AMX

A 1969 American Motors AMX is displayed at a previous year's Rev ’Em Up for Kids.

Classic cars are heading for Corrigan Drive on Sept. 5.

The 11th annual Rev ’Em Up for Kids Mega Car Cruise Event, presented by Pasta Too, returns after taking the pandemic year off, this time at a new location: the parking lot next to South Park’s ice skating rink.

Jim Gastgeb

Harry Funk/The Almanac

Jim Gastgeb shows his 1977 Pontiac during the 2017 Rev ‘Em Up for Kids.

“We’re really excited. We consider it to be one of the tells that we’re kind of coming back to somewhat of normalcy after taking last year off, obviously, because of the pandemic,” event director Jim Gastgeb said. “We’re equally excited to move it to a larger venue.”

Previous events took place at the Allegheny County Fairgrounds and, for a few years, at Bethel Park High School in conjunction with the municipality’s Community Day.

Scheduled from 12 to 6 p.m., Rev ’Em Up for Kids serves as a primary fundraiser for recreational improvements in municipal parks throughout the community.

“It helps with the extra amenities,” Chuck Stover, Bethel Park recreation director, said. “The rec board will make recommendations to council on how to spend the money from Rev ’Em Up on future projects.”

He is looking forward to the day before Labor Day.

“I love looking at the cars and seeing what the guys bring in. It’s a great event,” he said.

And the event is not just about vintage vehicles.

Gastgeb, longtime president of the recreation board, emphasized the family aspect of Rev ’Em Up, which features a Kids’ Zone and vendors offering products, such as jewelry and purses, that very well could appeal to those who aren’t exactly car enthusiasts.

For those who are, Gastgeb welcomes them back.

“We’re known as the car cruise that no one wants to miss,” he said. “Cruisers look for that date and they circle it, and they tell their families, hey, no vacation on this weekend. We have to go to Rev ’Em Up for Kids.”

He plans to arrive in his 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, the same make and model that Burt Reynolds made famous in Hal Needham’s “Smokey and the Bandit.” Gastgeb has owned the car for 25 years, and he reported it just received a new paint job.

Pasta Too owner Ray Piacquadio also will bring some vehicles from his own collection.

“This can’t be done without him,” Gastgeb said. “You need sponsors to step up, but he goes over and above, not only for this event but for anything the community needs.”

At the event, parking for the general public will be available at South Park’s Girl Scout Grove, off Corrigan Drive, and at three shelters off Twin Hills Road.

Admission for show cars is $5.

“We are accepting a $5 cash donation from the spectators, if they would like to contribute,” Gastgeb added.

The event would not be held in severely inclement weather, and in that case, it could be rescheduled.

For more information, call the Rev ’Em Up for Kids hotline at 412-831-6800, ext. 730. Messages are checked frequently.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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