“I absolutely love doing this,” said Gary Maddocks as he stood in the darkness of Denny’s parking lot of Johnston Centre last week. “We had a great season and could have done much better had it not been for being rained out.”
Maddocks, who serves as president of the highly-popular non-profit known as Johnston Street Machines, was giving a wrap-up for the 2017 season that concluded with the David Louis Cunha Foundation receiving a check for $747.
The JSM’s Cruizin for a Cause was held every Thursday night – weather permitting – with people showing off their vintage vehicles while listening to music from DJ the Car Guy Richard George and raising money for selected charities from May to September.
Even with a record number of rain-outs, the JSM’s combined total that went to five different charities was $4,678.
“We want to thank all our friends who joined us every Thursday evening and donated to different charities each month,” said Maddocks, a former Johnston Police Deputy Chief and Head of Security at the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation. “Our cruise nights were designed to give back to the community, especially non-profits like the Cunha Foundation.”
The David Louis Cunha Foundation is a 501C-3 non-profit that was established on Jan. 13, 2015 upon the passing of David Cunha. The mission is to provide financial support to families with children living with life-threatening conditions and to award scholarships to Smithfield High graduating seniors who excel in community service and embody a generous heart as David did.
David’s parents, Peter and Cheryl Cunha, were on hand at the JSM’s season finale and graciously accepted the donation and in his memory thanked an attentive audience for their “generous support and remembering my brother.”
One of the JSM’s biggest boosters – special sponsor Steve Nelson of Nelson Oil Company on 2397 Hartford Avenue – was on hand and received a special thank you from Maddocks and all Cruzin’ for a Cause participants for donating a total of 75 trophies during the 2017 season.
Maddocks, who announced that Cruizin’ for a Cause will be back bigger and better in 2018, wanted it known that JSM officials do not select trophy winners. He said that honor goes to people from the month’s designated non-profit or charity.
The complete list of donations the JSM made this season includes: May-FARA $1,011; June-Meeting Street School $1,385; July-Make a Wish $500; August-Jason Hamel Fund $1035; and September-David Louis Cunha Foundation, $747.
“Next year we anticipate bigger cruise nights and are making plans to bring more Street Machines, Hot Rods, Pro Street Rods, Antique Cars, Classic Cars, Motorcycles and even Choppers,” said Maddocks. “We’re hoping to have a record year in donations, too.”
The dates for the 2018 season are May-3, 10, 17, 24, 31; June-7, 14, 21, 28; July-5, 12, 19, 26; Guaust-9, 16, 23-30; September-6, 13-20-27.