Small business ownder recieves big publicity

Josh Berry (front) and Eli Smith, employees of Signsmith, apply sponsor labels to a minivan to be driven off a cliff with 11 other cars.

Josh Berry (front) and Eli Smith, employees of Signsmith, apply sponsor labels to a minivan to be driven off a cliff with 11 other cars.

Auriel Brown

Crazy ideas are what Will Stuckenberg of Joplin thrives on.

So making the decision to auction off advertisement on his wife’s 1998 Dodge Neon car on Ebay to the highest bidder as he drove it off a cliff was no exception.

What Stuckenberg did not realize was a creative attempt to sell his wife’s car would result in a media frenzy and a charity benefit.

“I didn’t think he was really going to do it,” said Siobhan Stuckenberg, Will’s wife. “I’m still in shock that he decided to do this with my car.”

Will said immediately the offer began to draw a lot of attention and he began receiving bids from all over the country.

After 19 bids,, an online casino, won the bid for $2,550.

After winning the bid, the online business decided to take things a step further.

“We wanted to bring it to a level, a level that we’re known for,” said Jeff Kay, spokesperson. “We’re the best online casino and we have to standout.”

However, the casino doesn’t make their stunts complete jokes.

“Most of our online auction things we do, we like to tie it in to charity.” Kay said. “We like to make it a win-win situation for and the charity.”

The company decided to challenge Will to find 10 more cars. The result – each vehicle owner would receive $2,500 and if at least 1,000 people show up for the event, $10,000 would be donated to the Lafayette House. The amount is said to possibly increase.

“Within 30 minutes of them telling me that, I had six cars,” Will said.

Among the eleven cars chosen for the event was one belonging to former Chart Managing editor David Haut.

“A co-worker told me about it, and so I went and got my car and took it over,” Haut said. “My wife doesn’t like the car so what better way to get rid of it than to see it driven off a cliff and get paid for it.”

Will said the event sparked such an interest throughout the community, he eventually had to turn down 30 cars.

“I had no idea it would turn into this,” he said. “We’ve been on radio and news stations all around the United States now.

Through the process, bricks will be placed on the gas pedals of each car.

“Everything’s been thought out,” Will said. “Everything’s been done right. We’ve had quite a few professionals at work on it-mechanics and people that know cars and how things work.”

During the actual process, bricks will be placed on the gas peddles of each car. To make for an interesting event, Will said there will also be purple painted cows at the event and a Moses and Micheal Jackson impersonator dangling the baby off the cliff.

“This is like oil in water,” he said. “None of this makes sense.”

For the event Will said they are even going as far as interviewing for bikini girls to be present for each round.

He calls it a “bring-your-own-lawn-chair” event and said space will be limited.

Alison Malinowski, director of the Lafayette House, said the event, if successful, will be a great benefit to the organization. She said they were excited when called about being the recipient of the award.

“We certainly could use the funds,” Malinowski said. “These dollars can help out a lot of people.”

Kay said the event promises to be “incredibly entertaining.”

“There’s going to be so many fun things happening,” he said. “Anybody that goes to this event is getting a free show.” is no stranger to unconventional bidding.

Known for finding outrageous ways for exposure and advertising, is the same company that purchased the grilled cheese sandwich supposedly bearing the face of The Virgin Mary on it for $28,000 and a French fry shaped like President Abraham Lincoln for $75,100.

“We have crazy things planned everyday,” Kay said.

He said in the past few years has purchased at least 210 items.

Throughout the entire event, Siobhan said her husband has been on the phone “24-seven.”

While she said she is enjoying her new minivan, she is still overwhelmed by what all has taken place.

“I’m just trying to make it through this weekend,” Siobhan said.

The event will begin at 3:30 on Saturday on Riverside Drive at the rock quarry.

Anyone wanting additional information or directions to the event should contact Paintball Ridge at 781-7703 or visit the Web site at