32nd Bloomington Gold
Pheasant Run Resort
St. Charles, IL
June 24-26, 2004
This was our 7th year for Corvettes Conquer
Cancer as a guest of Bloomington Gold. As usual, my bodyguard and co-pilot, Gary
accompanied me for the trip. This event in Bloomington in 1998 was our
first major national event, and the good folks there, headed by
have continued that tradition. This year Cathy served us above and beyond the
call of duty by giving up her staff room at the
Holiday Inn Express for us to
use, and by bringing her own tent to use at our display. Cathy, you're the
Wednesday, June 23
We stopped for the night in Middleburg Heights, OH. After checking into our
we cruised the 3 miles over to sponsor Chuck Mallett's shop
in Berea to
anybody was there. Arriving about 8:30, this is the sight that greeted
and his crew were furiously working on this black Cadillac CTS-V, with some Mallett
"enhancements". These included a supercharged 435ci LS6
engine (out of
his "Green Car"), brake upgrades, bigger wheels & tires. The car
produces 715 hp at the rear wheels!! Through perfectly quiet mufflers.
was being prepped for a Car and Driver Magazine "0-150-0 Shootout" for
street cars the following weekend at Michigan International Speedway.
against, among others, BMW and Mercedes teams - the Caddy's target market. Their
task this evening was to make the car
"less violent", to make it a
little easier for driver Jim Minneker to get the power to the ground.
serious tires under this car!
tweaks the blower pop-off valve, takes it out for a quick road evaluation,
followed by the debriefing.
how did they do in the Shootout? 1st in Sedan class, 5th overall.
Plus a special
award for "fastest acceleration from 100-150".
After 90 minutes of stop
& go on I-90 around Chicago, we arrived
at Pheasant Run in St. Charles, the
last 1/2 hour in the pouring rain.
the cold, wet grounds for our yet-to-be-assigned space, we found
in the Chevy display.
The rain had stopped, but you can
see the sweatshirts & jackets.
First up in the wash bay
at the HIE. That's 5:40 am local time!
random sightings around the show:
found in barn..."
of the Callaways featured in the "Special Collection."
the last of 10 Callaway Speedsters, owned by the late Chip Miller.
one is owned by friends Randy & Judy Flock. The ONLY Callaway
And look, there they come driving by our display in a golf cart!
food court was extremely popular. The stand at the right edge of the picture had
incredible apple dumplings, which Gary & I found to be a daily requirement!
The American Cancer Society
"Relay For Life" of Kane County
Held at Elfstrom Stadium in Geneva,
home of the Kane County Cougars baseball team.
was the highlight of our trip to St. Charles this year!
to Cathy Storm of Bloomington Gold, we were invited by Karen Breier of the ACS
Kane County Unit to participate in this very special event.
Our first time at
Bloomington in 1998 also coincided with the Relay for Life there,
where Sandy was invited to speak at the opening ceremonies and she walked
the Survivors' Lap. That one blew our minds as it was so far beyond anything
we had seen at home in Maine.
This one in Kane County far outshone any other Relay
for Life I have ever participated in!
coordination with the Relay, there was another show going on that evening where
the Chicago Corvette Club was fundraising.
They left that show and brought all
the Corvettes to the stadium about 10:00 that evening with the money they
We had our own spot, the only
Corvette inside the stadium, right inside the entrance.
It turned out to be a
popular photo op for some of the Relay teams.
opening ceremonies kicked off, quite literally, with a cancer survivor dance
then encouraging the crowd to dance in place as her star
to the BeeGees "Stayin' Alive".
To say that got everybody inspired
and pumped up
is a serious understatement: Just look at the crowd!
on the Kicking theme, here the captains of 2 competing high school kick-dancing
teams told about
combining their efforts to jointly raise money for this event, then
demonstrated their routines.
This one team of high school girls raised $33,500
for the American
moving feature of this event that I had not seen before:
for the Survivors' Lap, they first emptied the stands to line both sides
of the track to honor the Survivors as they took their lap.
the Luminaria lining the track have been lit.
scheduled, the Chicago Corvette Club arrived from the other event
That's Karen Breier gathering up their collection cans in front
of CCC Pres.
Mike Mandarino's Corvette.
relay teams and the spectators were treated to a spectacular fireworks display.
with Allen, Corvette guy, cancer survivor and new friend.
He insisted on buying
us coffee and a box of Krispy Kremes before we left!
so what did this event raise?
At last tally, the Kane County Relay For Life raised
for the American Cancer Society.
Congratulations for a job extremely well done!
This was our spot this
year: beautiful waterfront,
between the lake and the golf cart path, with Cathy's tent, tables & chairs.
The "Gold Tour"
While waiting for the Road
Tour to start, we exercised the radio control C6 and posed
for pictures with
retired from the Corvette Plant, and Mike Mandarino,
Pres. of the
Chicago Corvette Club, and their wives.
sights along the 50 mile road tour, and some of the 1200 Corvettes
The tour through mostly farm country was led by a group of 1954 Vettes followed
by the blue C6, then the rest of us.
We were #15, after the GM cars, as you can
see in the shot at the traffic light below.
The Tour ended at a shopping center
near the start for an informal display before everybody scattered for dinner.
Steve Tribble, Gold Tour
organizer and all-around good guy,
stopped by to visit our display the next day as we were about to pack up.
completed, Gary & I hit the road for home a little before 1pm local time. We
took a back road runaround
recommended by a native vendor to avoid major delays
on I-90 around Chicago. We'll never know if it saved any time or not,
but it was
a pleasant change of pace, and at least we were moving!
stopped for the night in Middleburg Heights again.
The last day on the road
we were treated to a 1¼ hour stoppage on I-80,
followed by another 15 min. stop a few miles later. Oh, and it rained most of
Aside from that, no problem...
the final stats back home again.
Many thanks to Bloomington Gold, especially Cathy Storm,
to Karen Breier and the
Kane County Relay For Life,
to Gary for his help and support,
and to Cheryl and
his wife and daughter, for sharing him with me for the trip!