SkillsUSA Prepares for Annual Car Show

THEY’VE GOT SKILLS: The SRHS SkillUSA club meets on Thursday, April 21 to plan the 22nd annual Del Barrett Memorial Car Show. Club advisor Tom Gutsch (third from right) described the show as having “a real sense of community” because “it’s the only event where the whole school is at the same event at the same time.” This will be the first time the event has taken place since 2019. Photo provided by Lucas Shimetz.

Article by Molly Murphey

Santa Rosa High School’s SkillsUSA club is hard at work preparing for the 22nd annual Del Barrett Memorial Car Show to be held Friday, May 13th during lunch on the softball field as part of this year’s Country Fair Day. The show is held in honor of Del Barrett, a car enthusiast and car show organizer who passed away unexpectedly from a medical condition when he was a student at SRHS.

While many SRHS students may not have heard of the club, upperclassmen are probably familiar with the car show that they put on each year. SkillsUSA is the Career Technical Education club for students taking shop classes at SRHS which, according to the organization’s website, “empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens . . . through the development of SkillsUSA Framework skills that include personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.”

The car show is open to all students and faculty and cars don’t have to be old or expensive to enter. Contestants can submit their vehicles to one of seven categories: motorcycle, truck, muscle car, import, classic, daily driver,and parent’s car. 

SkillsUSA club president Holden Aboudara (11) encouraged students to enter, saying, “If you put effort into your car, you might as well show it off.” Club secretary, Ember Trowbridge added, jokingly, that for some cars, “this is the only show that will let you enter.” Prizes for winners in each category include commemorative t-shirts and prizes donated by sponsors including a set of music lessons from School of Rock. 

SkillsUSA staff advisor Tom Gutsch said that “this event [the car show] has always been described as the feel-good event of the year at SRHS.” He emphasized that it is the only annual event “where the whole school is there at the same time.” He has been organizing the car show for the past five years.

Those thinking about participating should be aware that there will be some stiff competition this year. SkillsUSA club member Lucas Shimetz (12) said that he is planning on entering a ‘63 Chevrolet Corvair. Chair of the history department, Art Horner, has become famous for his entries. He said that last year he “bought himself a Christmas present,” a blue ‘71 Chevy C10 that he will enter in the show this year.

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