The sweet sounds of ’50s ’60s and ’70s pop and blues drifted out over the cars settled in front of the Port Jefferson Frigate ice cream and candy shop Saturday, July 11. Despite the humidity from tropical storm Fay passing by the day before, crowds gathered in the small parking lot to look at a host of cars in all varieties to support the local VFW post that has struggled financially from the pandemic.
The nonprofit North Fork Cruisers hosted its first Car Show for Veteran Suicide Awareness, with proceeds going to the Rocky Point VFW Post 6249. The post has taken a significant financial hit due to the pandemic to the tune of approximately $10,000 to $12,000, according to post Commander Joe Cognitore. The post takes in a lot of its revenue from renting out the VFW hall during the year, but all of that was halted since March.
Present at the show were classic Mercedes from the ’50s and other novelty cars like a pink Thunderbird and the much renowned Batmobile often seen around the North Shore. The music was provided by Long Island’s DJ Night Train and Larry Hall, of Brazier Insurance Agency, donated the trophies handed out at the end of the show. Also present was Louis Falco, the founder of Operation-Initiative Foundation, a nonprofit that supports veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Peter Oleschuk, of the North Fork Cruisers, said with the event they were “just looking to do something nice for our VFW which has been closed these past few months and hasn’t been able to fundraise.”
The event raised around $440 for the VFW post, which Cognitore said was generous of the numerous people and veterans who donated at the show. He also thanked Roger Rutherford, the general manager of The Frigate, for facilitating the car show in front of his business.
Post 6249 is planning further ways to fundraise to plug its funding hole, including a GoFundMe page which should be available to donate to within the next week. The VFW is also planning for its 13th annual golf outing to support veterans organizations come Sept. 21.
For more information on how to support the VFW, call 631-744-9106.
For more on Operation-Initiative, visit www.opinitfdn.org.