Cruise in to Waynedale Oct. 9 to honor Gideon

Cruise in to Waynedale Oct. 9 to honor Gideon

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Seeing the grounds of his high school filled with every sort of make and model of car imaginable would have been right up Gideon Guenther’s alley. So it is only fitting a benefit cruise-in would be held in the late Waynedale High School student’s honor to raise money to help students in his name.

Guenther lost his life in a car accident in November 2020.

On Saturday, Oct. 9 at Waynedale High School, vehicles of any kind — from tractors to trucks, big rigs to little engines that could, and just about anything in between — are invited to this first Benefit Cruise-In, which is free to enter and attend. Money will be raised by donation only.

Funds raised during the event will be used two different ways to benefit students at Waynedale — for a scholarship established in Guenther’s name and for new uniforms for the school band, of which Guenther was a member.

“The idea of the car show as a fundraiser started in early 2020, prior to Gideon’s accident and COVID,” said his parents, John and Carrie Guenther. “The Southeast Local Boosters were looking for a way to raise money for new band uniforms. The original date was in the fall of 2020 but was canceled due to COVID. After Gideon’s accident, the Southeast Local Boosters decided that it was a good tribute to him and to raise money for the scholarship we established in his name.”

The Gideon Guenther Memorial Scholarship will be awarded each year to one music student planning on pursuing that subject further after high school. The new band uniforms were purchased in 2020 and are still being paid for.

Thunder Buggy, known as the world’s fastest jet-powered Amish buggy, will be at the cruise-in from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dash plaques will be given out to the first 50 cars to enter.

The event would be one Guenther would be fond of. His parents said they will never forget how their son saved up to purchase his first car — a 2001 Mazda Miata — by the time he was only 14 years old.

“He spent the next few years working with his dad to begin the work of restoring it,” Carrie Guenther said. “John took it as his mission, along with Gideon’s friends, our church family and Leroy Engineering, to rebuild his project car from the frame up. It will be finished and displayed for the first time at this cruise-in, raising money to help other Waynedale students pursue music after high school.”

To his parents and those who knew him, Guenther was one who left an impact, even though his life was cut too short. Through this scholarship set up in his name, he will continue to live on in students year after year.

“Gideon was an amazing son, grandson and friend,” his parents said. “He made an impact to everyone around him. He was musically passionate, planning on double majoring in music education and music performance after graduation. He was in band playing trombone, sang bass in the Goldanaires and was in several theater productions at Waynedale.”

The Benefit Cruise-In will take place at Waynedale High School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9. Advanced registration is not required; all vehicles may sign up the day of the event. There is no charge to enter the cruise-in or to be a spectator, but donations will be accepted and appreciated for the benefit.