Spear Electric Co. owner Dave Deck made an unusual donation to The Chardon High School Memorial Benefit Fund, he let members of the community sign his Tek-Craft Hydroplane Outboard Racing Boat to raise money and show support for the community. “It just came to me,” commented Deck. “It was a way to combine my life-long love for boat racing and Spear Electric Company’s commitment to the Chardon community.” Over 200 people signed the boat, which was part of a 2-day fund raising event held at Ernst Lanes at 10651 Grant Street in Chardon on March 20th – 21st. According to Joe Ernst, owner of Ernst Lanes, in total the event raised over $14,000. After the signatures were completed, Mayfield Collision Centers applied a special clear-coat protectant on the boat to preserve the signatures.
Like many members of the Chardon Community, Deck has special connections that inspired him to help raise money for the Memorial Benefit Fund. “Danny Parmertor was a new employee working his first job at Ernst Lanes where I cosponsor the Saturday Night Mixed Couples League. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to collect his first paycheck.” Danny Parmertor, 16, Russell King Jr., 17, and Demetrius Hewlin, 16; passed away from injuries sustained in the shooting on February 27th. Three other students were also injured in the incident but survived. The King family attended the Fundraiser and was one of the signatures featured on Deck’s race boat.
Mayfield Collision Centers, which donated and applied the special environmentally friendly Sherwin-Williams clear-coat product to Deck’s boat, also has connections to the shooting tragedy. According to company President and Founder, Tom Griffin, “We had four employees with seven loved ones who attended school within the Chardon district on that fateful day. Applying the clear-coat protectant was one way to show our heartfelt support for the community as well as for own employees.” Mayfield Collision Centers’ technician Robert Gunther was instrumental in introducing Deck and Griffin and gaining their mutual commitment on the project.
Deck grew up in the racing community, often attending events with his father. “In the 50’s boat racing was a family event, and that’s the whole idea we’re trying to bring back to the sport today – to have fun” said Deck. Last year, Deck attended special training through the American Power Boat Association (APBA) and started his rookie season professionally racing in 2012. Among the races he plans to participate in this year is the “Rock the Docks” Regatta Divisional on July 7th and 8th in Lakemore Ohio (outside of Akron). “I hope that when race fans see all those signatures on the boat, they will understand the impact of the tragedy on Chardon and be inspired to continue to raise money for the Memorial/Scholarship Fund.” ESPN as well as other online news services are expected to cover the race.
For more information on The Chardon High School Memorial Benefit/Scholarship Fund or to make a donation, please visit www.ernstlanes.com or contact Joe Ernst at (440) 286-6671.