Cars for Kids shows classics to benefit CJR in Litchfield

LITCHFIELD — On Sunday, Oct. 15, the Valley Collector Car Club and the Litchfield Hills Historical Automobile Club will collaborate with the Connecticut Junior Republic in presenting the fourth annual Cars for Kids Automobile Show.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Junior Republic’s Litchfield Campus on Route 63, with gates opening at 8 a.m. for exhibitors. Exhibitor bags will be provided for the first 200 show car registrants. The first 100 exhibitors to register will also receive a dashboard plaque. Automobile entries are $ 10 per car. More than 20 trophies and awards will be presented at 2:30 p.m. Spectators are welcome, and admission is $ 5 per car.

A variety of activities are planned for young children, including face- and pumpkin-painting, a scavenger hunt, farm tours and hay rides. All proceeds from the show will benefit the Connecticut Junior Republic.

“Community and partnerships are so important to both Union Savings Bank and the Connecticut Junior Republic. We applaud CJR for all of their efforts in helping the youth in the communities we both serve. The Cars for Kids show gets bigger and better every year and is a great family event with cool cars and activities for all ages,” Rick Judd, executive vice president for Union Savings Bank and CJR board member, said in a release.

Joseph Greco, chairman of the Steering Committee for the Cars for Kids Automobile Show and treasurer of the CJR board of directors, expressed optimism about the success of this year’s benefit. “Last year, with the leadership of some very special friends, including Union Savings Bank and FM 97.3 WZBG, local businesses, and our sponsoring car clubs, we raised approximately $ 25,000 in net proceeds,” he said in a release. Greco said CJR’s 2016 Car Show was highlighted by a record attendance that included 350 automobile exhibitors, nearly 850 spectators and the involvement of more than 100 volunteers, including CJR students and staff.

“We hope that our 2017 event will meet or exceed last year’s success in terms of attendance and funds raised,” he said.

The Litchfield Hills Historical Automobile Club and the Valley Collector Car Club are nonprofit groups dedicated to the appreciation and preservation of classic automobiles and to supporting charities in the community.

“We welcome antiques, muscle cars, trucks, custom cars, exotics and street rods, and hope to have at least 350 exhibitors again this year,” Glenn Royals, president of the Litchfield Hills Historical Automobile Club, said in a release. “We also appreciate the support we have received from businesses and organizations in the community and hope this show is an increasingly significant fundraiser and vehicle for showcasing the important work of the Junior Republic.”

According to CJR Executive Director Daniel Rezende, the show will include the participation of students from several of CJR’s program locations. “Young people from our Litchfield campus and community programs look forward to preparing and serving lunch, assisting with tours and other parts of the show,” he said.

A variety of breakfast items and a luncheon consisting of a choice of a pulled pork or barbecue chicken breast sandwich plate will be served in CJR’s D’Assern Dining Room. A food court will offer a variety of foods to eat on the go, including hot dogs, hamburgers, kielbasa, popcorn, pretzels and ice cream sandwiches. The Litchfield Aid of CJR will offer home-baked cakes, cookies and other items at its bake sale.

Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic provides care, treatment, education and family support for vulnerable at-risk, special needs and troubled young people so they may become productive and fulfilled members of their homes, schools and communities. Today, the organization’s combined programs serve nearly 2,000 boys and girls annually in 12 locations throughout Connecticut.

The Junior Republic conducts three residential programs for court-referred young men on its Litchfield campus. Regular, special, vocational and alternative education programs are provided for boys from communities throughout Connecticut at CJR’s Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center, which is located on its Litchfield campus. Enhancement, transition and related services are also provided.

CJR provides additional residential services for boys at its group homes in Winchester and short-term, residential crisis intervention for girls in Waterbury. A broad spectrum of prevention, early intervention, family support, and intensive, home-based service and aftercare programs are provided for boys and girls through CJR’s community locations in Danbury, East Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, New Haven, New Britain (two sites), Torrington and Waterbury. Behavioral and mental health services are provided at these locations, as well.

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