Rat Rod show at Steel Fest aids veterans hospitalized in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS - The 8th annual Shapiro Steel Fest attracted more than a thousand visitors to north St. Louis on Saturday.  Shapiro Metal Supply is located at 5617 Natural Bridge Ave.  The owners invite rat rod owners to put their vehicles on display.  The owners also sell t-shirts to benefit the St. Louis Fisher House which provides free food and lodging for the family members of veterans hospitalized in St. Louis.

“I am so proud of this event and so proud of the people that put so much time into these vehicles and bring them out here, and it’s just very cool,” said owner Sam Shapiro.

Shapiro said a rat rod is loosely defined as a vehicle found in a junkyard but turned into something that makes visitors stop and stare.  Shapiro Metal Supply has donated tens of thousands of dollars to St. Louis Fisher House thanks to its Steel Fest celebration.

“We’ve had over 8,800 guests and their savings and food and lodging costs have been over $7.8 million which they never could have afforded,” said St. Louis Fisher House Board President Jim Donahoe.

“It takes all that burden off that family for the amount of time that their loved one is in the hospital,” said St. Louis Fisher House volunteer Ed Rousan, Jr.

Shapiro said as soon the event ends people start asking about next year.  He expressed thanks to all the Shapiro Metal Supply workers who help make the festival possible.