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Annual Santa Cause car show kicks off season

By Jennifer Nguyen
La Habra Journal

Classic vehicles—from the 1957 Pontiac Star Chief to the 1939 Ford Roadster—overtook the CVS Pharmacy Distribution Center in La Habra Sunday for the 3rd Annual Santa Cause Classics & Customs for Kids Car & Bike Show.DSC_0837
More than 200 cars, motorcycles, bicycles and trucks rolled into the lot at 9 a.m., kicking off the car show, which was hosted by the La Habra Host Lions Club. The event was popular among antique lovers and car enthusiasts, but it was also one of the largest fundraisers the La Habra Host Lions Club puts on each year.
All proceeds from sponsors, vendors, participants, contests and other sales will help buy iPads that will be donated to La Habra City Schools to benefit third to fifth grade students. Pajamas, socks and undergarments that show attendees donated will go directly to local children who have been taken into social service agencies. All toys and food is given to the city to help with Operation Santa.
Attendees also participated in silent auctions, bidding on items such as SmartWax products, treat baskets and a dinner for four at the La Habra Pasta Fest.
Actor Lorenzo Lamas and his wife Shawna made celebrity guest appearances at the car and bike show.
The couple was invited to the event by Liz Steves, event coordinator of the car and bike show, who also happened to help decorate the Lamas’ family home for the HGTV show “Celebrity Holiday Homes.”

Award winner: LH Heights Mayor Roy Francis accepts his trophy for Best of Show from actor Lorenzo Llamas. Francis won for his 1928 Ford.
Award winner: LH Heights Mayor Roy Francis accepts his trophy for Best of Show from actor Lorenzo Llamas. Francis won for his 1928 Ford.

Lamas, who has starred in “Grease” as well as television shows “Falcon Crest,”  “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and “Renegade,” also auctioned off his Harley Davidson Christmas tree, as seen in a recent episode of HGTV’s “Celebrity Holiday Homes,” in which Lamas and his family are featured.
“Shawna and I are very happy to be here today,” he said. “It’s nice to be part of a charity where we can help some children’s Christmases be joyful. They now don’t have to go through Christmas without getting any presents. This time of year is really about giving, and I think it’s important that we all give as much as we can to charity.”
There were also many food and shopping vendors on the lot selling jewelry, clothing, toys, popcorn and sports merchandise. Princess Jarbie, owner of Princess Craft Boutique, had knitted and crocheted items on display for purchase, like dolls and stuffed animals.
“It’s my first time here, and I plan on coming back next year,” said Jarbie. “Maybe my husband will bring his car.”
Vintage Wheel Works, which specializes in manufacturing wheels for muscle cars, was also present. They have been in La Habra for more than a year after having spent 10 to 15 years in Whittier. The company, owned by Rusty Conrad, has also taken part in major car shows in the past, such as the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
“We’re sort of a new resident to La Habra as far as business goes, so we figured we’d come out and do what we can to support the community,” said Conrad.
La Habra’s very own Wooden Nickel Band provided live entertainment throughout the day with rock and classic pop hits, including their cover of The Drifters’ “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

British motoring: John McGovern stands with his 1952 MG TD decorated for the Santa Cause event.
British motoring: John McGovern stands with his 1952 MG TD decorated for the Santa Cause event.

Tom Heyman and his team from Elite Fitness performed a traditional Japanese karate-do demonstration for spectators, which included breaking boards.
Pulling up in a classic Chevy Corvette, Santa Claus made an appearance at the event as well, handing out mini candy canes and taking photos with children.
At the end of the day, many registered car owners received awards in a variety of categories for their displayed vehicles.
Several winners were also La Habrians themselves, including Gary Cushing, who was awarded in the Red Hot Ride category for his 1931 Ford Roadster. Wanda Jacobs took home the trophy in “Hot Chick, Hot Ride” for her 1962 Nova Convertible. Steve and Irene Simonian won second place in “Most Holiday Themed” for their red 1957 Chevrolet half-ton pickup truck.
And La Habra Heights mayor Roy Francis and his wife Judy both took home the “Best of Show” award for their all-steel 1928 Ford Sedan.
“The success of this event was primarily our business community who came together and gave us monetary sponsorships,” said Steves. “And of course, we could not do this event without the CVS facility. There’s no way, no how. And thirdly, there was no way this event could have been done without the car culture of Southern California.”DSC_0748

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.