By Jen Bakken
By sketching a logo on a napkin in a Rockford bar back in 1988, two couples founded Pair-A-Dice Cruisers Car Club.
Twenty years later, Dar and Mary Lou Koecher of Rockford, along with Ed and Mary Larson of Loretto, are proud to say their club has grown to nearly 50 members.
This group appreciates all types of cars, from classic to new. Whether they are polishing their cars, showing them, buying them, or just cruising in them, they are obviously dedicated car enthusiasts.
On the second Tuesday of each month, the group conducts a meeting at the Choo-Choo Bar in Loretto at 7 p.m. But during the summer months, sometimes they meet elsewhere as they can’t keep themselves from taking a cruise in their beloved vehicles.
The Delano City Park was the destination for the club’s 20th anniversary car show. There were 267 cars on display this year, making it their largest event to date.
“We started by having the car show in Rockford but it grew too large for that space,” said Mary Larson. “For the past 10 years, it’s been at the Delano City Park, and it grows every year.”
This year, there were 60 people’s choice awards presented at the car show, as well as 11 special awards and $2,000 worth of cash and merchandise given away in a drawing for paid participants.
The entry fee for show cars was $10, and the event was free to spectators. Beginning with registration at 8 a.m., the car show included entertainment by Pure Platinum, a pancake breakfast, lunch, homemade desserts, and a raffle, and concluded with award announcements at 3 p.m.
In June, as they do each year, Pair-A-Dice Cruisers Car Club met at the Delano Health Care Center to display their cars and host a picnic with residents and visitors.
“They bring their cars, assist in grilling hamburgers and hotdogs, and give each resident a tour of their cars,” said Kara Reiser, activities director for Golden Living Center. “They just love it.”
There are many other events and activities the group hosts or takes part in, and they have also adopted a stretch of highway on Hennepin County Road 19 to collect trash during the spring and summer months.
“We always have fun,” said Larson. “It’s a social club, and we aren’t just car lovers we are friends.”
Pair-A-Dice Cruisers always welcomes new members. Members are required to purchase a club jacket and pay a $12 yearly membership fee.
For more information, visit the club’s web site, www.pairadicecruisers.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.