Raising money for a worthy cause has become the new focus of many truck shows these days, and that is awesome. It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since the first DMF Cancer Benefit Truck Show, but the second event took place in Randolph, OH at the Portage County Fairgrounds on Sept. 24, 2022.
Show producer Heidi Benjamin and her efforts once again paid off nicely. Adding a truck pull to this year’s event, which had over 70 trucks participate in, she was granted more space this year by the fairgrounds officials and has already been given the show access to even more space for next year. The show is held as a benefit event for the Denise Marie Flaherty Memorial Foundation. Denise lost her 10-year battle with cancer back in 1993, and this nonprofit foundation was established in her honor.
With great weather in the mid-60s, the event saw a sunny start until overcast skies covered the rest of the day. It had rained quite a bit during the week leading up to this show, and the rain came back the day after the show, so it was nice that Mother Nature let us have this great day for a good cause. With 152 registered trucks, up from last year’s 65, this show is growing fast. And after all the expenses were paid, a bunch of truck-loving people raised over $37,000 to benefit several families that are currently battling the financial struggles that come with cancer and give them some relief.
It was truly awesome to see some of the trucks that I have featured in this magazine in the past come out to this event. Jeff Miller (Almost Overlooked 12/19) came out with his wife Toni and brought their 1958 Peterbilt 351. Ross Wright (The Wright Way 3/21) was there with his 2016 Peterbilt 389 and three other nice trucks from his fleet. Joey Ols (Joey’s Barn Find 3/20) came out with his 1987 Peterbilt 359 and Barrett livestock trailer, along with a red and black 1996 Western Star. Joey went all the way to Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) to buy this truck after seeing it for sale on Facebook.
I finally got to meet the owner of the flat black painted 352 cabover. I saw this truck at the Paul Riggle and Son’s Show a few months prior, and then again on its way to the Ohio Vintage Truck Reunion. Patrick Jeffrey of Warren, OH bought this 1975 Peterbilt 352 with a 400 Cummins that needed much love. He brought it home on April 13 and then spent the next two months transforming it from a straight truck flatbed with faded red paint to a rat rod inspired rig, painted flat black, with a cow print interior. It is a low budget build that looks cool.
Some really awesome trucks came over from Pennsylvania. Richie Foster of Reinsfelder Trucking was there with his white and silver 2021 Peterbilt 389 and matching RGN with a load of circuit breakers destined for Arizona. I also got the chance to look at Todd Gribble’s dark blue 2012 Peterbilt 389 with a painted and polished 2015 MAC pneumatic trailer. Todd came all the way from Somerset, PA. So much work went into this unit, including adding a butterfly hood, a pleated sunburst panel on the back of the sleeper, a heart-shaped side window, and pinstriping. This unit won honoree Mike Lechene’s People’s Choice award, which was the highest trophy for this event – and it was well deserved!
David Bicek brought a silver and blue striped 1984 Autocar AT-64F that really turned my head. It has a 425 CAT motor with only around 300K miles on the clock. With a very eye-catching combination of colors and paint scheme, this truck won Best of Show in the Antique Class. Another cool truck there is steered and geared by Shawn Hamrick of Niles, OH. His white and red 2019 Peterbilt 389, owned by McClymonds Supply & Transit of Portersville, PA, took 1st Place in the Bobtail Class. This truck, honoring our veterans, features a RED theme (which stands for Remember Everyone Deployed), that is displayed on both sides and on the top of the hood.
Joe Giulitto brought a stunning red 1992 Kenworth W900B with flames on the hood and fiberglass rear fenders. Mr. Giulitto bought the truck new in 1992 and worked it hard before retiring it. A few years later, they began restoring it, tearing it all the way down to bare frame rails. They had the interior done, too. It is a very sharp truck. Mr. Giulitto won Best of Show in the Bobtail Class. Fred Lauck, owner of RW Haulers, brought a few of his car carriers out, and had a bunch of cool vintage cars loaded on his unit. This is a sharp fleet of trucks.
It was really cool to see the green and white 2013 Kenworth T660 driven by Craig Morrison. This truck is owned by Richard Wolfe Trucking out of Mt. Vernon, OH. Craig pulls flatbed for them. This is one nice aerodynamic truck with an old school Seminole paint scheme. Craig won 2nd Place in the Bobtail Class. Another interesting rig in attendance was Doyle Montgomery’s “Flying Deu2ce” racing truck from the GATR series back in the early 80s. Mike Lierer had heard that the truck was just sitting in a field, so he bought it, got it running again, and brought it to the show. The truck is a 1971 extended hood KW powered by twin turbo 8V92 that still has its original frame and rear axles. This is a neat piece of truck history.
I had heard that Justin Lang was considering coming to this show, and after some convincing from Max Speier, he actually did! Driving a flat black 1971 Peterbilt 359 little window needle nose with a 36” bunk hooked to a nice MAC flatbed spread axle with a black side kit, Justin’s combination was looking tight. The truck has a Cummins 400 BC with 5+4 transmissions. It was great to finally meet Mr. Lang and talk. Another trucker Max Speier convinced to come was Clayton Driskill (That’s My Job 4/22) from Texas. Clayton’s rig, a blue 2018 Kenworth W900, pulled in and took 1st Place in the Combo Class.
It was great to see this new show bring in trucks from as far as Texas and Pennsylvania. I am looking forward to next year’s show to see what Heidi and her crew can do and how much money they can raise for such a great cause – the DMF Foundation. So, save the date for September 23, 2023. I will be there to cover it again, as great times were had by all. The quality of trucks at this show was absolutely outstanding. Who knew raising funds for charity could be so much fun and so rewarding!
Best of Show: David Breck Jr. (1984 Autocar)
1st Place: Fred Lauck (Rolling BBQ Grill)
2nd Place: Ed Wilson (1979 International)
3rd Place: Cole Gibbs (1960 Ford)
Best of Show: Giulitto Trucking (1992 Kenworth)
1st Place: Shawn Hambrick (2019 Peterbilt)
2nd Place: Craig Morrison (2013 Kenworth)
3rd Place: Marcus Ballentine (1994 Kenworth)
Best of Show: Todd Gribble (2012 Peterbilt)
1st Place: Clayton Driskill (2018 Kenworth)
2nd Place: Paul Richards (2022 Peterbilt)
3rd Place: Max Speier (2021 Peterbilt)
PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
Todd Gribble (2012 Peterbilt)