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Dover Post
  • Wheels and Wine rolls in for 6th annual event

  • Car enthusiast Jim Woodland has a drive that really kicks into high gear during the summer.
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  • Car enthusiast Jim Woodland has a drive that really kicks into high gear during the summer.
    That’s because this time of year is when Woodland and his colleagues host the annual Wheels and Wine fundraiser to benefit Debbie’s Fund. The fund is a Milford-based non-profit organization that raises money to support animals in a variety of ways, including funding animal shelters. Additionally, Debbie’s Fund assists pet owners with the cost of emergency operations for their pets when they can't afford it.
    Wheels and Wine brings car aficionados from throughout the state and Mid-Atlantic region to the Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery in Felton to showcase some of the best rides around. The 6th annual Wheels and Wine will be Sunday. More than 250 cars are expected to be featured, barring rain. The event is expected to draw 2,500 people.
    They’ll have the opportunity to enjoy Pizzadili’s homemade wine and tour the winery.
    Cover band Skinny Leg Pete will entertain with a repertoire that spans classic rock to blues jams. DJ Jen Tunis will also provide tunes.
    Not a fan of cars? No problem. There will be more than 45 craft vendors, offering a variety of items.
    “This is more than just a car show,” said Woodland, the president of Debbie’s Fund. “We try to pump it up to build up the crowd, because that’s where we make our money.”
    New to this year’s Wheels and Wine will be pin-up models, who’ll pose with cars and guests. And DJ Jen Tunis will have her line dancers showing off their nifty moves in the parking lot.
    Woodland said those two new activities were added to the event because “you want to keep it fresh.”
    Cars from 1920s to present
    Guests will see a wide range of rides in the car show. There will be classic rides from the 1920s such as the Ford Model T. There will also be a Unimog, a German vehicle produced by Mercedes that looks like a cross between a tank and truck. Not to mention, you’ll see street rods, luxury cars and modern sports cars like Corvettes.
    “There will almost be a century’s worth of iron there,” Woodland said. “That makes it interesting.”
    Multiple car clubs will be in attendance at Wheels and Wine, including the 1st State Corvette Club, based in Camden. Cars from the Corvette Club have appeared in previous Wheels and Wine events. And it’s no coincidence that Corvettes are one of the more popular cars at the show, Woodland said.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It was an American sports car from the beginning,” said Bruce Ballard, president of 1st State Corvette Club. “It always turns some heads when it goes by.”
    Ballard decided to support Wheels and Wine because Debbie’s Fund is a cause that’s near and dear to him, he said.
    “I have a border Collie,” the Smyrna resident said. “We’re all animal lovers. Our favorite charities are anything to do with animals, and anything to do with supporting the military.”
    ‘She was crazy over animals’
    Debbie’s Fund raises approximately $25,000 per year, and one of its substantial fundraisers that's helped keep the non-profit afloat has been Wheels and Wine. The organization makes money from the event by charging registration fees for the car show, and fees to be a vendor at the event. Wheels and Wine also has several sponsors.
    Since Debbie’s Fund was founded in 2004, the organization has raised more than $250,000, Woodland said. The non-profit was created in memory of the late Debra Sipple, who loved animals dearly.
    “She was a very passionate person about animals,” Woodland said. “She had a goat and four cats, two dogs, a turtle and a fish. She was crazy over animals. Having been able to raise this much money is a real positive.
    “Wherever she is, she has a real big smile on her face.”
    IF YOU GO
    WHAT 6th annual Wheels and Wine
    WHEN 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday
    WHERE Pizzadili Vineyard and Winery, 1681 Peach Basket Road, Felton
    COST Free admission; donations are very appreciated
    INFO Visit debbiesfund.com or call 424-1504 

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