Jeff and Bev Larson had been friends for many years going back to the days when the Old Mill School was just getting established. Bev knew that she could always count on Jeff to help with their various annual fundraising programs and especially the annual dinner and auction. Bev would tell the staff, families and supporters that she had never met anybody that could separate people from their money while making them happy at the same time as Jeff. People still talk to this day how Bev's mother "Skinny" and Jeff got into a bidding war over "May Carlson's" homemade bread, always a hit at the auction. You could always count on Jeff and Skinny to loosen things up and run up the bidding. After the two of them got May's bread up to $1000 to everybody's amazement, you could have heard a pin drop at the event. Skinny started playing chicken with Jeff and as the story goes after about 10 more minutes of bidding she stuck Jeff with the bid for May's bread at $1500, and she never let him forget about it either.

As the centers programs and services to the community grew it became known as the Old Mill Center with a permanent new home which was a dream come true for Bev, staff and the many wonderful volunteers.  Here's a link to the Old Mill Center for Children and Families




1994 was to be a magical year fulfilling years of hard work with a new permanent home for the organization. Bev asked Jeff to volunteer and help organize a program and auction. "Top Hats & Cadillac’s" was to be the theme for the event. Mario Pastega had many business dealings with Jeff's Auto Cars Unlimited and Commercial Coatings Company and they had been personal friends for over 20 years. Mario had also been a longtime supporter of the schools work. With the donation of his 1963 Cadillac and the restoration work done at Jeff's Auto Cars Unlimited the decision was made to make it our feature item of the auction and name the event "Top Hats & Cadillac's".

Jeff designed the flier below and it was used in the Gazette-Times and mailings promoting the upcoming dinner and auction.





 NOTE: Bev & Skinny are no longer with us but their work and legacy lives on.