Celebrating 65 years of Corvetting at Shaheen Chevrolet in Lansing, MI. Photo credit to Tom Faupel.

The Turkey Award

The Turkey Award was created by our 2005 Competition Director, Kurt Schwamberger, after a rather hilarious incident happened to one of our members at the Spartan Speedway low-speed event. Kurt just felt the moment shouldn’t go unrecognized, thus the Turkey Award was born.

The award is now presented by the President of Capital City Corvette Club at our annual awards banquet in recognition of the member who had the funniest or most out of the ordinary accomplishment during the previous year.


Randy and Carol Putmon were the recipients of the Turkey Award for heading up to Corvette Crossroads with their top down when all signs called for impending rain.

A dry sky on the way up just didn't happen for our convertible loving friends. A quick stop by the side of the road solved the issue without totally flooding the inside of their Corvette.

The rest of the weekend was great convertible weather.

Randy and Carol Putmon in their 2000 Corvette by the Mackinac Bridge.


You know the drill: Do something crazy, goofy, funny, maybe outrageous, and you get the club’s annual Turkey Award. We’re a club of 100 members, give or take. There are plenty of opportunities for all of us to mess up. Some years, it’s tough for a President to choose the lucky “winner”. So, what went wrong in 2022? The short answer is: Not much. Tom Wieczorek received the 2022 Turkey Award. His crime was detailing his car, driving it all beautiful and shiny across the Mackinac Bridge, and pulling into the U.P. rest area with the other club members. Turns out, though, Tom was the only member who left his squeegee on the trunk of his car. That’s a lot of miles from motel to the Upper Peninsula. Impressive! Thing is, if he hadn’t washed his car (we drove from Clare to Mackinaw City in the rain and on sloppy roads), the award may still have been his for driving a dirty car. Tom definitely made the right choice!


Tom and Chris Wieczorek next to their 2020 Corvette.  Line up for the parade across the Mackinac Bridge during the 2022 Corvette Crossroads event.


WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN – All hallmarks of good journalism. So, let’s see what we have: WHO – Geof Cradit. He and wife Joyce have been members of Capital City Corvette Club for quite a few years now. WHAT - Angela Hyde’s club breakfast get-together. WHERE & WHEN: Here’s where it gets dicey. The breakfast was planned for November 13th at Bob Evans on American Road – just around the corner from our sponsor, Shaheen Chevrolet. Geof signs up himself and Joyce to attend. Then he forgets about it. Totally forgets! Then they make new plans to go out to breakfast with people not in our club. WHEN: November 13th, of course. WHERE: You guessed it - Bob Evans on American Road. But wait, it gets better. Geof walks in, spots our group, and asks “what are you guys doing here?” What Fun! Definitely worthy of our “coveted” Turkey Award.


Geofrey forgot about our breakfast but showed up at the right restaurant at the right time.


Michigan is beautiful all the time, especially during our Fall Getaway when bright colors abound. Wait - flashing red and blue lights aren’t usually part of the landscape. They’re right over there behind that pretty blonde in that amazing Corvette. Oh, dear! Chris Wieczorek has been pulled over for running a red light. Good news – no ticket, just a warning. Bad news, club members Barb & Steve Musselman were nearby and took a picture. More bad news, Chris was awarded the 2020 Turkey Award. Let’s end with good news: A Turkey Award is better than a Ticket any day of the week.

Chris was pulled over in Mackinaw City after running a red light


Due to COVID-19, the 2019 Awards Banquet was never held.  We may never know the reason behind Dave Pursel being listed on the Turkey Award as the 2019 recipient since he never actually received it.

Dave repairing his 1984 during a Corvette Crossroads trip


Our members love to kid around with each other – all in good fun, of course. The closer the friendship, the more entertaining it can be. In 2018, Jerry Wardell fired off great comments to President Bob Maynard every chance he got. What fun! Bob took it in good stride and returned the favor by presenting Jerry with that year’s Turkey Award.

Jerry with his 2016


The NCCC conventions are annual events many of our club members enjoy attending. They’re a great way to meet and socialize with other Corvette aficionados while traveling throughout our amazing country. When the convention was held in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 2017, Bob and Deanna Pyle signed up, packed up, filled up, and drove down to our favorite city in the Blue Grass State. When they arrived at their hotel, Deanna stayed in their car while Bob went into the lobby to register. Now, Bob is a very social guy. He started talking to other convention goers - lots of them, apparently - and forgot Deanna was waiting in their car. Note: The car was turned off (which apparently locked the doors), windows were up, it’s summer in Kentucky. Get the steamy picture? A situation that was definitely worthy of the Turkey Award being presented.

Deanna and Bob Pyle


Not all turkey awards are given because of a mishap. Some are just plain fun. Our members enjoy teasing each other. Bob Ribar received his award because he liked teasing Angela Hyde. We all know she loves purple – everything. So, he gifted her with a cute purple hobby horse. (Well, she already has a purple Corvette, so a hobby horse was a great alternative mode of transportation.) Fast forward to that year’s Christmas party. Ms. Santa Angela made sure Bob received an equally-useful gift. Nothing like a little girl’s hairbrush and comb set to put a smile on the face of a very bald man. Note: When an opportunity arises, Bob continues to tease Angela about her love of purple.

