Food Pantry To Benefit From June 14 Car Show, Raffle

While car enthusiasts of all ages will have a chance to check out and admire myriad vehicles during a special car show being planned for June 14, FAITH Food Pantry will ultimately benefit from the event.

The car show will be presented in the parking lot of Stop & Shop in Sand Hill Plaza, 228 South Main Street. Store Manager Rich Marcuccio is organizing the event, which will run from 9 am until 4 pm, to raise funds and food for the food pantry. Rain date is Saturday, June 21.

Mr Marcuccio has been organizing car shows since 1997. He started with shows in Orange, “supporting food pantries in different towns I have worked in,” he said on May 30. The Newtown store has hosted a few car shows already but, said Mr Marcuccio, “we’re really reviving it here this year.”

Owners of classic cars, hot rods, racing and special interest vehicles, trucks and motorcycles are all invited to bring their vehicle to the show next weekend. All styles are welcome, and there is no cut-off date.

“Bring anything with a motor,” said Nancy Taylor, a co-chair of the food pantry that has been located in the undercroft of St John’s Episcopal Church in Sandy Hook for more than 30 years. Vehicle owners will be asked for a $10 donation to participate in the event.

Show attendees will be invited to vote for their favorite vehicles by placing nonperishable food items in boxes located in front of each vehicle. All of the donations, including the vehicle fees, will be delivered to FAITH Food Pantry following the car show.

The Big Beat will perform oldies music from 11:30 am until 2 pm. Hot dogs, hamburgers, soda, and chips will all be available for purchase.

“A lot of our vendors have all stepped up, donating the food and drinks we’ll be selling,” Mr Marcuccio said. With lower overhead to present the event, he said, “We’re really going to be able to help the pantry, thanks already to donors like this, and others, who have stepped up.”

The musicians are donating their time, as are face painters and volunteers offering other activities during the day.

Mr Marcuccio is also thankful for Newtown resident Chris Sferruzzo and his daughters, Elle and Chase. Mr Sferruzzo participated in a car show Mr Marcuccio hosted last October, and reportedly told the supermarket manager that he would help with future fundraising efforts.

“The trophies we will be giving to vehicle owners have all been paid for, thanks to Mr Sferruzzo,” said Mr Marcuccio. Advertising efforts, including signs that have been placed around town, have also been covered by the car enthusiast.

Elle and Chase Sferruzzo, said Mr Marcuccio, were responsible for the donation of a raffle prize that has been receiving attention from all ages: a Fisher-Price Power Wheels Ford Mustang Boss 302. The Navy blue, 12-volt battery-operated kids toy offers two forward and one reverse speeds (and a high speed lock-out option for beginners), power lock brakes, lap belts, a battery charger, and even a radio.

Raffle tickets for the Fisher-Price Mustang are already being sold at the supermarket. The store is relying on the honesty of its customers, who are able to purchase tickets and leave $3 donations per ticket on an honor system. A cardboard box has been set up near the customer service desk — where the vehicle is also on view — to receive the donations.

Tickets will also be sold on the day of the car show, which will also be the day the winning ticket is selected. The winner will be announced during the event, but does not have to be on site in order to win.

Should there be rain on June 14, Mr Marcuccio has already been told that the band and the DJ will be able to make it for the rain date the following weekend.

At FAITH Food Pantry, the effort going into the car show is already being acknowledged.

“Our shelves are emptied as fast as we can fill them,” said Ms Taylor.

“I’ve never known a time when we had to buy soup,” she told The Newtown Bee recently. “We’re on our last few cases of pasta, another first,” she added.

“Newtown Stop & Shop has been so generous to the pantry for as long as I can remember,” Ms Taylor said. “They have a ‘Food For Friends’ drive that raises thousands of dollars for us every year. They’ve held several car shows for us, but this one has some extra planning and effort.”

FAITH Volunteer Barb Krell said the timing of the car show is appreciated.

“We have a food drive at Thanksgiving, where all of the fire companies collect food for us, and there are other events during the winter,” she said May 30. “This is a great time for this car show, because we don’t have a big event this time of the year.”

 For additional information contact Mr Marcuccio at 203-270-0177.

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