on them every day.
“(Meal delivery drivers) don’t just deliver their meals, they help them if they need their trash taken out or their mail brought in if they can’t get it, my volunteers will do that for them,” Buxton said. “I can’t do anything without my volunteers, so we appreciate them.”
As for the cruising fundraiser, Buxton said a lot of the younger kids didn’t have a clue what serious cruising was, so the evening gave them a chance to experience cruising with their grandparents or their moms and dads.
Buxton added that this was just for one night, but this was how a lot of couples met back in the day. Buxton said her daughter met her husband cruising.
“I always say it’s good clean fun and we will hopefully do this every year and add more to it,” she stressed. “I would love to hear if the public would like to see something added. Just give me a call or Facebook message me, I am all for suggestions. So far we have a few things we are going to tweak a little bit and would love to get more feedback.”
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or firstname.lastname@example.org