Hendricken alumni, teacher drive for super-sized car show Sunday
Longtime car buff Mike Benedetto has lined up a myriad of vehicles that range from 2013 models to old-time cars, and even antiques, for the fourth annual Bishop Hendricken High School Car Show this weekend.
Benedetto said the car show will have as much power as “our unbeaten baseball team.”
Benedetto, who is a computer science teacher at the Warwick-based parochial school and who serves as chairman of the event, has lined up three of Rhode Island’s best known automobile dealers who will display a full slate of cars Sunday, May 19 between 2 and 6 p.m. on the Hendricken campus, located off Oakland Beach Avenue.
“Rhode Island family dealerships Flood Ford and Paul Masse Chevrolet-Buick-GMC are coming back to the show,” Benedetto announced. “Ed Tarbox, who is carrying on his family’s tradition in the automobile business, will also be here with a complete line of [new] cars.”
Benedetto also said, “Mike Flood and Paul Masse are part of our wide alum base; their sons are Hendricken grads who have always supported this important [car] show.”
Likewise, Justin Nortarianni, who owns and operates D & M Tyre in Cranston, is yet another Hendricken alum who has pledged his support for Sunday’s show and has reportedly lined up a lot of privately owned vehicles and old cars for the two-hour benefit event.
There are also Hendricken alums like Anthony Renzi, who owns Action Auto Body and operates a Del’s Leomonade franchise, who will be part of Sunday’s show.
“We have many alumni who feel this is one of our most important fundraisers,” Benedetto said. “The entire proceeds will benefit our Inner City Scholarship Fund.”
Benedetto also announced that the involvement of “Mr. and Mrs. Rhode Island Car Shows” further points to another successful show.
He was speaking of George Arakelian of Johnston-based A Custom Car Stereo and his wife Gina Sabitoni-Arakelian who are well-known for helping organize large and successful car shows throughout Rhode Island.
“No one knows the car show circuit better than George and Gina,” Benedetto said of the Arakelians, whose son George Arakelian III attends Hendricken. “They’ve lined up 20 trophies ... we’ll have Best in the Show and the Hendricken Hawk Choice award. We’re all excited about this year’s show.”
And, as a result of its extraordinary reputation in academics and athletics, Bishop Hendricken is always getting enrollment requests. But when it comes to the inner city, as Benedetto said, “The cost is almost always prohibitive.”
Therefore, four years ago Benedetto and Ron Mosca, who once served as Hendricken’s head football coach and is the current director of computer science, felt a car show could be a way to offer a fun-filled family event that could raise money to help inner city kids obtain a private school education.
“We raise the money for a deserving young man who positively can’t afford to come to Bishop Hendricken,” said Bill Campbell, the school’s director of maintenance, who also served as a pitching coach for the Hawks, and worked tirelessly with Benedetto and Mosca to help make previous car shows an overwhelming success. “We always have plenty of help – and fun – getting ready for the show.”
Benedetto said that while the three Rhode Island automobile dealers will have a full line of new vehicles, all other makes and models are welcome. Registration is $5 per car.
“We encourage people to come and show off their rides,” said Benedetto, a longtime car aficionado who will have his red 1996 Chevrolet Corvette on display. “We’re going to have a monster truck, plenty of food, a bounce house for children and a 50/50 raffle.”
Sunday’s Hendricken Car Show will also feature a special raffle that will include things like five free oil changes and three brake and rotator jobs, courtesy of Renzi, who has put his four sons through Hendricken.
“The whole show will be backed by oldies music,” Benedetto said. “That goes in keeping with the car cruise theme; Coach [Bill] Campbell and DJ Johnny Mac probably have as much fun spinning records as the kids will have going into the bounce house and having a grilled hot dog.”
Anyone who’d like to reserve a registration or would like further information about the show should call Benedetto at 477-1281 or Arakelian at 946-0010.