Whatcom County Youth Fair

Apr 27, 2023 | Dateline

Recently, the Whatcom County Youth Fair held its annual Hands – on Learning event for kids on the grounds of the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds.  For the second year, our Small Engines program was a big success.  Todd Black, from Unlimited Service, led the program with volunteer support from Jim Wilkerson, Wes-Paul’s Automotive in Anacortes, Pete Harksell and Perry Henson from Pete’s Automotive in Ferndale, Jeff Ehlers of Jeff Ehlers Repair in Bellingham, Don Wallace from Unlimited Service.

The two-day class served 25 teens from Whatcom, Skagit and Island Counties.  Ulises Reyes-Penaloza from O’Reilly’s delivered gift bags of tools and magnetic trays to the students.  Jasper Engines supported the program with t-shirts, hats and stickers as giveaways during the event.  Community service grants through Thrivent were procured by members of Zion Lutheran Church to help pay for the 130-piece tool kits the students received as awards for participating.

The students spent Friday, April 7, dismantling Predator engines with the help of the volunteer teem.  The students then came back on Saturday, April 8, to reassemble the engines.  One engine was purchased in memory of local technician, Earl Erickson, by his widow Nancy and son, Glenn.  This tribute engine was fired up for the students at the end of the class.   The class also included information about the industry, hybrid and other technologies used in the industry, opportunities and information about educational pathways.

The feedback the Whatcom County Youth Fair has received from the participants in this class and from the community, has been very positive.  The Whatcom-Skagit Unit assisted with the purchase of four new engines for this year’s class which allowed for the growth of the program from fifteen students last year to twenty-five students this year.  All of our volunteers agreed this is a great program and an asset to both the community and to our industry.