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“Otto’s Bar” to honor exemplary volunteer

The Iola Car Show is often proud to boast about the wonderful people and community we have the pleasure of working with.  Not only is Iola considered a top notch car show, but it’s run in a very unique way, relying heavily on the tens of thousands of volunteer hours committed annually in the execution of the event.  In fact, the show simply wouldn’t be possible without them.

Among the thousands of volunteers, there are many who give remarkable time and effort in dedication to the show in true Midwestern fashion.  Each year we choose a volunteer for special recognition for their hard work and positive attitude.  While it’s impossible to choose any single “best” volunteer, we wanted to do something special this year in honor of the volunteers.

Otto Laven is certainly one of our best and most recognizable volunteers.  He’s been manning the Lions Club Beer stand for decades.  He’s reliable, selfless and has the true heart of servant, always looking to take care of those around him.  He’s a wonderful example of what many of our volunteers bring to the car show.

Early this year, we set out to create something special, and the idea of “Otto’s Bar” was born.  As we traveled down the path of developing the idea, the pieces started to fall into place.

Dombeck Custom Cabinets, located in Elderon, WI, is a wonderful custom cabinet company.  They produce high quality custom cabinets and other projects, and are made up of a small team of salt of the earth workers.  One of them in particular has been a long time vendor at the show and comes with the whole whole family every year to our annual event.  When we approached her with the idea of Otto’s Bar, she set right to work in helping us make it a reality.  Shortly thereafter Dombeck Custom Cabinets became the lead sponsor of Otto’s Bar and created these awesome pieces.

“This started as a simple idea in one of our weekly team meetings,” said Joe Opperman of the Iola Car Show team, “But it really started coming together thanks to the commitment and help of the folks over at Dombecks.  They do awesome work, and the mobile bar components they created for us are exactly what this project needed.  They’ve been great to work with.”

The bar will feature a vintage jukebox, pinball machines and a few other items.  It will be located at the west end of the activity center.

Otto’s bar will be a unique stop during the show.  It will be the only place on the grounds you can get an array of specialty bottled beer.  We’ll also incorporate some discounted drinks during happy hour from 6pm-7pm daily.

“We hope this goes well this year and will be something we can continue in the future.  We want Otto, and all the great volunteers he represents, to be as well known and appreciated by the attendees as he is by the staff and others.”

While you’re at the show, be sure to stop in, relax for a minute, and say hello to Otto.


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