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Burnin’ rubber

Car show, burnout competition supports Jake Forsman Memorial scholarship fund

Keith Vandervort
Posted 10/25/17

ELY - The first annual Jake Forsman Memorial Car Show and Burnout Competition held on Saturday in front of the Ely City Hall exceeded the organizer’s expectations in every way.

Ely resident Al …

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Burnin’ rubber

Car show, burnout competition supports Jake Forsman Memorial scholarship fund

Posted

ELY - The first annual Jake Forsman Memorial Car Show and Burnout Competition held on Saturday in front of the Ely City Hall exceeded the organizer’s expectations in every way.

Ely resident Al Forsman, a city council member and father of the late Jake Forsman, coordinated the event in memory of his son who died one year ago today in an automobile accident.

“The Jake Forsman Memorial Car Show and Burnout Competition was created to commemorate the life of a young man who had consistently reached out to help and comfort people who needed it – whether he knew you or not,” Al Forsman said.

“My son Jake had the aptitude, training, skills, attitude and smile to have a long career providing service for our area’s heating and cooling systems.”

The void created when he died gave birth to the idea of The Jake Forsman Memorial Scholarship for Ely High School graduates pursuing vocational education in the blue-collar trades – especially those seeking a career in the heating and cooling field.

The community support exhibited on a gloomy, rainy Saturday, seemed to brighten everyone’s spirits.

“There were so many people, groups, clubs, and businesses that helped to make the inaugural event such a huge success, I know I will inadvertently leave out some names,” Forsman wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. “You all deserve credit for the great event we had. I will do my best to make it right. This event only worked because of all (who) watched, worked, displayed, drove, donated, and shared. You are the ones that deserve the credit for its success.”

Almost 80 cars registered for the vehicle display show, and 30 contestants joined in on the burnout competition. Al Forsman wound up his 1975 Chevrolet Monza 2+2 and smoked and squealed his tires in dizzying circles within the confines of cement barriers, to a cheering crowd. He won the first heat of competition. Dan Forsman took first place in the second heat, and won the overall Best Burnbout competition.

In a burnout competition, one person at a time enters into a burnout pit and they have their opportunity to squeal tires, and lay down some rubber. Some drivers even attempted to do NASCAR-style circles. With safety the top priority, the burnout pit was contained within an area enclosed by massive concrete barriers.

Paul Forsman took the Fan Choice at the car show with his black 1967 Camaro SS. Best of Show went to a 2011 Mustang owned by Rick Holland.

Other results included: Best Dodge: 2015 Challenger Hellcat – Greg Johnson; Best Chevy: 2011 – Hank Braczynski; Best Brand X: 1988 Porsche 911 – Jan Lahtonen.

There were two categories within each decade class.  The winners were:

Pre -1950: 1946 Willys – Mike Forsman; 1930 Ford Model A – Merrill Roberts.

1950 – 1959: 1955 Chevy 3100 – Dave Vesel; 1955 Chevy Bel Air – John Samuelson.

1960 – 1969: 1965 Ford Mustang 2+2 - Ron Vine; 1968 Chevy C30 – Rob Mattson.

1970 – 1979: 1978 Ford F-150 – Mark Walker; 1973 Ford Mustang – Ron Popesh.

1980 – 1989: 1988 Porsche 911 – Jan Lahtonen; 1981 Chevy Corvette – Brad Pearse.

1990 – 1999: 1993 Chevy Silverado – Josh Vessel; 1992 Chevy Corvette – Jerry Skubi.

2000 and up: 2011 Ford Mustang – Rick Holland; 2011 Chevy Camaro – Hank Barczynski.

“I’m just giddy at the huge response we got from the community and all the support my family received,” Al Forsman said. “We built a solid foundation for our scholarship for Jake and will plan to do this again next year,” he said.

As Facebook makes it possible for all voices to be heard, several people voiced their disappointment with the event.

“I am sorry this event does not agree with all,” Al Forsman responded. “I expected the noise, smoke and smell to be offensive to some. I also hoped they would accept the inconvenience for what I thought would be a good event for the community. From what I hear, the positives for the community that I expected exceeded all predictions. Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience of those who do not embrace our passions. To them I say, ‘please consider accepting this event for it’s balance of positives over the negatives.’ To our supporters, please refrain from engaging (in) arguments with them. Instead, share my phone number with them, I will be happy to discuss the event with them. 218-235-3767.

“Car shows have been attempted more than a few times in Ely,” Forsman said. “They seem to be attempted in most towns. Some are successful, some aren’t. I don’t know if there is an equation to pre-determine what makes it a success. It seems to be important that there is something unique about the event. A lot of thought went into what it would take to make this a success for the whole city of Ely. Many area car club members said they will be bringing more members next year.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Jake Forsman Memorial Scholarship, with an emphasis on attracting students to pursue trade-related jobs.

Donations can be sent to the Jake Forsman Memorial Scholarship, 641 E. Camp St,, Ely, MN 55731.

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