Celebrating 60 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, and 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.


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 Janet Iansiti and Sandy Bechtel.