Initial estimates are the Langley Good Times Cruise-In raised around $50,000 for charity, car show president Riccardo Sestito calculated.
“Probably more,” Sestito estimated, but it will be several days before a final tally from the Aldergrove event is complete.
In addition to the two charities the event supports, Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association (VTEA) and Langley Community Support Groups Society, organizers were planning to distribute some funds to smaller local charities as well, Sestito said.
On Monday, Sept. 20, Sestito was still recovering from the long hours required to organize the event, but pleased with the way the event came together and full of praise for the many volunteers who helped make it happen.
“This team we had, was unbelievable,” Sestito told the Langley Advance Times.
“Jeez, I can’t believe we pulled it off.”
A record for the Aldergrove version of the event was set, with an estimated 1,200 cars on display, lined up along Fraser highway from 264th Street to 274th Street on Saturday, Sept 11.
Sunday, the follow-up swap meet and car corral raised more than $4,100.
Sestito had stepped down as president of the event, but was convinced to return by the board of directors.
“I said, I didn’t want to do it,” Sestito remembered.
“They said, ‘you have to.’”
He could have refused, he admits, but just couldn’t do it.
“I’m the kind of guy that sees things through.”
He admits to occasional frustration at the time commitment required to organize the large event, time away from his family and his own vehicles.
He still loves cars, especially the classics.
“It always been a part of me,” Sestito commented.
“I would like to have more time to work on cars and charity work.”
Sestito is still trying to find a replacement.
“Anyone who wants to be president can take my job any time, Sestito offered.
“So far, I’m still in.”
Like previous years, there was a lot of “behind-the-scenes chaos,” leading up to the event, Sestito elaborated, including some “intense” last-minute discussions with provincial health authorities to allow the outdoor event to proceed – and the loss of the popular In-N-Out Burger, which was unable to make the trip due to COVID border restrictions.
On the day itself, there was some last-minute scrambling in the morning to find parking spaces for several late arrivals.
But all in all, it turned out as well as organizers could have hoped for, according to Sestito.
For all of the stress, “it’s fun on the day of the show,” he remarked.
“There’s a moment in the morning, when all the cars are coming in – it’s satisfying.”
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