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Vintage collectors appreciate diversity of entries in benefit for Elks Children's Eye Clinic at Oregon Health & Science University's Casey Eye Institute

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - St. Helens Elks Post 1999 welcomed classic cars, like this 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air, and vintage aficionados to its 10th Cruise-In on Saturday, July 29.SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL - SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: JAKE MCNEAL -

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St. Helens Elks Lodge 1999 was the cat's meow on Saturday, July 29, hopping with classic cars and collectors to benefit the Elks Children's Eye Clinic at Oregon Health & Science University's Casey Eye Institute in Portland.

All proceeds went to the center, which "offers pediatric eye care services for babies, children and young adults" and "provides evaluation, diagnosis and treatment services for a wide range of conditions, from screening for normal vision correction and eye misalignment problems to caring for the most complicated eye conditions."

The best cars from each decade, the best in show and the spectators' choice went home winners.

"In Columbia County you can have space for a garage and collect cars," Elks member Eric Michael said. "[At the Cruise-In] you can see what your neighbor has that you didn't know he had."

Saturday's first 100 entries received dash plaques, raffle prizes were given out every half-hour, and Elks member Linda McDougle reported 112 cars in all.

"It takes a village, and it takes a herd," McDougle said.

The Elks' veterans committee served breakfast, and the lodge welcomed all in attendance to a barbecue lunch and a dinner when the last awards were given.

"This year was smaller, but nearly three-fourths of the cars I haven't seen before," Elks member Darrel McFarland said. "My dad, brother and I all said we haven't seen this diversity."

Donations to the Elks may be sent to:

St. Helens Elks #1999

350 Belton Rd.

St. Helens, OR. 97051

"We liked the turnout, and the weather [82 degrees and 10 mile-per-hour wind without a cloud in the sky]," the Elks' exalted ruler Celeste Lambert said.

The St. Helens Elks are online at sthelenselks.org.

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