Wings and Wheels welcomes thousands of spectators

Scott Saunders, event chair | Posted: Saturday, July 7, 2012 7:00 am

The First Annual Plainville Wings and Wheels car show and fly-in is over.

According to many who attended, it was a huge success for Plainville. With 480 show cars, many aircraft and helicopters, an army of volunteers, thousands of spectators, and dedicated sponsors and vendors, it's no surprise.

This event was founded on an idea from good friends, Jeff Adams and Mike Turcotte.

They wanted to put on a car show in Plainville as a charity event and asked if I would work with them. It only took a minute to decide.

Through discussions with Jeff and Mike, and our wives Daphne, Corinne and Andrea, we expanded the original plan to include a flyin and family entertainment.

The committee decided to support two local charities, the Petit Family Foundation and the Plainville Community Food Pantry.

Following a presentation to the Plainville Aviation Commission, the plan to use Robertson Airport was approved.

Carling Technologies, conveniently located right next to the airport, let us have the car show on their property.

As the scope of the project grew, the committee brought in additional people. We knew that we needed experienced people to guide us for the event to be truly successful.

Town Manager Robert Lee and his wife Peggy joined our efforts. Their desire to promote Plainville in a positive way, and their experience with running other large events was instrumental in taking Wings and Wheels to the next level.

All of the volunteers, sponsors and collaborating vendors know who they are, and we couldn't have done it without them. Joe Bellino, the long-time organizer of the Simsbury Fly-In, graciously offered advice on fundraising and organization.

Unfortunately, Joe passed away before the event became a reality. The Plainville Fire Company gave their time and shared their experience in running the Plainville Balloon Festival.

Without them and Keith Gnazzo our fundraising results would have been substantially reduced. Jeff and Mike wanted to work with the Bristol Auto Club, and I have to say they couldn't have made a better choice. Our contact, Dave Champagne, shared his extensive experience in organizing and running car shows. Working together with Reggie L'Heureaux, Pete Budnik and others from BAC, Jeff and Mike made their dream a reality.

The Aviation Commission informed us that the Plainville Historical Society was looking to have a car show of their own to showcase some original Plainville Stadium Racers and it was suggested that we try to combine our efforts. Working with Nancy Eberhardt of the Historical Society and Don Moon, we did join forces and were proud to help bring this piece of Plainville history to the event.

Lynn Michaud and Brian O'Leary of Interstate Aviation, assisted by volunteer Neal Witkin, coordinated the Fly-In. They worked hard to attract helicopters and aircraft.

Lynn even created the beautiful printed flyer that was used at local car shows to attract participants. I can't say enough good things about Lynn, Brian and their crew. "Discovery" airplane rides ran all day and the helicopter rides were so popular that an additional helicopter had to be brought in.

From the beginning, we had vendors and sponsors eager to participate. Many local organizations and businesses wanted to help, and we greatly appreciated their involvement and hard work to make this a success. You can find them on the Sponsors page of our website, www.plainvillewingsandwheels.

com and we hope you will support them in the same spirit they have supported us.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the Plainville Fire Company and Police Department for all of their dedication and support. We thank Dean Cardinale (and Eddie) for the live music, as well as our emcee, Town Councilman Dan Hurley. We further thank Miles Greenfield and Rino Ouellette for their generosity and guidance. We are grateful for all of the Food Pantry volunteers and the students of Plainville who came out and worked in extreme heat to support the event.

On behalf of the Plainville Wings and Wheels Committee, we thank Dr. William Petit and the Petit Family Foundation, and Susie Woerz and the Plainville Community Food Pantry for all the good work they do in our community. They give us inspiration to contribute and make things better. We appreciate all of the spectators who came out to see what our town has to offer, and we hope to see you all again next year.