Monday, August 8, 2011

Neighborhood Cruisers Highlighted on

Local news reporter Rachel Rondon did a feature article on the Neighborhood Cruiser's annual fundraiser; Cruisin for Kids.

Click here to see Rachel Rondon's article and photos.

American flag waved over a large gathering of antique cars, vendors and spectators at the Cruisin’ For Kids Tenth Annual Benefit this past Saturday at North Rockland High School. Proceeds benefit families of Evan Sugrue, Pomona, Josh and Jacob Czaikowski, Nanuet, and Tyler Tobin, Orangeburg.

“The car club has a saying and it is, 'I’m a neighborhood cruiser and it feels good to give,'” said Bob DuBois, Neighborhood Cruisers, Club President. “This is our tenth year, we usually give away $5,000 to $8,000 per family. Things are off this year and corporate donations are down but we are still very proud to present this show to our honorees.”

“This is mainly the car show,” said Grace Christakos, Cruisin’ For Kids Director. “The families come today but it takes us about a week to put together all the donations and we give the families the checks at our Monday Cruise Night at Genero’s.”

“During the summer we have Monday Cruise Night at Genero’s in Stony Point, 146 North Liberty Drive Route 9W” said DuBois. “We put the cars on display, have picnic tables outside, there is music, trophies, 50/50 and prizes to make it fun. There is no charge, anyone can stop by.”

“The event is very nice. I have been coming here since it started,” said Justine, a spectator. "They seemed to have a nice turn out, glad the weather held up. I’m from Stony Point and everyone from the area knows about it."

“I work for ARC of Rockland and there is nothing better than to help someone with a need,” added Justine.

Honoree Evan Sugrue, 8, looked thrilled about the car show and he beamed wherever his father, Carl wheeled him in. From the family’s arrival, Evan was intent on seeing every car, especially the police car, which he he got a chance to turn on the siren.

“He was officially diagnosed at 15 months with Cerebal Palsy,” said Elena Shamkovica, Evan’s mother. “There are more challenges now that he is getting older. He wants to be independent, but he cannot be on his own like other kids. We try to let him be independent but it's tough. It can get pretty exhausting.”

“He goes to school and currently day camp at Jawanio. We cannot afford any additional therapies, besides school and camp, so we do the best we can on our own," said Shamkovia. “He is so happy and social. He has played buddy ball basketball and track and he might do soccer. Our family is very supportive, but it hard now that he is heavier. It’s difficult since he is so heavy, you have to have strength to take care of him.”

“Jawanio is amazing. They have been with him since 3 years old; they provide equipment, support and advice. It is a wonderful place,” said Shamkovia. “There are a lot of stuff in the community to help, you just have to find it.” 

“I have full faith when he gets older that he can be independent. I just know that he can do it,” said Shamkovica. “I think we have done a good job to make him feel like he can do anything he sets his mind to and he does not stop.”

Shamkovica added that she discovered ARC in the past year and the program, along with the people have been like family.

“There are no words. These are amazing people,” said Shamkovia, referring to the Neighborhood Cruisers. “My friend, who used to be my neighbor, brought me here last year and I filled out the application papers. We are really moved and so grateful for this. Almost feels like we don’t deserve it.”

”We started as a group of car lovers, locals from Stony Point,” said DuBois. “We had a good group, and thought it would be nice to form a car club. We put names in a hat and thus the neighborhood cruisers of Stony Point was born. We decided we would like to do something as a car club and decided on a benefit car show. When thinking of who to benefit, we thought of kids, kids with medical needs really need help.”

John Bender—Neighborhood Cruisers member and vendor sponsor—and Kristine Dana—R. DANA Pest Control and corporate sponsor—were seen driving around the car show in a golf cart.
“I have a car, a hot rod. I have been involved since the initial formation,” said Bender. “It’s the tenth anniversary and we prepare for the event all year. It is a lot of work but everyone leaves with a good feeling.”

“I do the car show each year and sponsor trophies for Monday cruise nights “ said Dana. “I show support but I am not a member because I do not have a car. I’m from the North Rockland area with a store on Samsondale.”

“Haunts for Hospics” is another community event that Bender and Dana sponsor. “It raised over $3,000 and we are going to do it again this year, on the last two weekends in October. I’m going to put up the website soon,” said Dana.

“Many members have more than one car. My wife has one car and I have two,” said DuBois. “A lot of husbands and wives both have cars, which makes our club unique. It makes weekend event enjoyable when both the husband and wife have a car and the family is involved. It helps create a family atmosphere.”


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