Article contributed by Lance Miller / Corvettes at Carlisle / Chip Miller Charitable Foundation
The Corvette hobby lost an amazing person in 2004. My father, Chip Miller passed away from a rare disease called amyloidosis. Shortly after his passing, my family and I decided to start the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation (CMCF) in his honor and to raise awareness of this terrible disease.
The Corvette hobby was and continues to be the driving force behind the efforts and mission of the CMCF. My father was not only a wonderful person; he was also a best friend and mentor to me and many of my friends. His loss affected me in many ways, but most importantly to follow his mantra of “Life is good!” He was an incredibly positive, caring and generous person and his passing made me realize just how precious every minute really is and to enjoy the time we have on this earth.
In 2005 during Corvettes at Carlisle I wanted to do something different for Chip’s Choice that would honor not only my father but the parent and child relationship. That year we featured Parent / Child relationships through Corvette ownership. Many of the stories were extremely emotional and brought tears to my eyes; some were fun and entertaining and would make you smile from ear to ear. One submission included Andy Rumford and his son, both who came to Corvettes at Carlisle that year. Andy mentioned that he would like to start an event in honor of my father and to help raise money and awareness for amyloidosis. Immediately the CMCF board provided the green light and Andy along with Michael Crank jumped into creating the annual event dubbed Corvettes for Chip. Obviously it takes more than a couple people to facilitate and run a Corvette fundraising event, so Andy and Michael quickly secured various local Corvette club members to help with the effort. After seven years, the event continues to thrive and brings in many smiles along with some incredible Corvettes which of course helps to generate much needed donations for the Chip Miller Charitable Foundation.
The event was held for the first time at Thomas Chevrolet in Media, PA. Beautiful weather, an outstanding location and a vast array of incredible Corvettes helped to make this year’s Corvettes for Chip an exceptional event. The Best of Show went to Pat Lamerton and his beautiful ’64 Corvette! Each year the committee asks me to pick my favorite Corvette on the field. This year I chose a ’69 Corvette owned by Frank Andalora with Delaware Valley NCRS. Frank knew my father and they would travel to various Corvette events and challenge one another on the show circuit with their ’69 Corvettes. One weekend my father’s ’69 would win, the next weekend Frank’s would win. Frank and my father quickly realized it wasn’t the competition that kept them coming back, it was the friendship. Frank spoke about the many lasting friendships he created through his ‘69 Corvette. When all is said and done, that’s what our hobby is all about… the people and friendships that are formed.
I must also mention the many tasty baked goods at the event for sale as well. In fact, I scored some of the tastiest brownies I’ve had in a long time (sorry Michele). The majority of the baked goods came from the Williams family whose father/husband has amyloidosis and has been supporting Corvettes for Chip for the past several years. There were also some amazing auction items and a 50/50 raffle.
After the awards presentation, I introduced Michelle Major, who shared her heartfelt story about her late husband’s battle with amyloidosis. Her husband was misdiagnosed for over a year, and of course, like my father, when they finally diagnosed him with amyloidosis, the disease was too far gone for effective treatment. Her courage and determination throughout their ordeal helped remind me just how important it is to continue our fight against this deadly disease.
Wrapping up the days’ festivities included a drawing for a freshly delivered 2014 Stingray Corvette. I had the honor to pull the winning ticket from the County Corvette Associations sold out and extremely successful raffle. Rocky Crisconi, a member of Corvette Club of Northern Delaware, ran up to the car and got on his knees and kissed the front of his new 2014 Corvette when his name was called over the microphone. What a wonderful way to end a great day!
If you weren’t able to make the event and would like to contribute towards the CMCF, please feel free visiting: http://chipmiller.org. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
From the bottom of my heart I’d like to thank all of the sponsors, participants, attendees and especially each of the volunteers that make this event what it has become! It means the world to my family and the CMCF board members knowing my father is still making a positive impact even ten years after his passing.
As my best friend would always say… LIFE IS GOOD!
On a side note, Andy Rumford (co-founder of Corvettes for Chip) never met my father and simply wanted to do something nice to help a son that was grieving because his father passed away way too early. He wanted to help us spread the word about this terrible disease. Losing a father or mother is incredibly difficult, however, losing a son or daughter is more difficult. In fact, it’s something I can’t even fathom and something I hope never happens. This past year Andy and his wife lost their daughter Kacie who passed away from a heroin overdose. Promptly following her passing the Rumford family started Kacie’s Cause (more information can be found by visiting http://www.kaciescause.com/). Please visit the website and take some time to learn about this terrible problem that’s occurring more and more frequently. Andy and his family would like to help other families recognize the tragic consequences of heroin and the addictions it may cause.
These photos from the event were provided by Monica Mayer:
Corvettes for Chip WINNERS LIST
Winners w /club, those without, didn’t specify a club. Winner first, then runner-up
|Mitch Doris||1955||County Corvette Assoc.|
|S-2||Bob Avery||1966||Corvette Club Northern Delaware|
|Joseph Youkneveich||1968||Delaware Valley NCRS|
|Brad Orev||1993||Easton Area CC|
|S-5||George Hoover||1998||Skyline Drive CC|
|Kerry Duke||2004||Corvette Club Delaware Valley|
|S-6||Frank Agent||2009||Callaway Owners Group|
|Jim Peters||2007||Allentown Area CC|
|M-1||Larry Gilbert||1957||Corvette Club Northern Delaware|
|M-2||Bob Armstrong||1973||County Corvette Assoc|
|M-3||Ken Woodcock||1996||Corvette Club Northern Delaware|
|Jim McGoldrick||1995||Corvette Club Northern Delaware|
|M-4||John Makovec||2003||County Corvette Assoc.|
|JoJo Fuscellaro||2001||Corvette Club Delaware Valley|
|M-5||Kirk Hampson||2005||Keystone State CC|
|Custom 1||Patrick Lamberton||1964|
|Andy Rumford||1975||Corvette Club Northern Delaware|
|Custom 2||Bob Anderson||2000||Lancaster County CC|
|Race Prep||Greg Gable||1988||Corvette Challenge Car|
|Best Paint||Jeff Nonnemaker||1979||Easton Area CC|
|Best Engine||Don Kellner||1970|
|Best Interior||Elmer Pluck||1965||Delaware Valley NCRS|
|Best of Show||Pat Lamerton||1964|
|Lance’s Choice||Frank Andalora||1969||Delaware Valley NCRS|
Lance Miller is a co-owner of the Corvettes at Carlisle show in Carlisle, PA.
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