By Belinda M. Paschal
PIQUA — Students in Upper Valley Career Center’s auto collision repair program recently got a gift that will “motor-vate” them in their learning process.
On Monday, the class was the recipient of a 1993 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight donated by Piqua resident Louise Rowe.
“Since the car was pretty old and I was having some mechanical problems with it, I thought rather than trying to sell it, I would donate it,” said Rowe. “I wanted them to be able to put it to good use.”
The car is being used by students to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field. Because it has mechanical issues, it also might spend time being looked at by students in other programs like auto technology.
Rowe has more than a passing familiarity with the auto repair program at Upper Valley CC. Her late husband, Oliver, was the program’s first teacher when the school opened in 1975. He retired in 1986.
“He’d already had a lengthy career in the automobile industry working with vehicles, including at the Paul Sherry dealership prior to coming to Upper Valley Career Center,” said Kathy Voris, director of public relations for the school.
Voris said more than 100 cars have been donated to the automotive programs during the school’s almost 40-year existence. Donations have slowed in recent years, but in the past the autos were used not only as a teaching tool, but as a potential prize for students.
“When we had a car that could be fixed up by the students, that only required minor repairs, it was used for the perfect attendance drawing,” Voris said. “Every student that had perfect attendance had the opportunity to win. It was a really nice way to reward them.”