Although Old Man Weather hasn’t been kind to the Johnston Street Machines during the 2018 Cruisin’ for a Cause season, the non-profit brought a smile to the face of Debbie Richard last Thursday night.
“Please remember,” said Gina Sabitoni-Arakelian, one of the JSM’s founding members who doubles as treasurer, “we’ve had a bunch of cruises rained out, and two last month.”
However, the ongoing and seemingly unmatched generosity of motorcycle and classic car owners shined last Thursday night when the JSM presented a check for more than $800 to the award winning A Wish Come True non-profit that was established in 1982 in Tiverton and now makes its home at 1010 Warwick Avenue in Warwick.
“This is a wonderful donation,” said Debbie Richard, who serves as operations manager for A Wish Come True. “We are thrilled and always very thankful for any and all donations we receive.”
Richard, who had the honor of judging the night’s motorcycles and vintage vehicles as well as presenting trophies that were donated for the entire season by Steve Nelson of Johnston-based Nelson Oil Company, explained that A Wish Come True works tirelessly to provide special wishes for children ages 3 to 18 who are medically qualified who have life threatening illnesses and live in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.
“We wish this donation was much larger,” Sabitoni-Arakelian, a former Mrs. Italia Rhode Island and Mrs. USA national candidate who has gone onto becoming a champion power lifter in her age group, told Richard. “Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather; obviously, all our evens are dependent upon the weather.”
Despite having been rained out twice last month, Cruisin’ for a Cause raised nearly $900 for A Wish Come True and did to by receiving a generous $5 donation from classic car and motorcycle owners when they drove into the Denny’s Parking lot off Route 6 for the JSM’s Thursday night event.
JSM volunteers like Peter Lombardi and others walked through the display of cars and bikes selling 50-50 raffle tickets that helps boost the month’s charitable donation.
“We are all about charity,” Sabitoni-Arakelian, who along with her father Emilio “Emo” Sabitoni have raised thousands of dollars for Meeting Street School in memory of her late cousin Rosie Randall who was a teacher at the Providence facility before being struck and killed by a motorist while she and her husband Brad were out for a leisurely ride. “The JSM feels it’s important to give back to the community.”
The money raised during last Thursday night’s Cruisin’ for a Cause, which was bolstered by the expert disc jockey and music knowledge of Warwick resident Joe Martini, will be put into the month’s coffers that will benefit Friends of Homeless Animals.
“This is another non-profit that needs everyone’s help,” Sabitoni-Arakelian said. “Their motto is Adopt Don’t Shop and we’re looking forward to four nights of great weather to help yet another charity that tries to provide a home for small dogs that have been rescued from kill shelter and finding them a home.”
Sabitoni-Arakelian encourages those who’d like to make a donation to the Friends of Homeless Animals to call 234-4499, go on line at www.FohaRi.org or stop by tonight’s Cruisin’ for a Cause between 5 and 8 p.m. in the Denny’s parking lot and make a donation that will help small dogs who she noted have big hearts.