WESTFIELD - Many hours of organizing, planning and promoting this past summer's first annual Cruise Against Hunger car show held Aug. 18 at Cross Roads Farm and Craft Market in Westfield resulted in a completely successful event enjoyed by classic car owners and enthusiasts and the general public.
The car show and related events accomplished the goal of generating monetary profits and collecting non-perishable food donations to assist Food Bank of Western New York's Chautauqua County operation.
On a crisp fall day, the organizers of the Cruise Against Hunger presented a check in the amount of $1,800 to grant director and representative of Food Bank of WNY Polla Milligan. The presentation occurred at Cross Roads and represented the final tally of profits raised through the joint efforts of many who began to organize the event last March.
Funds from the Cruise for Hunger event held at Cross Roads were recently presented to the Food Bank of Western New York. Pictured from left to right are: Cross Roads Market Manager Mark Pouthier; Cross Roads Event Coordinator Gerry Vacanti; Food Bank of WNY Grant Director Polla Milligan; Volunteer Event Coordinator Michael Ceci of Westfield; and Shults of Westfield Auto Group General Manager Dan Crandall.
Funds were generated from show-car registration fees, donation containers and the Cross Roads vendors' silent auction. Since the opening of the 2012 season last May, food barrels were set up and maintained by the vendors and were filled through the generosity of customers, staff and visitors.
The summer of 2012 had been one of the most beautiful summers on record. Mother Nature continued the pattern with a perfect Saturday with temperatures in the low 70s, blue skies with puffy white clouds, a mild breeze and zero percent chance of precipitation.
At 8:30 a.m., more than 75 classic cars and their owners began to congregate within the scenic 23 acres of Cross Roads. The wide selection of automobiles represented each decade of the past 100 years and ranged from flaming rod and custom to vintage stock original beauties.
The day became a festive mid-summer Saturday with oldies performed by a Western New York band, "The Untouchables." Besides the wide array of arts, crafts and foods offered by Cross Roads vendors, Westfield's very own Whiskers the Balloon Man delighted both young and old with his balloon creations of animals and objects.
The summer breeze permeated the aroma from sizzling grills featuring barbecued chicken and ribs by BW's Smokin' Barrels BBQ, hot dogs and sausages by the Westfield Kiwanis and fresh corn. Many participants assembled their canopies and fired up their own food grills to celebrate with their fellow car club members.
The event concluded with trophy presentation at a 4 p.m. In addition to first-, second- and third-place winners in 13 classes, Best of Show, People's Choice, Vendors Choice, Oldest Vehicle and Farthest Distance Traveled to Show were honored.
The organizers extend their sincere appreciation of sponsorship contributions provided by: Shults of Westfield Auto Group, G&P Gynecare Women's Health of Dunkirk, Oxbo Campgrounds of Westfield, Forbes Farm of Cross Roads and Ingebord Kennedy of Cross Roads. Door prize donations were made by: Shults Auto Group, Sears of Fredonia, Valu Home Center of Fredonia, Integrity Office Supply of Buffalo, and DFT Communications of Fredonia. Sponsorships of the various trophies were also instrumental in the success of the show.
The Southern Tier Classic Chevy Club, Food Bank of WNY staff and volunteers, along with Cross Roads volunteers, provided assistance with the show.
Plans have commenced for the 2013 Cruise Against Hunger, to be held Aug. 10 at Cross Roads Market.