Pristine Car Wash donates $1,000 to bombing victims
Brightly colored signs and American flags lined the sidewalks at 1145 Atwood Avenue and 167 Putnam Pike in Johnston, beckoning customers in to support victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
‚ÄúIt was just a terrible thing that happened during the Boston Marathon. I wanted to do something special for all the bombing victims and their families,‚ÄĚ said Ben Lemaire, owner of the two Pristine Car Wash locations, who donated all proceeds Sunday to the fund set up for bombing victims.
Lemaire designated Sunday as Boston Marathon Victim‚Äôs Day and announced that he would donate all of the day‚Äôs proceeds from his two locations to the ongoing fund.
Lemaire, who was born in Providence and has worked in the car cleaning and reconditioning industry for three years, was somewhat disappointed with the final results Sunday.
‚ÄúWe were looking for a really big turnout,‚ÄĚ Lemaire said. ‚ÄúWe were jamming Saturday with lots and lots of cars. Maybe Sunday‚Äôs weather was too good and everybody was other places enjoying the day.‚ÄĚ
But Lemaire and his staff worked hard from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and did so knowing what their efforts would benefit.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre all very proud of what we did; every little bit helps, I‚Äôm sure,‚ÄĚ he said.
Sunday‚Äôs car wash took in a little over $700, but Lemaire will pitch in, in order to give $1,000 to the Boston Marathon Victim‚Äôs Fund.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm making up the rest from the business,‚ÄĚ Lemaire said, as he received congratulations for the day‚Äôs effort from staffers like DJ Kates, who spent time at the Putnam Pike and Atwood Avenue locations of Pristine Car Wash. ‚ÄúMaybe we could do something else down the road.‚ÄĚ
Mark Buben, an attorney whose practice is in Cranston, was glad to participate in Sunday‚Äôs event.
‚ÄúWe can‚Äôt do enough for those people,‚ÄĚ Buben said. ‚ÄúI came here especially to help. Otherwise, I like a dirty car.‚ÄĚ
Jose Kunhardt, who works at the Putnam Pike store, was glad for the opportunity to help the bombing victims.
‚ÄúThat was a terrible, terrible day. I couldn‚Äôt believe it. When I found out we were doing this, I was really happy. Today, we‚Äôve been giving it a little extra knowing that this donation will help some special people,‚ÄĚ he said.
Lisa Deslauriers didn‚Äôt know that Pristine Car Wash was holding such a benefit before pulling into the lot; she just needed her vehicle washed and cleaned. When she found out, though, she was thrilled.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs wonderful,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm happy to be part of today.‚ÄĚ
It is a cause close to Deslauriers‚Äô heart. She works at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital in North Providence, and she is proud of the work her fellow health care professionals did at Boston area hospitals.
‚ÄúOnce we learned they were taken to those well known Boston hospitals, we knew that they would receive the best care possible,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúAnd if it happened here, we would have done the same thing.‚ÄĚ
Fred Goodhart, a Johnston resident who visited the Atwood Avenue car wash location, didn‚Äôt know the day‚Äôs proceeds were going to the Boston Marathon Victims Fund.
‚ÄúBut I think this is great,‚ÄĚ he said, as he sat in the waiting room for his vehicle to be ready. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs awesome to see so many people helping from all over the country. It was great to see the outpouring of support. This is so close to home, you feel it.‚ÄĚ
Nick Rocchio, who owns and operates Division I Landscaping in Cranston, explained that he has a month-long contract with Pristine for all his trucks.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve already been here once today, and this is the second truck I‚Äôm getting cleaned,‚ÄĚ Rocchio said.
Although he didn‚Äôt know Sunday was dedicated as a fundraiser, Rocchio gave kudos to Lemaire and his staff.
‚ÄúI think its cool that a small business like a car wash would do something like this,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúLots of small businesses aren‚Äôt making it today; it‚Äôs great to see he‚Äôs sending the day‚Äôs proceeds over to the victims fund.‚ÄĚ