Rain cuts short car show, but event still raises $2,000 for Hendricken scholarship fund


There was a super sunless success story written in Warwick Sunday afternoon.

“Had it not been for rain,” George Arakelian Jr. said around 5 o’clock, the fourth annual Bishop Hendricken High School Car Show would have surpassed all records. “But that’s the nature of this beast; if there’s a chance of rain, most people won’t bring their prized vehicles to any show.”

The show, which featured doo-wop music, charbroiled burgers and much more, was shortened by 90 minutes because of rain.

As it was, the show’s chairman, Mike Benedetto, said, “We raised nearly $2,000; the place was packed and everybody said they had a great time!”

Proceeds from Sunday’s show, which attracted nearly 90 cars and another 75 combined vehicles from noted Rhode Island automobile dealers Paul Masse, Mike Flood and Ed Tarbox, will be used for Hendricken’s Inner City Scholarship Fund.

“I think I’ll have a rain show,” said Arakelian Jr., who along with his wife Gina Sabitoni-Arekelian of Johnston co-chaired the event. “The weather doesn’t always cooperate.”

Arakelian was speaking of different shows he coordinates for various charities that in recent years have taken a hit – or been postponed – because of rain.

“But we’re very pleased with today’s result,” said Arakelian, whose son George III is a sophomore at Hendricken. “The cars just kept coming and coming.”

The same held true for donations that Flood Ford, Paul Masse Chevrolet-GMC and Tarbox Motors will make to Hendricken’s Inner City Scholarship Fund.

Likewise, Arakelian Jr.’s cousins – Vinny Pezzullo Sr. and Jr. – made the day special for any and all children who enjoyed two bounce houses while their parents took turns strolling from car to car around the show’s new layout. The Pezzullos donated both bounce houses for he afternoon.

Instead of setting up on the Oakland Beach Avenue side of the school, show officials decided to pack everything into the Warwick Avenue side of Hendricken.

“This set up is perfect; more gate control and it made for a better setting,” said Benedetto.

The show was also bolstered by the Renzi family of Cranston, who owns a Del’s Lemonade franchise and Action Auto Body, who donated eight prizes for the day’s general raffle.

Despite the rain-shortened show, a total of 20 people went home with Judge’s Choice Trophies. The overall winner was Jimmy Cazzani, who owns Passport Auto Body of Cranston. His white 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo won the Hendricken Hawk Choice Award.

Sunday’s fleet ranged from Paul Crowell’s 1923 Model-T Ford to Ed McDonough’s 1968 Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham limousine to Dan Gallogly’s 1934 Chevrolet, and an extensive fleet of 2013 vehicles from the three iconic auto dealers.


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