Elks car show is season finale

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Although old man weather blanketed offered unseasonable chilly temperatures and a constant threat of rain last Thursday night, the Tri-City Elks closed out their 2019 Classic Car Show season last Thursday evening with what coordinator Gene Cahoon called “several interesting traditions.”

“We got another season under our belts,” Cahoon deadpanned. “This was a great way to finish what was a great season that some nights featured as many as 80 classic cars and now we can look forward to more success in 2020.”

On a night when the weather kept attendance down and veteran disc jockey Chuck Holm served as a “pinch hitter” for Lodge 14’s Mister Music Rob Caramante, the weekly show will now feature spiffy trophies for the Exalter Ruler’s Pick and Mayor’s Pick as well as the lottery drawing that is presented for the weekly “Best of Show” plaque that went to Brian McCaffrey for his 1995 Boss Mustang.

As for the new Exalter Ruler’s Pick, current office holder Deborah Mangina said, “This is exciting. What a generous act by Mr. [George] Arakelian for donating these beautiful trophies.”

Arakelian, you see, is steeped with experience in the automotive industry and is also known for organizing many similar shows around the state as well as Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick.

“I’m honored to be part of such a great show,” Arakelian, who owns and operates A custom Car Stereo Center in Johnston, offered. “I’ve heard this [Elks] show is special; let me say it’s without question one of the best I’ve ever attended and the people here are ALL super friendly.”

Thus, Mangina picked Joe Tracey’s 1968 red Chevrolet Camaro “because that was my first car except mine was Kelley Green” as the first-ever Exalted Ruler’s Trophy winner while Mayor Joseph J. Solomon, a classic car collector himself, presented the initial Mayor’s Pick Trophy to Ray Cahoon for his unique 1951 Mercury Truck that features running boards and whitewall tires.

Solomon, who addressed the good-size group of spectators and owners of the vintage vehicles, also gave a special welcome to Cole Robinson, 12, who was accompanied by his grandfather Al Robinson and who Solomon called “my all-time hero.”

The pre-teen Warwick youngster has visited the Elks Car Show in previous weeks.

The season’s finale also featured Arakelian and Louis Cicerone, who publishes MotorHead Magazine, presenting four lucky ticket holders a gift-wrapped car wash bucket that included numerous necessary car cleaning items by way of a lottery drawing.

“I’m coming back to help further boost this show next year,” Arakelian announced. “I’ll have trophies and more gift buckets; as I said: This is a special place and a special show run by some real, real special people.”

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