AACA presents over $10,000 in scholarships for 2018

(HERSHEY, PA) – Each year, the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) grants several scholarships to deserving students from all over the country. The winners are announced and presented with their scholarships during the AACA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in February. This year, the AACA gave away 7 scholarships totaling $10,500. Since the program’s inception in 1994, AACA has given away $137,750.

AACA is very proud to be able to provide financial support to so many amazing students. We are excited to continue to see so many youth interested in the antique car hobby. The future looks bright!

Congratulations to this year’s winners:

Scholarship: Louise Bianchi Chiotti Memorial Scholarship

Recipient: Hallie Krala
Hometown: Williamsport, PA
School: Pennsylvania College of Technology

The recipient of this scholarship must be currently enrolled in a recognized accredited institution of higher learning leading to the completion of a program in automotive technology and/or restoration and has shown an active interest in the hobby of antique vehicles. Hallie is completing her Associate’s degree in automotive restoration technology at Pennsylvania College of Technology. She recently completed an internship with Metropolitan Restoration Services and continues to be employed with them as a work-study during the school semester. She is deeply passionate for automobiles, particularly AMCs. Hallie notes that her first car was an Oxford White 1992 Mercury Topaz that was given to her by her grandmother shortly before she passed away – and that while she doesn’t think the car itself is particularly noteworthy, it gave her a newfound freedom throughout high school and college and planted the seed for her love of cars.

Scholarship: Susquehannock Region Automotive Technology Scholarship

Recipient: Jacob Minkel
Hometown: Attica, NY
School: SUNY College of Technology at Alfred State 

This scholarship is awarded to encourage students to further their education and stimulate interest in AACA and automotive history. Jacob is attending the College of Technology at Alfred State where he is studying Mechanical Engineering Technology. “This scholarship will help relieve the financial burden of my education, especially if I am chosen to be on the Alfred State racing team for this year’s (Hemming’s Motor News) Great Race. I greatly appreciate this award and hope that someday I too can help a youth in preserving antique automobiles,” Jacob shared.

Scholarship: Young People’s Award

Recipient: Todd Wilmer
Hometown: Hampstead, MD
School: Clemson University

This award is given to an AACA member, child or grandchild of an active AACA member in good standing for at least five years, who has been accepted into an accredited institution of higher learning or is now enrolled in such institution. Applicants MUST be nominated by a Region or Chapter of AACA and must be no more than 25 years old. Todd is a member of the Chesapeake Region AACA, of which he first joined as a junior member in 2001. He attended his first car show when he was only a few weeks old and says that he has been hooked on antique cars ever since. He has always loved to go on rides in the old cars with his father and go to shows. By working on cars with his dad, Todd learned to appreciate all of the hard work and knowledge it takes to keep them looking just like they did when they rolled out of the factory. He loves the fine details and intricacies of the engines, interior and paint. Todd says, “I would like to thank the club for selecting me to receive this scholarship. The club’s generosity will allow me to continue my education at Clemson University as I pursue a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering.”

Scholarship: John and Janet Ricketts

Recipient: Andersen Raines
Hometown: Midland, NC
School: Appalachian State University

The award is granted by the family of John and Janet Ricketts in recognition of their love of AACA and their belief in service to the club. It is also in recognition of our first female National President, Janet Ricketts, in 1999. Andersen attends Hickory Ride High School and will graduate with a certificate in the Academy of Hospitality, Tourism and Finance. She plans to attend Appalachian State University and hopes to join an organization where she can use her degree to plan and run large conferences and corporate events. Andersen recalls witnessing her father and grandfather going out on the judging field numerous times, to give their hearts over to the cars – something that she thought was just amazing. She was anxious to get her driver’s license so that she could do just the same – and she did just that.  She let herself learn and grow through and with the cars. She notes a special memory was that in the weeks before PaPa Jim (her grandfather) passed, she had the pleasure of spending a week with him on an AACA tour in a 1914 Overland.

Scholarship: AACA Scholarship (3 awarded this year)

Applicants for this scholarship must be AACA members and accepted to a recognized accredited institution, or currently enrolled in such an institution leading to a four-year college Bachelor’s degree or completion of a two-year vocational education program. They must also be 25 years old or less at the time of application.

Recipient: R. Steven Gairing

Hometown: Wadsworth, OH
School: University of Akron 

Steven was born into an antique car family – and at the age of 7 months had already attended his first AACA tour of which member John Gillette recalls seeing Steven and his sister strapped to the rear deck of the family’s Renault Roadster in a ‘playpen’ that their father had constructed. Steven says, “This fall I will attend The Ohio State University to begin working towards a Mechanical Engineering degree. Antique cars have greatly helped me appreciate mechanical things. Helping to maintain 100 year old machines has also challenged the way I think about problem solving. This scholarship and your faith in me is much appreciated.”

Recipient: Chase Clanton

Hometown: Shelbyville, TN
School: Middle Tennessee State University

Chase and his family are members of the Celebration City Region Car Club and have been heavily involved, including helping to host a dual meet in 2012 where he was the youth activities chair – at just twelve years of age. Chase states, “I’ve always had a deep love for this hobby and intend to pass it on to future generations. I know AACA is very concerned with the future of its great hobby and I believe it is in good hands. Many people my age have an interest in cars in some form or fashion, especially the antiques. I’ll be using this scholarship to pursue an education in Recording Industry and Audio Production at Middle Tennessee State University. For those that don’t know, this program has to do with music in the recording studio and the engineering that goes into the recording process as well. Music has been my passion for many years now and has taken me to many places and allowed me to meet fantastic people much like the classic car hobby. It will be worth it to me knowing that my friends in AACA have my back while I tackle a whole new idea of life and schooling.”

Recipient: Morgan Duplechin

Hometown: Houma, LA
School: Nicholls State University 

Morgan shares, “By awarding me this scholarship, AACA has allowed me to concentrate on what is important for me, education. I am currently a Junior at Nicholls State University working towards a Bachelor’s of Science in Management and a Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing. After the completion of these degrees, I hope to further my education by obtaining my Masters of Business Administration. I have a long road ahead of me to obtain these degrees and this scholarship will help me immensely to pay for additional summer courses, which will allow me to graduate faster. As I complete my education at Nicholls State University, I am very thankful to AACA for helping to impact my future at the university. Your financial generosity has allowed me to be one step closer to my goal.”

For more information on AACA, scholarships, judging guidelines, National Awards or National Meets and Tours, visit www.aaca.org. AACA is the world’s largest antique car club with 60,000 members in 52 countries. Club membership is only $40 a year and includes our award-winning magazine, Antique Automobile.


The AACA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, has served as the country’s premier resource for the collectible vehicle community since its formation in 1935. Through its national office, publications, online forums, Library and membership, the Club has assisted countless individuals, historians and collectors, along with other libraries and museums, in the quest to preserve and enjoy the antique automobile experience.