Five years ago when the Johnston Street Machines founded Cruizin’ for a Cause, the nonprofit’s mission was two-fold – to raise money for charities and offer people an opportunity to show off their classic cars.
Last Thursday’s Trophy Night was perhaps the epitome of what Cruizin’ for a Cause is – and had been – for vintage vehicle owners and people looking for a different twist of entertainment.
Take Anthony and Susan Pate, who own a 1970 Chevy Chevelle Super Sport and set up their chairs in front of their classic car. For nearly three hours, they – and many other classic car aficionados like them – showed off their cars in the Denny’s parking lot located in the Johnston Towne Center on Hartford Avenue helping raise money for the JSM’s June Charity, A Wish Come True.
“This is more like it,” said Gary Maddocks, the JSM’s president, in regards to the sun-splashed evening. “When the weather’s good, the people bring their cars.”
Despite having three postponements in June, the Thursday evening Cruizin’ for a Cause came up with $800 that Maddocks presented to Mary-Kate O’Leary, executive director of A Wish Come True.
Tim Brodeur, a staffer in the Johnston Public Schools Central Office who has helped sell the JSM’s 50/50 raffle tickets, offered: “We certainly wish this amount was much larger, but the weather [has been bad].”
So, weather permitting, the JSM will be back at it next Thursday, July 11, continuing their mission of raising funds for the July charity, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, on July 18 and 25.
“We’re here at Denny’s every Thursday – excluding July 4 – from 5 to 8 p.m.,” Maddocks said. “Admission is free and we ask classic car and motorcycle owners that show up to donate $5 to the month’s benefiting charity.”
Likewise, as an added incentive for vintage vehicles folks, Denny’s offers a 20 percent discount for car owners who enjoy a meal inside the restaurant during the cruise.
There’s yet another heartwarming part of the 2019 JSM schedule, which comes in form of the season’s trophies that have been donated by co-founder Anthony Ferranti of Anthony’s Auto Body.
“The trophy feature an image of our dear friend Louis R. Annunziata’s hot rod, a 1956 black Chevy Bel Air he faithfully showed every cruise night,” Maddocks said. “Everyone misses Louie who recently passed away after an illness. But on July 25 we’re going to honor him with a special night and presentation to his family. Louie is truly missed by everyone at this cruise.”
At last Thursday’s Trophy Night, Maddocks and company presented 17 trophies for cars and motorcycles, with Best of Show going to Alexander Lucini for his spiffy 1926 Studebaker Type D.