Valley Car Show Organizer Razzi Kellison is Ready for Anything
All car makes and models were welcome at the second Valley High School Car Show and Fundraiser, held Saturday, May 13. Cars from the 1950s onward filled the school parking lot, hoods propped up so attendees could get a closer look. People of all ages perused the cars and voted for their favorites, while a live band covered songs from Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” to “Chicken Fried” by Zac Brown Band in the background.
The event and its eclectic, inclusive spirit were thanks to the car show’s organizer, Valley High School senior Raziel “Razzi” Kellison. She inherited her position as event organizer from Garrett Lawrence and Sidney May, the 2016 Valley graduates who started the car show to raise funds and awareness for the engineering technology programs and classes at Valley. Like Lawrence and May, Kellison said the classes are her favorites. They are also the reason she has a clearer picture of what she wants to do after graduation on May 28.
“I really like makeup and doing hair, and I thought that was going to be my career,” she said. “Now that’s more of my hobby, and I want to be around cars all the time.”
When Kellison enrolled in the West Des Moines Community Schools in the middle of her ninth-grade year, she had only taken one engineering technology class, a wood shop course. The number of classes at Valley—20 in 2016-17—surprised her; the classes had all shared one room at her previous school. When she first stepped into the automotive room at Valley for one of Timm Grimm’s classes, she knew she’d found something that suited her.
“Grimm made me feel welcome,” she said. “It just feels good to be in there.”
The car show was Kellison’s chance to welcome the community into the world of the automotive classes. She organized food, music, and raffle prizes to attract more people to the event and secured all the sponsors, including Bob Brown Chevrolet, Interstate Battery, and Hy-Vee Construction. Her hope is that the car show continues to expand so more people learn why the CTE classes are such an important part of Valley and so important to the students who take them.
“These classes establish our career paths,” she said. “That’s kind of what high school is all about: figuring out what you want to do and what you’re ready for.”
With her high school career coming to a close, Kellison is ready to continue working towards an automotive career. She is most interested in incorporating her creative and artistic skills into painting cars, but her classes have also taught her skills like welding and soldering, and she feels ready to take on any new challenges.
“If I can take a fender off,” she said, “I can do anything.”