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The memorial motor finds a new home

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The memorial motor in Jake Roggenkamp's shop. Photo courtesy of Jake Roggenkamp2 / 3
The engine will be installed in a classic pickup truck owned by Roggenkamp. Photo courtesy of Jake Roggenkamp3 / 3

On Nov. 21, the memorial motor was awarded to its new owner, Jake Roggenkamp.

Jake had purchased his ticket some time ago and was incredibly surprised by the news.

"I forgot I even bought a ticket," said Roggenkamp. While working in his shop, he received a call from Mike Shrode, the teacher overseeing the construction of the unique student project. Roggenkamp picked up his 588 horsepower, former dump truck motor at the Wadena Elks Lodge.

According to Shrode, the ticket raffle raised $8,374. These funds will go toward the Sam Kelderman Engineering and Technology Scholarship. This scholarship was devised in remembrance of Sam Kelderman, a WDC student that passed away shortly after bringing the engine to Shrode's classroom. The $1,000, annually awarded scholarship will support students entering the trade and engineering fields.

"It felt pretty amazing, I always wanted something like that but couldn't afford it," Roggenkamp said. The engine has found a new home where it will be appreciated. Roggenkamp intends to install the engine into a 57 Chevrolet Pickup. This vehicle was purchased a few years ago and he plans on restoring it over the winter. Roggenkamp decided on this particular vehicle, saying it would hold up to the power of the engine.

After almost two years of work, the motor had become a member of the family. The memorial motor is a symbol of engineering passion in the Wadena-Deer Creek area. "It's kind of bittersweet," said Shrode when asked about awarding the engine to its new owner. "I'm grateful it's going to a new home."

As of right now the school has no concrete plans on a doing a similar project but there is a strong desire from the community and from Shrode. Perhaps, in the future, the design and construction of another engine will help area students attend school in the engineering field.