Most people who go to a high school football game do not usually expect to come home with a truck. But that’s exactly what happened at the Clatskanie Middle/High School (CMHS) homecoming football game on Friday, Oct. 25.
LeRoy Price, Westport resident, won the truck in a raffle, which was a fundraiser for the CMHS Career and Technical Education (CTE) class, a class that covers auto shop and metal shop. Approximately 525 tickets were sold at $20 a piece. Interested parties were allowed to purchase as many tickets as they wanted, with one individual buying $400 dollars’ worth of tickets, Tim Kamppi, CTE instructor said. Price had only purchased one.
Price’s wife, Cheryl was also present when the ticket was drawn, and later told Kamppi that while Price usually does not show a lot of emotion, that changed as soon as he won the truck.
“It was the most emotion she’d seen on his face in a long time, he was tickled pink to win it,” Kamppi said.
The truck, a restored 1979 Ford F150, was a project done by CMHS CTE students. About 20 students have been restoring the truck since January of this year, according to Kamppi, stripping the old truck bare and building it from the ground up. Work included repairing the running gear, painting the frame, welding in new floor pans and giving the truck a new, 400 cubic-inch displacement engine, an upgrade from its former 351 engine.
“They shined it all up from a rusty bucket,” Kamppi said.
Interest in the truck was so high that teachers, administrators and Kamppi himself had all bought raffle tickets. In order to have a neutral party draw the winner, Kamppi decided to call up Sen. Betsy Johnson, who agreed to come.
“Johnson is a big supporter of CTE programs and small schools,” Kamppi said. “I called her up and got ahold of her directly. She obliged, and she came out and had a great time.”
Proceeds from the fundraiser are going to support new materials for the CTE class, specifically a tire machine, tire mounter and tire balancer. Any funds remaining will help support the next truck build, a project Kamppi has decided to do again, based on the success of this project.
“This project, it kind of took on a life of its own,” Kamppi said. “From getting the truck, to getting it working, and then deciding to change our scope and build it for this raffle. It was almost like a community project.”
When the project is done again, Kamppi said he would change a few things and keep some things the same. One of the changes Kamppi will make is having a little more organization when the truck is torn apart. Something that will remain is using a Ford car, seeing as how Ford parts are more easily available than other models, Kamppi said.
In addition to gifting a community member with a new car, the project has been a kick off to a new CTE program, Kamppi said. Some changes will be obtaining new upcoming shop equipment, such as a CNC plasma cutter for the welding class.
Kamppi also said he was impressed with the commitment students showed to restoring and building the truck. In order to meet their deadline, students had to spend a lot of hours both before and after school in order to pull the project off.
“Between our new shop equipment and our new scope of what we’re doing in auto class, we’re laying a good foundation for a new program at Clatskanie.” Kamppi said.