Dancing with the Cars and Classic Car Show Great Honking Success

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(David Dierks, Photographer)
Crowds gathered to view the rolling exhibit of original Shelby Cobras led by Drew and Janet Serb in their 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 during the Car Show. After leaving the show, the Cobra drivers headed out on their annual 1000 mile drive.

    “Successful,” according to Melissa Roeder, Kate Wiley and Bill Waterman, is the one word to sum up the back-to-back annual fundraising events, Dancing with the Cars and the Orinda Classic Car Show, held Sept. 9 and 10.
    For starters, it was a Miami night in Orinda for the 140 attendees at the Orinda Rotary-sponsored Dancing with the Cars.
    “Our guests dressed beautifully,” said Roeder, Rotary member. “It was great to see all those Miami-style tropical shirts, print dresses, Panama hats, tans and chic outfits. We also had four gorgeous cars on loan through Orinda Motors, and other friends of Rotary, beautifully up lit by Desired Effect and Steve Harwood.
    “This event exemplifies Orinda Rotary’s goals to build strong community, to create good will and understanding and to promote ‘Service above Self’ to help others in need,” she added.  
    Members of Orinda Rotary raise funds for Meals on Wheels, Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties, scholarships, outings for the Boys and Girls Club, and many other local, regional and international projects.
    Roeder said the event, with highlights such as dinner provided by Havana Catering, key lime, lemon and chocolate mini tarts provided by a Lamorinda grocery, dance music from the band Los Boleros and Salsa lessons for guests.
    “It’s the ultimate Orinda block party – familiar, yet fresh and fun with a new theme every year and an enjoyable way to raise money for important causes,” Roeder said, before adding Orinda Rotary greatly appreciates everyone who participated.
    “We want to thank all our sponsors, including Gold Level Davidon Homes, Mechanics Bank, Park Place Wealth Management and STE Global; Orinda Parks and Rec, all the guests, donors and contributors and especially the excellent group of volunteers who joined us from the Miramonte Interact Club, Lamorinda National Charity League (NCL) and Boys Team Charity (BTC),” said Roeder. “All students and parents involved contributed their time, creativity and energy to give our event a special polish.”
    The following day, volunteers of the Orinda Classic Car Show saw over 155 classic cars and trucks – many with hoods popped — on display, countless vendor booths and 2,000 to 3,000 attendees.
    The Orinda Association (OA) Board Member Wiley credited the show’s success to many volunteers while even giving a shout out to Mother Nature.
    “The weather was perfect, and every committee chair and volunteer did their jobs so well it appeared the event ran seamlessly,” she said.
    Current OA Board member and past President, Waterman, said the Orinda Classic Car Show is a unique community favorite.
    “This is also one of only a few car shows now going annually in the East Bay that is locally run and managed while raising funds for a local non-profit like the OA and our Seniors Around Town (SAT) ride program,” said Waterman. “Whether you love cars or just want to be a part of a great local community event, there is something for everyone at the show.”
    Waterman had many to thank as well.
    “We thank all the volunteers – including from the two youth charities, NCL and BTC – who pitched in to set up and take down the show, plus all sponsors and vendors that supported the show again this year,” he said.
    Wiley said many people came to the OA’s booth.
    “Several people came up to our booth just to say thank you for putting on this community event that was so friendly and happy, with something for everyone,” she said. “And they told us how important it was for the community to come together like this.”
    She said the families who came with their little kids were “so much fun, and the kids especially were drawn to the children’s ride on the prized Jeep.”
    One little boy, around 4 or 5-years-old, is someone Wiley will never forget.
    “He said he had saved up his money to purchase a raffle ticket ($5) for a chance to win the jeep. We asked his mother if her sons would like to pick the winning raffle tickets from each of the seven raffle prizes,” said Wiley. “The winner of the jeep actually went to another young family with boys. The boy who picked the winner got to drive the jeep to the winners of the car, making him happy too!”
    Wiley said she saw long lines of longtime residents, along with new transplants, “some in walkers, many in strollers,” at both Rosie’s Mexican food truck and Orinda’s Loard’s Ice Cream booth.
    Networking and connections were made as well.
    “One volunteer running a booth, anxious about finding a replacement for her insurance agent, talked to a booth neighbor,” said Wiley. “She got the local referral and actually met the agent hours later at the booth, a win-win for both of them!”
    Wiley believes everyone should put the Classic Car Show on the calendar for next year.
    “This is an event open to and enjoyed by all,” she said. “It features music, food, T-shirts, hats, free stuff, raffles, magnificent cars and lots of car stories while benefitting local charities.”

Charleen Earley can be reached at editor@theorindanews.com.

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