Friday, July 2, 2010

Neighborhood Cruisers Highlighted in LoHud Article

ORANGEBURG — As the president and co-founder of Neighborhood Cruisers,
Bob DuBois has a mantra he likes to live by.

"I'm a Neighborhood Cruiser," he said. "And it feels good to give."

Neighborhood Cruisers, a nonprofit organization founded in 2001, aims to combine its members' love of classic cars with their desire to help the community.

The group's ninth-annual car show, Cruisin' for Kids, will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 31at North Rockland High School. The rain date is Aug. 7.

The show will feature about 200 cars, as well as live entertainment and various vendors,
DuBois said, and all of the proceeds will go to the families of three young children with
disabilities, handpicked by the organization.

But the charity isn't just limited to one day. The Neighborhood Cruisers work year-round, said Grace Christakos, the group's vice president. Immediately after the summer benefit, the search for new children begins.

The group also sells raffle tickets and asks local businesses for donations in the meantime.

In the early years of the Neighborhood Cruisers' annual benefit, the amount of money raised was low — just a few thousand dollars, DuBois said. Now, the benefit is capable of raising as much as $25,000 in one year.

On Thursday, Neighborhood Cruisers held a Car Cruise, where members brought about 20 cars to be put on display in the parking lot of The American Dream Diner in Orangeburg.

"I'm very honored," said Denise Green, whose 7-year-old daughter, Nicole, has autism. "I'm very grateful."

The Greens intend to use the money they receive from the benefit to buy Nicole a picture communications device for nonverbal communication.

Frank Castellano echoed those sentiments. His daughter, Alexa, has Down syndrome, and he has been raising her on his own since his wife died in November.

"You never think it would happen to you," he said.

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