Robert teasing Angela with a purple hippo


On the first morning of our low-speed event at Spartan Speedway, racing had gotten underway. One of NCCC’s racing rules is “no loose items are allowed in your car”. One of our members, a rookie driver, had finished his first run and was waiting in line for his next. All of a sudden, his door flew open, he jumped out, opened his trunk, and started hauling out golf equipment – a lot of it. He piled it on the grassy area behind the bleachers, got back in the car, put his seat belt on, and waited to be called for his next run. Fortunately, he didn’t get hit in the head with his pitching wedge. The club’s 2015 “Turkey Award” went to our friend (no longer a rookie) Tom Wieczorek.

Tom's golf clubs


One of the club’s favorite activities each year is going on a hayride during Carol and Randy Putmon’s fall potluck and bonfire. As we were climbing into the trailer for the hayride, we all found the perfect place to sit. She did, too. We were having a lot of fun settling in. We thought she was, too. Apparently not! As we traveled down the lane, she stood up, looked around at the rest of us, and dove over the side of the trailer. She hit the ground hard, rolled over, jumped to her feet, and took off across the front yard. She ditched us without giving it a second thought! We just sat there and laughed, happy she was unharmed. That’s why our president decided the 2014 Turkey Award should be awarded to Ginger Putmon, one of our K-9 “members”.

Ginger Putman on the hayride


Jerry and Dominique Palacio made a repeat performance in 2013. In an effort to sell their 2009 ZR1, they trailered it to the Bloomington Gold event in Champaign, IL. When they arrived they realized that the keys to the ZR1 were still on the kitchen counter. Their Corvette was off the trailer and for sale the next day after an extra trip back to Michigan to retrieve the keys.

Jerry and Dominique


Our 2012 Turkey Award was presented by President Craig Iansiti to Jerry and Dominique Palacio. Somehow, during our 2012 spring Rally, Jerry and Dominique ended up losing a complete page of instructions - yet managed to find their way to the final destination on route and on time. Everyone got a big laugh out of that one, and they still haven't disclosed what special technique they used to accomplish this miraculous ending. That is true teamwork by a couple of our favorite turkeys!

2011 Corvette Crossroads


Simon Reiffer was the recipient of the 2011 Turkey Award. One Saturday morning, as he pulled into Sophia’s Restaurant in Grand Ledge for a CCCC Let's Meet for Breakfast event, he forgot how long the front end of his 1977 coupe was and bumped into a pole, chipping the paint. Simon says “it was not my fault as the pole moved” just as he pulled into the parking space. No matter whose fault it was, the car is now completely repainted. We figured a $4,000 pole dance was worth the Turkey Award for this year.


Result of the pole dance.


The winner for 2010 had to be Terry and Chris Burke for showing up to a June breakfast at the wrong Cracker Barrel restaurant. Terry and Chris ended up having breakfast alone and wondering what happened to everyone else. Needless to say, the rest of us were all at the right Cracker Barrel enjoying our breakfast on the other side of town. The award was presented to both Terry and Chris because as our president said, “even with two heads between them, they still couldn’t figure it out.”

Chris and Terry Burke received the 2010 Turkey award.


Joe Thomas was the leader of the Michigan contingent of the National Corvette Caravan to Bowling Green, Kentucky in September of 2009. Half way to Bowling Green Joe’s 1992 Corvette broke down and had to be left at a dealership for repair. This meant Joe had to finish leading the caravan driving a rented steel-body car. How could we pass up giving Joe the Turkey Award for that one?

Joe Thomas received the 2009 Turkey award.


The winner for 2008 was Bob Maynard. July of 2008 was our club’s 50th anniversary with NCCC and Bob had been chairperson for our big 50th Anniversary Party. After all his planning and encouraging of members to participate and not miss the big event, Bob himself missed most of the party. Even though Bob’s excuse was illness, we just couldn’t give him a break, and so he won the Turkey Award.

Bob Maynard received the 2008 Turkey award


The award for 2007 was not presented because Kurt forgot to bring the trophy back to the president in time for the awards banquet. Due to his lapse in memory, we all just figured Kurt was the Turkey Award winner again for the second year in a row.

2007 American Revolution


Kurt Schwamberger (better known as Schwamy) was the winner of the award for 2006. The incident that earned him the award happened at the Spartan Speedway low-speed event. Kurt had taken charge of laying out the course for the event, so he should have been the most familiar with it. However, when Kurt’s turn came to drive the course, he immediately took a wrong turn. Oops! Hard to live that one down!

2006 Spartan Speedway


The award for 2005 was presented to Randy Putmon. Randy had driven his 1981 C3 at our Spartan Speedway low-speed event in July of that year. During one of his runs he went off the track, went airborne and landed in the infield. He scooped up so much turf he was still cleaning it out the following spring. Our ever diligent Webmaster, Gloria Reiffer, snapped a shot that captured the whole moment for posterity. Randy accepted the award with his usual good humor.

Randy Putmon in flight.

Submitted by Sandy Bechtel and Janet Iansiti.