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Posted: 08/28/13

Romeo resident Bill Miller, owner of Miller's Machine and Tool located in Romeo, said he was privileged to create the custom-made trophies for this year's Peach Festival Car Show. Miller joined the Romeo Lions Club last year and hopes offering unique awards from this year forward will boost participation in the car show. Miller plans to display the trophies prior to Sunday's car show in a storefront window in downtown Romeo.

(Observer photo by Debi Martone)

Unique made-in-Romeo trophies to be
given out at Festival of Cars show

Observer Special Writer

      Winners of the Romeo Lions Club Peach Festival Car Show will take home an exclusive, made-in-Romeo prize this year.
       Bill Miller, owner of Miller's Machine and Tool, joined the Lions Club last year. It didn't take long for the true meaning of being a Lion to sink in because Miller has always been dedicated to helping people and making things special for others. Miller was one of the people who played a big part in restoring the old clock on the First Congregational Church.
       With that in mind, when the subject came up at a club meeting about doing something different for the car show winners this year, Miller stepped up and took on the challenge.
       Miller, car show committee members and one of his friends started brainstorming immediately about finding unique trophies for the winners to receive.
       "John, one of my friends that I brought along to the meeting said, `hey, let's make them in your machine shop,'" Miller said.
       Ideas and sketches started right away so they could determine if making them locally would even be possible.
       "I figured if I could tackle the project of fixing the clock . . ., making trophies would be much easier," Miller said. "So I said, `it looks like we are making trophies.'"
       With his team of helpers and less than six weeks until showtime, Miller found the task a bit more challenging than initially expected.
       "I got a group of friends together and we threw ideas at one another. We decided we weren't going to tell each other what we liked about our ideas, but rather what we didn't like so we knew what we were sure we didn't want," said Miller.
       Five hours into the meeting, Miller's friend, John, who he joked that he was basically dragged into the project, came up with the idea of putting "fuzzy dice" on the trophies.
       Committee members helped secure donations for materials, including two specially made pistons from the Ford Romeo Engine Plant to put on the Plant Manager's Choice and the UAW Representative's Choice trophies.
       Putting his other jobs aside in order to meet the deadline, Miller created awards that he said could never be found in any catalog or trophy store.
       "When I talk about this project I always refer to it being completed by `us,' not `me,'" Miller said. "We had a great group of people working on this."
       Miller said the cost of materials for each trophy was around $50. The crew stopped counting after 70 hours of labor.
       "The work was well worth it. It is for a great cause and can these trophies not draw attention?" he said with pride.
       Miller hopes offering exceptional, one-of-a-kind awards will help boost participation in the car show.
       "I want this to be the car show to go to after the Dream Cruise," he said.
       About 250 cars are on display every year for the show. Miller said he would love to see that number double in the next few years.
       "Increased participation will lead to increased attendance, which will bring in more money for the Lions Club to help others with," Miller said. "That's the bottom line."
       This year marks the car show's 82nd year. It will take place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1 at the Ford Romeo Engine Plant, located on 32 Mile east of the M-53 bypass. There is a $4 donation for parking but entrance to the show is free. Concessions, raffles and free shuttles to and from the show will be available.
       Registration for participants runs from 7 a.m.-11 a.m. The fee to participate is $20. Those wishing to have their car included in the judging must register before 11 a.m. Awards will be given at 3 p.m. for Peach Queen's Pick, Peach Festival President's Award, People's Choice and Best in Show - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

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